Those of you fortunate enough to be able to work from home have a good understanding of how convenient it can be. You have flexible working hours, an enviable perk for most folks who work the normal 9-5. Minimizing commuting costs, transportation issues and other common negatives associated with commuting to a formal office are just a few reasons to make the leap to working from home.
With that being said, working from home isn’t exactly as luxurious as one would think. It’s easy for regular house-hold obligations to take priority over the job, and it can be difficult for family members to take the job seriously with regard to time spent working. Instead, it might appear as though working from home is an alternative to achieving house-hold tasks. Creating an environment for productivity can be difficult, but it is essential to successfully working from home. Fear not – check out some of these helpful tips for working from home.
Do away with common distractions. Everyone has his or her own kryptonite that disrupts productivity. In fact, if you only have one, consider yourself lucky. The point is, when designing your home office space, it’s important to identify potential distraction triggers. For some people it may be a television, for others it could be their children. Whatever it may be it is crucial to figure out a way to remove distractions when you’re working from home.
If possible, send your kids to day care, call a babysitter, or teach them that your office is off limits for playtime. If TV happens to be your trigger, eliminate it from the room. There are plenty of other possible distraction triggers, so be sure to identify what interrupts your productivity, and do your best to keep it separate from your workspace.
Strategically decorate your space. It is important to eliminate distractions, but not all “eye-candy” necessarily leads to a decrease in productivity. It doesn’t matter what the decoration might be taking up your office space, everyone needs time to look at something pleasant for a bit. In fact, doing this is healthy for the brain! As you design your home office space, try using colors that light up the room to help keep you feeling awake throughout the day.
If possible, claim the room with a few windows to allow for natural light. Decorate the room with plants and artwork that you enjoy. Remember: doing away with distractions does not mean you have to work out of a white-walled room with a desk and folding chair.
Schedule consistent working hours. Routines are tremendously important when it comes to productivity. This of course is easier to accomplish when your working hours are assigned to you, but for those people who make their own hours working from home, sticking to a routine is a must. Establishing a routine will help offer more structure and consistency in your every day work life, which in turn, can help you more easily meet deadlines. Establishing time boundaries can help avoid over-working as well as under-working.
Try making your start time a little earlier than you may need, giving yourself time to take care of household tasks before starting work to avoid thinking about it during the day. Then, plan time for lunch and a general end time. Of course, this is a loose schedule for yourself to follow, but it will ensure you maintain and/or increase productivity working from home.
Organization and cleanliness is key. Similar to avoiding the television or loud kids, maintaining an organized workspace can also reduce distractions. If your office is clean, there will be no reason for your mind to wonder off during work with the excuse that you need to clean.
Try and incorporate this tidying as part of your daily routine. At the end of each work day, factor in putting away all of your supplies in their respective locations so the next morning you will be able to sit right down and get to work without feeling cluttered. Also, try and limit the supplies in your office to those that are necessary for work.
Comfort is key. If you’re going to be sitting in a room for hours working it’s important to be comfortable while doing it. With that being said, try and keep the comfort level to one which encourages productivity. Pick an armchair that gives you good posture to reduce slouching and further enhance productivity. Focusing on finding a supportive chair may not only be beneficial to productivity, but to personal health as well. Feeling comfortable in your chair at your desk means you will be less inclined to pause working to seek out a more comfortable spot. Maybe the best working from home advice is making sure you feel content in your office ensuring a creative thought process.