Working From Home - My Rules; My Equipment

Working From Home

I have been working from home for about 5 years now and feel I have been pretty successful with keeping focused, social, and maintaining healthy habits. This post is going to be a curated list of what I feel are the most important points.

Know Your Rules and Boundaries

Working from home takes a fair bit of discipline. Generally speaking your home is the place that you know best. This means you're comfortable there and you have certain habit associated with being there. For me, when I'm home, I'm aiming to be comfortable when I'm "home". This could mean I'm relaxing in my fleece pajama pants and a t-shirt and/or enjoying myself a beer or perhaps working on repairing something around the house. This is a bit of a bold generalization of my time at home but the point is that these things don't usually mix with work and because this it generally means you'd have a different mindset, not particularly geared towards work time flows.

Knowing that if I feel into my home habits while working I would most likely be ineffective or distracted. To combat this I would suggest making a list of rules for yourself. They don't have to be crazy rules but I would definitely suggest the following from my own list:
  1. Dress like you're going to the office
  2. Have a set time when you work, a routine
  3. Get out of the house at least once a week. Build your network.
  4. Invest in your well-being

Dress like you're going to the office:

As I mentioned, at home, I like to be comfortable, so just staying in my PJs would be easy but it would also affect my mindset for the day. I've found it best to "dress to impress", so-to-speak, to help keep that official mindset. It's also helpful for those drop-of-the-hat meetings where you might need to run to change for the meeting. If you're dressed for it you won't be surprised.

Have a set time when you work, a routine:

Like most things in life, you'll find you do better if you come up with a routine for yourself. This also makes it easy for your employer to know when to, and not to, reach out to you. A set schedule will also help your learn mental patterns to help your focus throughout the day.

Get out of the house at least once a week. Build your network:

Honestly this one, to me, is one of the more important ones. Working from home you'll probably find that it's easy for time to pass by faster than you expect. When I first started working from home I realized that weeks would pass by and I had not left the house. I was becoming a recluse. It may not seem that this would affect your ability to work but I would argue that you need to be able to hone your social skills to improve soft skills. Also having a professional network, with which you can reach out to on issues that arise will improve your chances to quickly solve problems.

Invest In Your Well-being:

When I first started working from home I had a $70 fake leather chair, a card table, and a laptop. I am a some what tall guy, and I found that by the end of the day my neck and my butt were killing me. Not too long after I also started feeling a tingling in my left wrist. Eventually I ended up need to do a bit of physical therapy to get myself back in order and then realized I needed to fix this. I realized that I am the tool that gets my job done and I needed to invest in taking care of that tool.

I bought an ergonomic keyboard and ergonomic mouse. These help make sure that my hand position is more appropriate for repetitive actions, like typing all day. No carpal tunnel for me.

I purchased secondary monitors and a monitor stand to place them on. These larger displays are easier on my eyes and the monitor stands help ensure that they are positioned at a height that helps keep neck and eyes in a more natural and relaxed state.

I also ditched the old $70 leather chair and freaked out realizing that office chairs are INSANELY expensive. I did research and went with one that had a lot of back support and could be adjusted in a lot of ways. After time I had it dialed in and realized it made a huge difference in my back and especially in my legs.

Finally I opted for an upgrade from the card table and went with a sit/standing desk. Sitting all day isn't going to be gaining your body any favors in the health department so taking the opportunity to stand up throughout the day is a big benefit.

The following is a list of the equipment that I have acquired, over time. I did not purchase this equipment all at once, my equipment has been acquired over the years working from home. Note: The following links are affiliate links and do help me with the equipment I need over time.

Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse

Herman Miller Embody Chair:

AOC 27-Inch Screen IPS Frameless LED-Lit Monitor
QualGear 3 Way Articulating Dual Desk Mount
BEKANT Corner desk right sit/stand: (Not an affiliate link)

Happy working from home!

If you have any questions or comments on how you work from home please feel free to add a comment!