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Woman working from home in RV

Going Home-Bound: The Transition to Working from Home

Woman working from home in RV

With all of the different ways to stay connected remotely, more and more employees are finding opportunities to work at home. And for a full-time RVer who also maintains a full-time job, being able to work remotely is an important aspect of creating this lifestyle. But there are key differences between working in an office and working at home. Whether that home is your sticks-and-bricks house or an RV, there are some adjustments that can take some getting used to.

Home Office Environment- Being Productive While Working From Home

In some ways, the freedom of working from home is amazing – you don’t have to worry about what to wear each day, there’s no commute, and you can start your day whenever you want to. But there are some challenges to this set up as well.

In a typical office job, you’re working in a physical office, likely with many other coworkers nearby. There’s a set routine to your day – you get ready in the morning, drive to the office, and work at your desk for all or most of the day. You’re likely expected to arrive by a certain time, take your lunch break at a certain time, and go home at the end of the day.

When you work at home, depending on the specifics of your job, you can start and end your day whenever you want to, take breaks whenever you want, and pretty much set your own schedule. There’s no clock to punch or coworkers paying attention to what time you show up or when you start working.

For some people, this freedom of setting your own schedule is liberating – but for others it can be a real challenge. If no one really knows when you’re starting your day, how hard will it be each day for you to motivate yourself to get started?

Here are some thoughts and tips on how to make the adjustment to a home-based office.

Create a routine

One thing that really helps me switch from “pajama mode” to “work mode” each day is just the simple act of actually getting out of my pajamas in the morning. When I first started working from home, I wasn’t always too good about doing this. I’d just roll out of bed, get a cup of coffee, and fire up the laptop.

The problem with this was I found that I generally felt somewhat unfocused, and there were more days than I’d care to admit when 5:00 would roll around and I’d still be in my pajamas.

So I created a different routine for myself on days when I worked at home – even if I know I’ll be at home alone all day and the only person I’ll likely see is my spouse, when I wake up on work days, the first thing I do is wash my face and put on some real clothes. Then grab my coffee and start my work day. This small habit really helps me stay more focused throughout the day.

Going Home-Bound: The Transition to Working from Home 1

Establish a schedule

Even if you technically can start working at whatever time you want to, it helps to still establish a schedule each morning for when you’ll actually start your work day. I make a point to be logged in and at my computer by 7:00 each morning. Setting an established “start” time helps me shift into work mode. (Something else that can help you shift into work mode is keeping your digital workspace organized!)

It’s also important to make sure you schedule breaks throughout the day. It’s all too easy to just keep working right through lunch, but I’ve found that when I do this, I tend to get unfocused towards the end of the day. Setting a time to walk away from my desk, grab some lunch, or walk the dogs, actually helps me to stay more focused for the second part of my day.

Know when to turn off

When you’re working at home and don’t have to worry about being the last person out the door, or beating the traffic on the way home, it can actually be hard to remember to “turn off” work mode at the end of the day. Unless you’re working up against a deadline, try to set a common time for your work day to end.


Combatting Home Office Distractions

Unless you live by yourself, there will be distractions while you work at home. Whether it’s your spouse or partner who wants to have a conversation every time they have a question, or children who will come running to you everytime they need something, distractions are bound to happen. Even your pets may be more demanding of your time when you’re available to them all day.

So it’s important to set some boundaries for your work space and time.

Have a dedicated workspace

If you’re in a house, you may have a spare bedroom you can use for an office, and you can shut the door when you need to concentrate. In an RV, it may be more of a challenge to find a private area, but having a space that is dedicated to your work area is important.

Set boundaries with others in your home

Kid interrupting mom working from home

When you’re at your desk, make sure everyone in your household is onboard with respecting your work time. Even if you’re sitting right in front of them, make sure your spouse, children, or roommates understand that when you’re at work, you need to concentrate on work. Just as they would have to wait until you get home from the office if you left for work each day, they should respect your work time.

Don’t distract yourself

Another common distraction are just the daily tasks you normally do at home – such as doing laundry, walking dogs, cleaning up the kitchen. At first when I worked at home I would try to tackle some of my home tasks during regular working hours. But I learned that it really is best if I just leave those things for the end of the day, or the weekends, just like I did when I physically went to an office. I might occasionally still sneak in a load of laundry or something quick, but for the most part, my work time is my work time – and making an effort to leave the other stuff for a different party of the day helps improve my focus.

Making the transition from a traditional office to a home office can be difficult. But following the tips above should make the transition a lot easier – and will hopefully be one more step on your path to becoming a full-time RVer.

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Jen Nealy

Jen Nealy is a former full-time RVer turned part-time van-lifer. She and her husband and two dogs now have a home base in Asheville NC but travel in their van as often as they can. 

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