With the majority of the country working from home right now, Sam, our co-founder (who also runs Redwood Tall Outfitters) is featuring how and why he loves working from home. Here's what Sam has to say:
I won’t pretend to be a work-from-home expert, but I have been working from home exclusively since 2018. And I’ll preface this by saying, I have not always enjoyed working from home. I despised working from home with a baby the first year and the only action I was taking to improve my situation was to search for other working arrangements.
But I can honestly say I now enjoy working from home with a baby. Here are some tips that helped me get from desperately searching for a co-working space to thoroughly enjoying working from home.
1. Establish your work space
The first year of my work from home journey was spent at a tiny desk in our guest bedroom, and then in our unfinished basement on an old dining room table. Neither felt permanent. I finally bit the bullet and converted my kids’ playroom to an office. I repainted, build bookshelves, purchased all new artwork and indoor plants. Your space doesn’t have to be a dedicated room, but working from the couch just won’t cut it for an extended period of time.
2. Invest in the right tools
To finish out my work space (see above), I purchased everything I need to be productive at home, including:
- Dual 27” 4K Monitors
- Laptop stand with Thunderbolt dock
- Wireless keyboard
- Wireless mouse
- Google Home (for music and podcasts)
- Frosted whiteboard
- High quality, noise-cancelling headphones
3. Routine, routine, routine
Rolling out of bed, making coffee, sometimes getting dressed – this is not a routine. I encourage you to establish a work from home routine similar to what you would do if working away from home. Write it down if you have to and follow it.
4. Set real work hours
My hours in my home office are 8:00am – 5:00pm. When 5:00 rolls around, I know I put in a full day of work and I shut down my computer. My wife also knows I’m done working and can transition into family life. It’s like walking in the front door after a long day at work, except your kids aren’t excited to see you because they know you’ve been around all day.
5. Take breaks
If you’re used to working in an office, you’re probably used to your day being broken up by unpredictable interruptions. Those interruptions are not ALL bad. It’s important to step away from the grind occasionally. Go for a walk, make something for lunch, hang out with your family, read a book – all of these options have the same effect as those office interruptions, but are likely more enjoyable.
6. Embrace it
Out of everything on this list, I can honestly say that this was the turning point for me. A year ago, I finally stopped focusing on the difficulties of working from home with a baby and instead consciously reminded myself of the benefits, including:
- No commute – Did you know that adding 20 minutes to your commute is the equivalent of a 19% pay cut?
- Own your space – Were you losing the battle over the thermostat at your office? Not anymore!
- No office distractions – Caveat: see #5.
- Save money – You can now avoid the temptation to grab lunch or coffee with coworkers, which really adds up!
- More time with loved ones – I’m highlighting this one because this has had the greatest impact for me. I have 4 kids under the age of 5. All of us under one roof, all of us home, all day. Don’t take this extra time with your loved ones for granted. In fact, studies have shown that spending more time with your people is one of the largest contributing factors to happiness.
Everyone’s experience is different, and everyone’s home life is different. These are a few of the things that have worked well for me. What other tips do you have for people who are new to working from home with a baby? Comment below!
Not mentioned, but highly recommended: our Felt Diaper Caddy as a desk organizer 😉