Most people find working from home fun, exciting, and relaxing. But some days it can be a real grind. Sure, working from home or working remotely is nice, but if you are always working from home it can be tough to stay focused and get your work done.
Working from home can become lonely and to be honest a little boring. Except for conferences and onsite customer meetings I work from home all of the time. Meeting with customers and other professionals at conferences is great fun. It's nice to get out of the home office, see new things and connect with people. For the last year I haven't done any travel and I noticed after a few months I was getting bored, lonely, and a little sad.
Make Working from Home Fun Again
Get out of your home office or remote location
One thing you can do to make working from home fun is to change your location. Variety is the spice of life and it's nice to work in a new scenery.
Here's a few ideas to change up your home office or remote work location:
1. Work in a coffee shop or cafe for the morning or afternoon.
2. Head to your local library to do some work or do some research.
3. Work at a co-working space or business lounge. Regus has drop-in and pay-per-use business lounges available in 2,000 locations around the world. Check out information on the Regus business lounge.
4. Meet with colleagues or clients for lunch or an on-site meeting.
5. Go to your local company office if you have one and interact with colleagues you haven't seen in awhile.
If you are looking for a new place to work remotely, check out WorkFrom. You can view regular people recommendations for places they like to work. I've even recommended a few of my favorite places on the site.
Work with a friend
Before I was working from home I had a friend that started a consulting business and she worked from home all the time. She organized a small group of self-employed people that would get together once or twice a week.
Sometimes they worked at someone's home office, other times they worked at a coffee shop, and sometimes they just got together and chatted. This gave them a chance to get caught up and also talk about the business with liked minded people.
When you are working alone, it's nice to be able to bounce ideas off of someone else or just talk about things on your mind.
Attend local conferences or Meetups
Attending a local conference or meetup, isn't really working from home, but it's fun. Depending on your business you might be able to get paid to attend conferences and learn a few things. Meetups are a great place to make connections and learn something that interests you. For a few years now I've been attending a local Meetup on social media tips and tricks.
Take a break and get outside
Remember the reason you decided to work from home, to set your own schedule. So don't forget about this and make some time in your day to do something for yourself. Get out of your home office and go for walk. If it's rainy or too cold, go to the gym and workout. But don't do any chores during your break time.
Get Creative With Your Home Office
It's not fun working in a dump. Especially if this is your primary place to work 5 days a week. Here's a few ideas on what you can do to improve the environment for your home office.
Fix up your home office
When you first start working from home you may not have an ideal office setup. Most people start with working on the kitchen table. I know I did.
See if there is anything you can do to make your office space more fun and interesting. I recommend you do this over the weekend or evening and not during your prime working hours. This can become a procrastination tactic and you won't get any work done. Yes, this article is about having fun working from home, but you gotta get work done too.
Clean up the clutter. I feel a real weight and a little disorganized when my office is a mess. Take a few minutes before you shut down at the end of the day to put everything in its place and get ready for tomorrow. You will feel refreshed when you walk into your home office in the morning and every it's clean and ready to go.
For inspiration and ides on fixing up your office, check out my article on setting up your home office. At the bottom of the article I talk about getting plants for your office and I list a few of my favorites.
Have some fun in your office
A few quick ideas on how to make working from home fun:
- Play your favorite music, playlist, radio station, albums, or spotify – I'm listening to Fine Young Cannibals as I write this section.
- Action figures on your desk to play with – this came from a friend ?
- Listen to podcast about something you want to learn or is interesting for your business.
- Signup for an online course. I recently signed up for a free trial with Lynda.com to improve my knowledge on Excel. I was amazed at how much I learned in a short period of time and I put a lot of the new knowledge to work right away. And it was fun.
A Few Other Ideas to Make Work Fun
A few ideas that don't fit into the above categories but not enough to make their own category.
Setup a call with a colleague or business partner
One thing you may miss is the day to day interaction with colleagues. Unless you work alone you can setup a call with someone from your team to discuss the project you are working on. You don't want to just setup a meeting to chat, so have a good reason for the call. Another tip, create an agenda for the meeting. Then you can spend some time to get caught up and also make it a productive call.
Connect with people on Skype or other chat application
In my last job I worked with people all around the world. We all used Skype so it was easy to see who was online, busy or away. This made it super fast to ask a question or send a quick update. It was also good to send a quick joke or find out how someone was doing. You don't want to over do it and you want to be aware of someones chat preferences and time.
Step away from the computer
Let's face it, if you work from home you probably spend a lot of time on your computer. So step away and quit hitting keys on the keyboard. Okay, time to take my own advice and getting out of here for a bit…
I hope you found a few ideas in this article to make working from home fun again. If you have any ideas or there's anything you like to do please ping me on Remote Office Tech social media channels. I use to have comments on posts, but I was getting too much spam.