As technology advances, more people than ever before are able to study and work from home. Western Governors University has over 60 degree programs that can be done entirely online. We utilize technology and specialized curriculum to help students get the flexibility they want and need for their education. And more businesses are adding remote workers to their workforce as well. With more and more students and employees working at home, it’s important to be prepared and set yourself up for success for at-home work and study. There are many ins and outs of studying and working at home that can help you have the best experience. Learn 6 of the things that nobody tells you about working or studying at home. These tips will help make learning or working in your home office more productive and interesting.
When you’re working or studying at home, your space is both where you relax and where you get things done. Your chores and work tasks are both right in front of you. It can be very easy for your boundaries to blend together when you’re studying or working at home. You hear the laundry buzz while you’re working on an assignment so you go get it. You are preparing dinner when you get a call from your mentor or from a colleague, so you answer. When your home is also your study or work space, it’s very easy for those lines to get blurry. This isn’t always a bad thing—the flexibility of remote education or work means that you can be there for your family and get other things done. But it can also be difficult. The best tip to combat this is to have a routine and a schedule. This can look however it will work best for you and your needs. For some, early mornings will be the ideal study or work time. For others, the afternoons while kids are at school will be best. And still for others, late evenings after your family is in bed will be the perfect time to work or learn. If you're a parent, have other home responsibilities, and your goals for education all play a huge factor in how you handle boundaries. Make your desk a productivity haven so you can really buckle down without distraction. However it looks for you, find a way to set boundaries so your work and leisure time fit cohesively together.
While many people dream of doing school or work at home, there are times that it can be lonely. You may go the entire day without speaking to other people and it can get lonely very quickly. That’s the reality of working or studying at home, but it doesn’t have to be that way all the time. The biggest tip to help combat this is for students to find people within their school that are in the same boat they are. Find fellow student parents who are interested in the same curriculum as you. If you're an employee, find other remote workers who share common links with you. It’s important to make connections and find friends when you’re working or studying remotely. At WGU, you can get involved in Student Communities that help you meet other students like you all around the country. You can find students in your same program so you can talk about curriculum, get networking ideas for future jobs, and create meaningful relationships. That's what college is all about! We also offer Program Mentors that are with you every step of the way, and are just a phone call or email away. You can connect with them to ask for help or chat at any time. Faculty members can help you with their educational curriculum to ensure you understand and are supported in your college-level courses.Social media is a great tool for making connections, you can join Facebook or LinkedIn groups to find other students or remote employees like you. When you work remotely you can use chat services to stay connected to your colleagues and teammates. Spending some time chatting with friends or colleagues can help you feel less lonely during the day. It’s also important to have phone or face-to-face interactions as well. Call up your friends or colleagues for a meeting and chat. Call your family or friends when you take a break so you can get some additional interaction. When your family gets home, get out of your home office away from your desk to spend quality time with them to help your days feel more full. It’s easy to feel lonely when you’re working or studying at home, but you can be proactive and ensure you’re not alone.
It may sound like the dream to roll out of bed and work from your couch, but studying or working in your PJs isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It can make you feel unproductive if you go through your entire day just wearing your PJs. That’s why many people who work or study at home recommend you get up and get dressed to start your day. Taking a shower and getting ready will help you feel great about the day ahead, will get you motivated, and will help you feel productive right at the get-go. Sitting at your desk in your home office all day in your PJs won't help your productivity. Your education or work will suffer if you're not in a productive headspace. Even if you don't have to commute anywhere, create time in your daily routine to get ready is though you were driving in to school or work. This can do wonders for your productivity.
Studying or working at home can actually help save you money in the long run. Just think about it—the commute into an office costs money, paying for parking costs money, going out to lunch because you didn’t pack anything costs money, etc. You may also be able to avoid expenses sending your laundry out or hiring a cleaner to come to your house if you work or study at home. And if you have kids, you may not have to pay for childcare for them if you’re studying or working at home. You may not have to eat out as often because you can start dinner in between assignments or meetings. These costs can all add up very quickly. At the end of the day, working or studying at home could end up saving you a lot of money. Knowing you're saving money with online school or work can instantly make you feel very confident in your decision.
When you work or do school at home, you might find out you have hidden talents you never thought about! Working or studying at home utilizes a different set of skills that you might not normally use. You may find you’re an excellent planner and organizer when you’re pursuing education or working at home. You may discover you’re great at time management and can power through assignments much quicker at home. You may discover a secret sauce for creativity or productivity that you wouldn’t have found if you weren’t at home. It may be you're better at learning when you can go through concepts in the quiet of your house. Working or doing school at home gives you a great opportunity to discover these hidden things about yourself and enhance your capabilities. Take advantage of the opportunity and really use the time you have for remote work or education to discover more about yourself and your capabilities.
The reality is that research shows that remote employees work an average of 1.4 days more each month. You’ll likely find you’re able to focus and get “in the zone” more easily when you’re working or pursuing your education at home. Online school students at WGU often find they are able to move through their education much more quickly, in a way that really works for them. Their school work becomes exciting and their time is productive when pursuing online education. You can find a groove and schedule that really works for you and utilize it to be extremely helpful for your flow of school or work. There are no people walking by, stopping to talk, announcements for snacks in the break room, etc. While there are distractions at home, you’re fully in charge of them and can set yourself up for better success. You can also take breaks when you want or need to, instead of being interrupted in the middle of a great focus streak.
Working or learning at home can be a challenge, but it also is highly rewarding when done well. Many people crave the flexibility and independence of this kind of study or work, and for most people it is a perfect fit. If you’re interested in doing your school work from home, consider a WGU degree that puts you in charge of your schedule and learning.