News & CultureHow To Work From Home Like a Boss
As The Last Man on Earth star Will Forte shows, it's harder than it looks.
Trading in your cubicle for your condo sounds like every man's dream. But doing it right is tougher than you think—whether you're working from home one day a week or it's your permanent workspace. These nine steps will help make sure you're actually getting shit done—even if you're working eight feet from your TV.
Jump-Start Your New Work Life by Reading This Book
Congrats! You negotiated working from home. But your productivity can't take a hit—or you'll be back in that cubicle. You're going to need to be your own manager, your own boss. Start by reading The War of Art. It's short—under 200 pages—and it teaches you that procrastination is the enemy. And beatable. How? Throw up and get to work. No excuses! — Mark Anthony Green
Now That You're Settled In, Build Yourself a Badass Workstation
Comfortable but not too cozy. Productive but not too sterile. Carve out a space for work and only work. And stock it with gadgets and gear that get you excited to spend time in your home office.
— Andrew Goble
KC CO. Valet Tray: Keys, shades, earbuds—they all go here now. ($135, kccousa.com)
Das Mechanical Keyboard 4 Professional: Crazy comfort and speed at the keys. ($169, daskeyboard.com)
Blu Dot Strut Large Wood Table: Give yourself the excessive desk space you've always desired. ($1,299, bludot.com)
Apple 27″ iMac: Don't spend 13 hours a day huddled over a 13-inch laptop. (from $1,799, apple.com)
Dynaudio Xeo 2 Wireless Speakers: There's no one else around—time for loudspeakers. ($1,599/pair, dynaudio.com)
Humanscale Freedom Headrest Chair: Most “ergonomic” chairs are webby monstrosities that make you look like a weenie from Silicon Valley. Keep the function without losing the form. (from $999, humanscale.com)
Fight Off Diversions on Your Quest for Out-of-Office Glory
Your needy spawn is no excuse for not changing the world. (Or hitting a deadline.) You need childcare.
Mother of Dragons and Distractions
There are always new episodes in your queue. Reward yourself at the end of the day—not during.
Motherf#©%ing Mother Nature
Your golf clubs are whispering sweet nothings. So what. Today's agenda is today's agenda.
It's only a nap until you wake up three hours later with 45 unanswered e-mails. It's quicksand. Stay a-woke!
A Mopped Floor Would Help Me Think
So now you're Martha Fucking Stewart? Do the dishes when you get home from work, like the rest of us.
Hubs and Tubes
Pornhub and chill seems like a good way to “clear your head,” right? Nope! Take it out on Microsoft Word.
Will Forte Shares His Secrets for a Successful Day Working at Home
"The first thing I do is check my shower. And then I check my stove. Then I check my shower again. Then check my stove again. Because I'm OCD. And once I'm sure the shower is off and the stove is off, I go upstairs to flip through the channels and make sure Shawshank Redemption isn't playing. If it is, I'll watch it. Whether it's five minutes in or 40 minutes in, I'm going to watch it. And then I figure out which Zamfir album I'm going to listen to. There's something about the pan flute that really brings out the best in my grammar. Lastly, I light some incense. I just came out with my own brand of incense, that's made of my own body hair, called Forte Hair Incense. I figured I'd just come right at it with the name. In the incense game, you have to be very clear."
ABS: Always Be Snacking
There's a moment every day when your outside-the-box thinking becomes hand-inside-the-cereal-box thinking. But with a little prep, you can make sure those five minutes away from the screen crafting a killer snack are the highest form of procrastination, the best break you can take. Master these three essentials and stay in the game. — Benjy Hansen-Bundy
Pod coffee is the hallmark of sad office break rooms, and you work at home to avoid those miniature buckets of depression. We recommend a six-cup Chemex with a glass handle, a Bonavita gooseneck kettle, and Blue Bottle's home-delivery service. The days of 'Bucks breaks are over.
A crummy blender brings the whole party down. Bite the bullet and buy professional grade—even if it costs as much as a round-trip flight to Mexico. Then make the Vitamix 750 your vacation substitute by loading it up with superfruits—blueberries, goji berries, coconut, etc.—and give yourself a healthy mid-afternoon bump.
The goods that'll keep you going longest are always natural. Experiment with combinations of nuts, dried fruits, and bite-size veggies. Stock up on sweetened cacao nibs instead of eating chocolate—that's like chewing coca leaves instead of doing cocaine. Smart!
Do It the Same Way, Every Day
Whether it's an office day or a home day: The alarm clock doesn't change. Breakfast? Same peanut-butter toast. Normal office time, you're ready to go. Not just because you want to avoid giving your less fortunate colleagues stuck at the office reason to talk behind your back. But as a way to differentiate from the weekend. Take calls when you always take them. E-mail responses right away. Lunch at one. Coffee at three. What's the point of working from home if you keep it all exactly the same, you might ask? The solitude. The space. No distracting co-workers, no meetings, no excuse to not take a bite out of the big project you never have quite enough quiet to complete. The office away from office is luxurious. Each session at home is an extra-juiced workday, not a workday lite: It's when you tackle the above-and-beyond. — Daniel Riley
Learn from Marc Maron: Don't Hide Your Work When It's Time to Entertain
“I do my podcast out of my garage every single day. It's okay for your workspace to look like a workspace. Just manage the clutter. Depends on who's coming over. Today I have Jeff Goldblum. The president's been here! But if I'm having people over, a dinner party, I'll tidy up a bit. Keep the bedroom clear. Keep a place to sit down and watch TV. They know this is where I work. The goal is to make it look like a workspace, not a disaster area.”
Let an App Teach Your Internet Not to Distract You
Of course, in an ideal world you'd be able to fully focus for eight to ten hours a day, crushing PowerPoint decks. We know how hard it is. Which is why we suggest downloading the Freedom app. It temporarily locks you out of all the fun stuff on your phone, computer, etc. Wait'll you see what you get done in an hour without text messages and Twitter.
Master the Art of Telecommunication
Earlier this year, I moved from New York to Los Angeles. My wife got a job worth relocating for. My editors, kindly, let me go. It's 2016, we figured. If I'm needed in the office, they have holograms for that, right? Well, as the author William Gibson likes to say: “The future is already here—it's just not evenly distributed.” At GQ, we use Skype. It's just like calling your grandparents, except terrifying, because when the audio cuts out, or your voice starts a noise-rock feedback loop because you forgot to put headphones in (and you will), your boss will be there, staring at you. (Hi, Jim!) Here is the good news: We're getting better, used to it. They put me on an iPad and stick me at the edge of the table. My advice is to come prepared, pick your spots. Also, this is the part of these things where the writer always tells you to wear pants. But seriously: Wear pants! Cover up the windows, block out the sunlight. Don't let them know how nice it is there. They might try to join you. — Zach Baron
Cool! You've got a handle on your office away from office.
Next and final step? Kick ass and show your boss how much more productive you've been while remote. Then persuade her to bump you from one day a week out of office to three.