Coronavirus: Best Practices for Working From Home, According to a Six-Figure Social Media Entrepreneur As businesses shift to remote working setups, here are top tips for staying productive and connected.

By Natalie Zfat Originally published

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Anchiy | Getty Images

This week, thousands of in-office workers will experience their first foray into the world of at-home work, as large and small businesses try to manage the threat of COVID-19 by asking their employees to work remotely.

And while a LinkedIn study from October 2019 found that 82% of workers wished they could work from home at least part of the time: Take it from me, it's not as easy as it looks.

As a social media entrepreneur who has built a six-figure business from my home office over the last decade, here are my top tips (and learnings) for making your home — ahem — work for you.

1. Stick to a schedule

One of the most wonderful things about working from home is that you get to enjoy the comfort of your home all day.

It's also one of the most dangerous things about working from home.

Related: Coronavirus Home Testing Kits Are Coming to Seattle

Consider beginning and ending work at the same time each day – the way you would if you were at the office. This will help you separate professional time and personal time – and make it easier to detach both emotionally and physically at the end of the day. You can even log your day and daily tasks if that helps you.

During the day, give yourself some physical distance from your workspace by taking a lunch break – even if that means you're sitting at your kitchen table or listening to a podcast for 30 minutes. I find this makes me feel more refreshed and ready to dive back in when I return to my desk.

No matter what you do during your at-home "off time," stay away from laundry or the dishes in the sink. Truly take this time to mentally unwind.

2. Give yourself space

Don't let your dining room table become the source for stacked papers, folders - or God forbid, a printer.

A dedicated workspace (ideally one you where you can close the door) is a solid way to keep work and life separate – and ensure you're not constantly reminded of your deadlines while sitting down for dinner.

Related: Working From Home Is Changing How We Work

At the end of the day, close the door (if you can), walk away, and try not to return to your workspace until the following morning.

3. Look the part

When you work from home, appearing professional can be just as important as when you work in a traditional office. (Also, it's 2020, and there's simply no excuse for a poorly lit video conference with bad audio.)

Invest in a LED ring light (for as little as $25 on Amazon), a couple of plants, a Zoom or BlueJeans video conferencing account — and a good microphone. You'll be surprised how far this goes during video calls. (During a recent Zoom, I was told I looked like a beauty YouTuber - a major compliment in the social media business.)

4. Build boundaries

When it comes to working from home, I often encourage people to "build" and not "set" boundaries – because it's truly a process.

It took me years to figure out that even though I work from home, I don't have to answer an email at 9:00 p.m. when I'm sitting on the couch with my husband watching This Is Us. (Trust me, I'm way too fragile to respond to anything after that show anyway.)

Related: Coronavirus and a Looming Recession: How to Raise Capital in Troubled Times

If an emergency arises, you can, of course, make an exception, but try to limit your work to business hours only, even if that means having a template reply on-hand. One of my personal favorites: "I will be happy to look at this tomorrow with a fresh set of eyes!"

Building boundaries can be even more important when you work from home, and your environment can often always "feel" like work.

Wavy Line
Natalie Zfat

Social Media Entrepreneur

Natalie Zfat is a writer and social media expert who curates original content and videos. She has partnered with iconic brands like Rolling Stone, Food Network, American Express and Samsung.

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

California Woman Arrested For $60 Million Postal Service Scam

Lijuan "Angela" Chen faces two charges that each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Growing a Business

Trendspotting 101 — How to Stay Ahead of the Curve in Your Industry

Learn how to spot and capitalize on emerging trends in your industry with these practical tips.

Business News

A Wegmans Employee Allegedly Stole Over $500,000 from the Company

Alicia Torres pleaded guilty to crimes carried out over nine years while working at Wegmans in Webster, New York.

Business News

Hundreds of People Mistakenly Told They Have Cancer in Biotech Software Mishap

The biotechnology company, Grail, said a software issue caused one of its vendors to accidentally send nearly 400 letters mistakenly telling patients they have cancer.

Growing a Business

How to Harness the Power of Data Analytics for Business Growth

To thrive in the competitive landscape, entrepreneurs must understand and leverage the power of data analytics.