I have been working from home for nearly three months now.
Well, actually... I travel a lot. But when I am in Boston, I work from home. The company currently has no office in Boston. And when I tell people I work remotely (for the most part) from home, the one question I get more than any other is:
"Wow! Do you just stay in your pajamas all day?"
And the answer to that would be, "No. Absolutely not."
With working from home, I have made a direct effort to be out of bed by 8:30am each day. (I know - "tough life!") But just because I am "in bed" doesn't mean I am just sleeping. I am reading through emails and updates starting (usually) by 7:30am. But I get out of bed and shower - yes, shower - by 8:30am. No later. But... I don't typically bother with make-up or fixing my hair to any great extent once out of the shower. I do slather on some amazing scented body lotion from Jo Malone. But then I de-lux it by spending the majority of my day in Lulus (Lululemon yoga pants).
At around 12:30pm, I go to the gym. Every work day that I am in the city. No exceptions. I need the walk outside. I book the time off in my calendar. Unless absolutely critical and no other collective time is available, I don't book meetings during that time.
At 5:15pm, I turn things off. I still answer emails through the evening from my mobile or tablet devices. But I get off of the computer and either go to Bikram or meet up with friends.
The thing with working from home is that it is far too easy to NEVER NOT BE WORKING. I don't have the in office networking and conversations that used to be a significant part of my day...But it is easy to just keep plugging away on things and suddenly realize that you've not only skipped lunch... It's damn near 7pm... And you don't have a prayer of getting to the late Bikram class without have had any food in your stomach.
So establishing a routine that gets me out of the house is essential. Not just so I don't stay in my pajamas all day, but for my sanity as well.
I have started, occasionally, working from Starbucks or other coffee shops. Just to get me out of the apartment and around people. But I have a tendency to burst out laughing maniacally while reading emails or IM-ing with co-workers.
And when that happens, I worry that others sitting near me may fear I am "crazy." I mean... I am a little awkward. But crazy? I guess it depends on your level of comfort with eccentric people.
But I do smell nice. Because of the shower I take every morning and lotion. So at least I am a nice-smelling potential "crazy person."