All my life I’ve wanted to work from home. And never was there a day when I thought I would need to find out how to make working from home fun. 

    Until now. 

    Back when I was the tender age of eight, I remember wishing I could stay home from school. Wanting instead to enjoy the simple pleasures of sitting on the couch, watching The Today Show and eating Doritos straight out of the bag.

    Sadly, it took more than 30 years for that dream to manifest. And when it did? That first year was the best year of my life.

    I was super productive. I’d wake up at 5:30 in the morning, workout, plan my day, and not stop until I’d crushed my work goals. Then I’d go out for drinks with friends in the evening and get so excited when the next day I was able to sleep in and finish my work later in the afternoon.

    But at some point the fun part of working from home wore off. And I stopped feeling so motivated to get stuff done. Here I was, living my dream. But at what cost? I was alone all day. I don’t receive feedback from clients (in the world of freelancing, no news is good news) but often feel like my work doesn’t make a difference.

    How to Make Working From Home Fun

    Want to know how to make working from home fun?

    Turns out, you can’t just start working from home and expect that the initial excitement of bidding your coworkers adieu won’t wear off in due time. 

    Here are some of the ways I’ve found to keep those good times goin’.

    Create Community

    Deep down, I’m an introvert. Which is why going to an office every day kind of drove me up a wall. The one thing I could always count on? Coworkers interrupting me just as I was starting to enter a state of flow. 

    Something else I hated? Meetings scheduled first thing in the morning that sucked my energy for the rest of the day. 

    These days when I want to be productive, I simply turn off my alerts (no phone, no Skype, no email, and certainly no Slack). 

    But here’s the thing: even though I get to say “who and when” when it comes to my meetings and flow — and to be honest, just about everything in my business — I really do miss coworkers that ‘get’ my frustrations and who can share in my successes.

    While I was constantly bumming about the coworkers that constantly annoyed the bejeezus out of me, I forgot that there were people in the office that made my day on the reg, too.

    If you want to find out how to make working from home fun, don’t forget to create a sense of community.

    “At some point the fun part of working from home wore off. And I stopped feeling so motivated to get stuff done. Here I was, living my dream. But at what cost? I was alone all day. I often feel like my work doesn’t make a difference.”

    Schedule Breaks/Schedule Work

    When I worked in an office, I would schedule my to-do list throughout the day. 

    Sure, I’d have days where I was working on one project throughout the day (without the need to chunk the task into smaller pieces), but I’d at least have a game plan. 

    Working from home, there could be days when I wouldn’t get to my to-do lists or major tasks until the end of the day. Similarly, I’d find myself working for hours on end without a break in sight (usually because I needed to complete a day’s worth of work in just a few hours at the end of the day). 

    Now, I schedule my tasks throughout the day on my calendar. These tasks are like meetings in the sense that I need to at least start them at a specific time and keep working on them until they’re finished or until the time is up.

    Then I get at least a 30-minute break to take a walk, get ready, or eat a meal. Sometimes my breaks are just scrolling through social media. 

    Honestly, most of the time I finish the task early and get a few extra minutes to relax and enjoy my upcoming break. 

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    Enjoy the Ride

    Want to know how to make working from home fun?

    If I’m being honest, the novelty of working from home has kind of worn off a little for me. 

    There was a time when I’d wake up every morning and get excited about the fact that I didn’t need to go anywhere on a workday. Nowadays, not so much.

    It’s kind of inevitable that hedonic adaptation would set in at some point. Even lottery winners report feeling the initial thrill of their good luck waning after a while.

    Remembering what it was like to be forced to commute to an office every day (while wearing constricting business casual no less!) has helped me appreciate my WFH lifestyle a little bit more. 

    Similarly, remembering why I wanted to work from home in the first place (flexible schedule, working in my sweats, feeling like my time is actually mine) and mindfully appreciating them also made a difference.

    “Remembering why I wanted to work from home in the first place and mindfully appreciating those reasons also made a difference.”

    Play Hooky

    One of my favorite reasons to work from home is that I can make my own schedule. 

    For the first few years I worked from home, I would try to make my days as productive as possible. Working 40-hour weeks, charting my productivity, and lambasting myself if I missed my goals (even by just a little), were all commonplace in a regular workweek.

    No wonder I wasn’t enjoying the work-from-home experience! I was recreating my awful office experience at home. Only now I was the demanding boss that wouldn’t approve my time off for my grandma’s 85th birthday.

    I was feeling as burned out as I did at the office. But now that office was my home and I had no place to escape it.

    And did I really need to do all that stuff anyway? Or was I trying to keep as busy as possible because that’s what I was conditioned to do? Was I essentially telling my own self, “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean?”

    That’s when I took a look at my schedule and started cutting away the stuff I didn’t really need to do. And doing so allowed me to free up an entire day.  If you want to know how to make working from home fun, lean into the built-in fun factor: making your own schedule.

    Now, I take Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons off. These days feel like special treats. I wake up on Wednesday and am excited about the magazines I peruse and the novels I’ll read. On Friday afternoons, I usually take a drive or go on an adventure somewhere nearby.

    And playing hooky doesn’t necessarily mean that I spend those hours eating bonbons and painting my toenails, either. Sometimes I use that time to catch up on emails or knock a few things off my to-do list that would have gotten done on a weekend instead (though, I try not to spend the entire time on my to-dos). 

    Creating variety in my week keeps me off that hedonic treadmill and the extra breaks help me fill my cup, making the time I am working more productive. 

    Work From Home Tips/Tools

    If you have a WFH job that you absolutely hate, will these tips help you enjoy your job more? Probably not. 

    But if you’re dealing with the monotony and languishing of a WFH lifestyle, these tips may help you enjoy your working hours a little bit more. If you want to find out how to make working from home fun, try out a few of these tips and tools.

    Coworking Platforms

    I really miss having a work community. Usually, I do my work, submit it, and invoice my clients. They either respond that they love the work or ask for edits/rewrites. And that’s it.

    If Alicia is doing work and no one notices, is she actually doing anything? Inconclusive.

    I started using a coworking platform, Focusmate, because I wanted to feel seen. 

    Platforms like this match you (blindly) to an accountability partner. Log onto the platform (which is similar to Zoom) five minutes before your scheduled session. At the start of each session, you’ll greet your partner and chat about your goals for the next 25 or 50 minutes. Then, you’ll work (sound on or off) uninterrupted before checking in with your partner at the end.

    I haven’t used Focusmate to create an accountability group or anything like that, but I love that you can get a little community in small digestible 25-to-50-minute chunks. 

    Create Ambiance

    How to make working from how fun?

    Will a happy work environment make or break your WFH happiness? I highly doubt it. 

    But can an enjoyable space give you an added boost of happiness from time to time? I’m going to channel the beloved Mari Kondo for this one, and say yes!

    If you were a fan of Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you’ll remember that her entire methodology was based on surrounding yourself with only that which sparks joy. And while I’m not sure that only surrounding yourself with joy-sparking objects is totally doable, creating a mostly organized space that is filled with objects and sensory experiences that spark joy is.

    I love ambiance. I’m a sucker for themed restaurants and bars (I’m lookin’ at you Rainforest Cafe and Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse). If a coffee shop plays my favorite tunes on the reg, I’ll return time and time again. And if those places are filled with wonderful aromas? Fuggedaboutit. 

    Making my WFH office comfy has made me want to spend time in it. I usually work from home in the morning and in coffee shops in the afternoons, and I choose the contents of my office space as well as those coffee shops carefully.

    Consider my office the Disneyland of WFH. It’s got a soundtrack. Aromas of citrus or baked goods are pumped in thanks to candles and diffusers. And there are plants. Lots of plants.

    And despite being something of a packrat, I try to organize my office space at least once a week. This allows me to savor my space as well as keep it clean. 

    Consider my office the Disneyland of WFH. It’s got a soundtrack. Aromas of citrus or baked goods are pumped in thanks to candles and diffusers. And there are plants. Lots of plants.

    Fun Things to Do When Working From Home

    If you’re struggling to enjoy working from home, here are a few ideas of fun things you can do during your workday.

    Watch TV

    Watching TV while I work feels like a total guilty pleasure to me. It’s something I would never have gotten away with at the office, so watching an episode of Life After Death feels really bad and at the same time oh-so-good.

    I generally can’t focus on a TV show or a movie while I’m working, so I need to choose something that can just stay on in the background (like reality TV or a movie I’ve seen 100 times) and I don’t need to pay attention to it.

    Make Time for Self-Care

    Want discover how to make working from home fun?

    Making time for self-care doesn’t mean you spend a day working from the spa (though, no judgment if that’s what WFH self-care means to you!). 

    Self-care can look like:

    • 10-or-20-minute naps
    • Real meal breaks
    • Meeting a friend for coffee
    • Meditating for a few minutes

    I honestly never remember to do face masks, moisturizing foot booties, or hair masks. So sometimes I pop on all three during a one-hour productivity session. 

    Play Hooky

    I understand that telling people to “play hooky” isn’t viable for everyone. I’m my own boss, I make my own hours, and I set boundaries with my clients.

    You may not be able to play hooky once or twice a week — even if you work from home. If you work for a company that uses surveillance software to monitor your working hours, you probably can’t just “take 10” whenever you want. And forget about taking a morning off.

    But if you are one of the luckier ones that has a longer leash (or even better, no leash at all), try to find ways to schedule your work so that you can take off a morning, afternoon, or even just an hour a month.

    Practice Savoring

    A lot of times I find myself dreading some workday tasks. But then I force myself to do the work and end up finding myself enjoying it a lot more than I realized I would.

    And then the same thing happens the following week. And then again. And at some point, I started wondering why I’m dreading doing work that I actually enjoy.

    I honestly have no idea why it is that I do this. Maybe it’s just a habit I’ve carried from the days before I worked for myself. But I simply forget that I actually enjoy my work.

    That’s why I try to savor my work as much as possible — even the stuff I know I don’t really enjoy (like invoicing and taxes). I find that when I’m present and mindful, there’s not really that much that’s unenjoyable about my work.

    Disclaimer

    Hey, hey! Just a few things before you leave… this post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something after clicking on a one, I might (fingers crossed!) just get a little commission. Good news: I only recommend products that I love! Which means you can feel good about all of my recs.

    Also, you should know that I’m not a doctor. More importantly, I’ve never played one on TV. Always consult your doctor before taking any advice from me (or anyone else on the internets for that matter).