In 2006 I began working from home (part time). In 2013 when I started my small business, I decided to make the transition to full time work from home. Over the last 14 years, I've learned a thing or two about what makes working from home a productive, enjoyable, and most crucially a sustainable, experience, and what some of the common pitfalls are. As unfortunate as it is that so many people have been furloughed or laid off due to the spread of COVID-19, many are also blessed to have jobs that allow them to work from home and I thought my experience might be helpful for someone.

(As an aside, what happened to calling it "telework" or "telecommuting?" Probably stale branding is my guess — it sounded a little too 90's. I digress...)

1. Routine

If you have a usual morning routine — something that starts with "I wake up..." and ends with "... then I drive to work," keep it. Routine is an important component of mental priming, and will help you maintain a sense of normalcy while you transition to WFH and begin to establish a sense of "the new normal." You may be surprised at how quickly the weirdness of it all will blend into the background until one day it doesn't seem odd at all. You may choose to augment your routine to better suit the new situation, that's fine too, but be consistent.

2. Workspace

You don't need a fancy, dedicated home office — some suite on the East corner of your expansive estate with built-in mahagony shelves and leather chairs and a colonial serving cart shouldering carafes of aged liquor and tastefully arranged snifters sitting beside a pretentious globe near a crackling fireplace while you puff a cigar.

What you need is a demarcated space to call your own. A spot where you work. Kitchen table, den, spare bedroom, basement, attic, porch, doesn't matter. It matters that it's comfortable for you, and it matters that you work while you're there, and don't while you're not. This relates to your routine, as described above, but also helps to establish and nurture healthy...

3. Boundaries

Make it clear that although you're home, you ARE working and need to focus. This sets a healthy precedent whether you have friends or family physically around you or not

4. Breaks

5. Downtime

6. Meals

7. Audio

8. Video

9. 1:1 Meetings