cozy tips: when home becomes the office

There is hope for that pair of woolen socks. The freelance community is no longer just blossoming; it’s in full bloom, and more in more people are working from the coziness of their home address.  Mothers and fathers and young adults and writers and photographers all across the spectrum are ditching their car keys and pouring a second cup of coffee from the sanctity of their own kitchen.

There is hope for that pair of woolen socks. The freelance community is no longer just blossoming; it’s in full bloom, and more in more people are working from the coziness of their home address.  Mothers and fathers and young adults and writers and photographers all across the spectrum are ditching their car keys and pouring a second cup of coffee from the sanctity of their own kitchen.

It’s not hard to see why working from home is favorable. Some people like the freedom of making their own hours, and others feel a stronger sense of security by being able to independently contract themselves. When I’m not nannying or in the Salted office, I research the chefs from home or take on extra freelance projects to supplement the costs of rent, granola, and my frequent kindle purchases.  This means entire days, weeks even, where my little Palms apartment is my only office.

There are pros and cons to working from home.  I’ve learned that pillows can help back support and that a good candle can transform a stressed mind. Let me share.

1. Dress for work. Yes, one of the benefits of working from home is to wear your pajamas all day, but I do like to change into my “work pajamas.” It’s nice to transition from sleep clothes to work clothes, even when the new work clothes consist of a tank top and stretchy cotton shorts. I also have an affinity for white cotton socks. Something about this, paired with my morning cup of coffee, places me in a slightly more productive mood, even if it’s as simple as a change of t-shirt.

2. Create sacred spaces. The bed is for sleeping, snuggling, lovemaking, and Netflix. While it’s tempting to sit propped on pillows and kick out some articles, I don’t feel it wise to turn my bed into a place where I ponder deadlines and search engine optimization. Instead, assemble a cozy place with a good chair, either at your desk or kitchen table. Add some fresh flowers, or a mason jar full of colored pencils. These things will inspire creativity and productivity, while still keeping your bed a safe spot.

3. Take breaks when you need them.  It’s easy to get caught up in your work, especially when you like it. Breaks are good for us, and good for our work. They allow us to breathe, and press the reset button. A small walk, a cup of tea, or a yoga session are all wonderful ways to escape from work and keep a sound mind.

4. Partake in work week rituals.  There are benefits to working in the office. Socialization, for one, is a wonderful thing, and I do occasionally long for a water cooler conversation. That being said, when five o’clock hits, and a respectable amount of work has been done, it’s perfectly fine to ask, “What Would Jimmy Buffet Do?” Happy Hours are called Happy Hours for a reason. Enjoy a drink, some cheap appetizers, and the company of your friends. Unwind. Take the time to appreciate a good friend.

5.  Check In with the Co-Workers. If you’re part of a larger company, or any form of team, reach out to your fellows. Yes, one of the benefits to working from home is being able to rock into a little antisocial nest, but from communication comes collaboration! Take the time to reach out to your boss or co-workers, especially if you have some ideas.  It builds a stronger professional relationship, and makes sure you still have a say in the advancements.

6. Nourish Your Artist. When I was living at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, my roommate, Kate introduced me to a life-changing book, entitled The Artist’s Way. It frequently discussed the nourishment of one’s “artist child,” that delightful part of our soul that takes pleasure in brightly colored candies and flannel sheets. Regardless of your work, creativity is a powerful to tool to express ideas effectively and use innovative problem solving.  By nourishing this fearless part of our soul, we are strengthening our ability to communicate, to collaborate, and to create.