Working from home has always been a viable solution to the problem of location and very little startup capital. This is especially the case for freelancers and some contractors.
With the birth of technology driven industries, more people have the option of working from their homes. And why shouldn’t they? There are less taxes involved when working from home. You save money on transportation and have more time to spend with your family. Extra bonus: need lunch? Make a trip to the fridge in YOUR kitchen.
If you have the space, you can set aside an area in your house as a work space – a Home Office.
We have gone through some of the benefits to this set up, but there are downsides. If you work from home, you are likely to be tempted to procrastinate, take more breaks than you need to and may not feel motivated with laundry at your feet. Especially so when you know your bed is so close to you.
Want to avoid these potholes? Here are 6 steps that will help you get the most out of your Home Office….
Clear the Clutter Weekly
Don’t wait for the end of the month, every six months or for springtime to roll in to make your desktop cleaning. Keep your work space clean and organised all year round. Just set aside some time each week to tidy it. You will work more efficiently in a clean area. Things will be more accessible and more up-to-date, as a result of you filing away old papers and putting your tools where they belong. An added bonus, you won’t get bogged down and frustrated because you have to climb through the clutter to get things done.
Find Storage Solutions for your Home Office
Finding the right storage solutions for your home office can be a little tricky. They can be super expensive and don’t match a single piece of furniture in your home (just imagine a gray filing cabinet beside your floral sofa).
Storage is definitely a necessity. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive or an eyesore. From drawer dividers for filing cabinets, look for solutions that will help keep you organised and functional and foster creativity in your space. Here are a few YouTube videos that should prove useful:
Move…Away from your Distractions
If needs be, relocate to a section of your house that has as little distractions as possible. Basically, find a quiet haven of zen in your house to set up your home office. Maybe your house doesn’t have a quiet zone. Just designate an area in the house. This area should be far away from the television, away from where the children usually play and far away from any bed or couch. This area can be near a window so you get fresh air, near a bathroom and well lighted.
Set House/Office Rules
There needs to be rules that guide how you operate in your home office. Working from home, doesn’t mean you should not have rules. Look at it this way. Had you been employed and had to go to an office, there would have been rules and protocols for you to follow. Structure breeds good habits. It’s that simple.
It’s no different at your Home Office.
Lay down the laws there as well. The children most knock before entering or make appointments when it’s work time. Your partner needs to know that activities that takes place in other sections of your house, does not take place in your office. No one touches your files or uses your work computer for games. Lay down the law and things will flow more smoothly when you’re getting work done.
Set Work Hours
This step ties in with being structured.
Setting specific work hours help in more ways than one. The one where you are most productive and work within them. Maybe you are a morning person or a night person. Whichever works for you. Just find that time of day and work with it.
One of the best things about a home office, is the fact that you have the option of working when you are most productive. When you set hours you will be able to accurately measure your productivity as well. How much work did you get done from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.? Do you complete the same hours daily? How consistent are you? Setting hours give you a ruler by which you can measure your productivity and accurately price your services.
Stay Motivated: Make an Inspiration Board
Do you know of those little office notice boards that companies like to put little motivational words on or the latest company event? You can have one as well. Be fun with it; decorate it. Put words and imagery on it that stimulates your creative juices and inspires you. This way, a means of instant motivation will always be in your workspace. Anything you find that makes you want to work harder pin it up. You can also use the board to keep any tidbits of information you want to have close at hand.
We hope you find this useful for your Home Office. What do you do to make your workspace functional?