8 Keys to Feeling Professional While Working from Home


In a recent discussion with some professional women who work from home, the topic of "Feeling Professional and Productive," was discussed. As more and more people work from home than ever before, this question is one of the keys to being successful and productive. Following are 8 best ideas to try for yourself.

#1 Have Office Hours. Know when you are working and when you are not. Set the schedule and let friends and family members know. If you want to exercise early and start at 9, do so, just let others know that is when the office opens. Just as important is to close the office. Give yourself 15 minutes of downtime before you jump into the next activity, make dinner, or run out to a meeting. This is your virtual commuting time, take it slow, turn on the radio, and disengage from work.

#2 Keep Personal Interactions to a Minimum. This relates to grazing on Facebook and spending time interacting with friends not just for business purposes. Give yourself 15 minutes a day (that could be a break) to Facebook, email, and talk to friends to catch-up and make plans. 

#3 Create a Great Business Workspace.  Organize your workspace so it works for you, is free of distractions, and is ergonomic ally comfortable. Have goals, notebooks, and business devices accessible and keep kids toys, crayons, and other non-business distractions locked away. 

#4 Plan Out of the Office Meetings and Events. Make time weekly to meet with business colleagues, clients, attend professional associations and more at least once a week. Staring at the computer all day limits you and how you think. Break out at least once a week if not more.  

#5 Schedule in time to Exercise. The biggest advantage of having a home office is the ability to exercise more easily. Schedule that time and make it happen based on what works for you. Make it a business obligation not a nice to have.  

#6 Drink plenty of water. Often we are working at the computer and forget the time. Keep plenty of water nearby and that will remind you to get up and walk around (afterall you will have to go the bathroom). Getting away from the desk every 30-60 minutes is key to a healthy body. 

#7 Get Dressed. Depending on your routine, many women found getting dressed, putting on shoes, and even make-up made them feel they were at their best. They felt different and therefore acted different. Slip off the slippers and throw on some cute ballet flats or high heels for an important client call.  

#8 Have a good cup of coffee.  Even at home, you need a great cup of coffee or Starbucks to start your day.