How to work from home successfully? Get dressed!

How do you work from home successfully to increase your productivity?

Full disclosure – picking the brains of smart, creative people so we can learn from them is a big reason why we started The Committed Creative Podcast.

But sharing those lessons is the best part, because we want to help build a community of like minded creatives who work their way without apology or compromise.

To help do that, I’m going to pick out key lessons from the brilliant creatives who have appeared on the podcast so you can get a quick win.

Let’s start with three insights into how to work from home successfully so you can get into that creative project and make it your life’s work.

The art of working from home and creative pursuits often go hand in hand, at least in the beginning when we are getting started.

Tips on how to work from home successfully

WFH Tip #1: Dress for work

It’s tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day. Or just throw on an old shirt and some tracksuit pants.

But when I spoke to author Barry Divola for Episode 4 of The Committed Creative Podcast, he told me one of the keys to his success for working from home was what he wore to the office at the front of his home.

“The number one rule is to get dressed. I think it’s just that I’m turning up for work… It’s a job. Treat it like a job. I remember too that Nick Cave had an office near his home that had an upright piano and a computer, and he would put on a suit to go there.”

It feels good after a day of work to shuck off your professional clothes and slip into something more comfortable so you can relax.

The opposite is also true. That by getting dressed for work we can tap into our professionalism. We can take our art seriously.

When we dress for work, we set an intention in our minds and hearts that we are professionals, and are going to work.

This attitude will infuse itself within any work you do from home, whether you’re at the kitchen table or a home office. 

If you don’t believe me, try it both ways over two working days, and see how each day makes you feel. Do you notice a difference?

work from home

Pyjamas may be comfortable, but they’re not exactly motivating…

WFH Tip #2: Make your workspace reflect your brand

Working from home doesn’t have to mean that you clear a space on the kitchen table and do the job as best you can between the mess.

If your home has an office or a spare room, claim it! If space is at a premium, then claim a corner of a room and put a desk there, standing or sitting. 

It’s important that you have a space devoted to work. A place where your mind can focus on the tasks it needs to tackle, and where you won’t be distracted or waylaid.

My guest on Episode 8 of the Committed Creative Podcast, Jasmine Holmes, takes things even further…

Her workspace for design at her Melbourne pad is a bright shade of teal and festooned with all manner of decorations, prints, artworks and stationary. It’s bright and bold – like she is. And like her brand is.

“If you want to believe in a space, and believe in what you’re doing in that space, you need to surround yourself with your own brand, with your own experience,” she says.

“Surround yourself with the colours that inspire you, and if your brand is inspiring you, great! Anything or any opportunity that I have to paint, dye, colour in anything around in my surroundings I do. I often say I don’t have a favourite colour but my blood runs teal!”

Having your own workspace at home should be more than just a desk. It should be an extension of your creativity and purpose.

work from home

Jaz Holmes makes everything in her life colourful.

WFH Tip #3: Embrace your home’s possibilities

Episode One of The Committed Creative podcast saw Carmen visit her yoga teacher Chandrika Gibson on her bush block in Perth’s north.

Chandrika has been a yoga teacher for many years, and instead of hiring a space to conduct her lessons, she welcomed them into her home.

These days, Chandrika’s bush home is tailored to her work, with wooden floors and big windows, all surrounded by a lush garden with plenty of native plants.

work from home

Chandrika Gibson’s home is a tranquil place for her work.

This has two benefits for Chandrika, the first being that she is able to offer her own yoga classes independently of others.

But it also allows her to train other people to become yoga teachers – a career move into coaching that she says will empower anyone who embraces it.

“When you look at the numbers and you’re pragmatic about it, yoga teaching for example is a terrible way to make money if you’re hiring yourself out. So if you’re going around to the gyms and studios, you might be paid fifty bucks a class but travelling half an hour to get there, carting equipment, you burn yourself out physically working so hard for so little,” she says.

“But that gives you a foundation in teaching skills… as you become more experienced, in any field, it makes sense to pass on your skills to others, and I think education and training is a powerful way to make an impact in the world.”

Make your home work professional

Attitudes to working from home have changed dramatically since COVID began.

But there is a lingering perception that the WFH lifestyle is not as valuable, productive, or even morally comparable to going to an office.

Prove them wrong! Get dressed. Make your space brilliant. And see where it leads.

If you’re wanting to make the leap into a creative pursuit but aren’t sure about it yet, Carmen and I are developing an online course all about how to go all in. It’ll include more advice and motivation on how to work from home successfully.

Join the waitlist to be the first to know when the doors open for The Committed Creative Course.

Do you love working from home? Let us know in the comments!