More and more people are taking advantage of opportunities to work from their homes. There are many benefits to this, and it’s certainly more convenient for the workers. However, doing your work from home can sometimes be difficult because the atmosphere of your home is very different from the atmosphere of an office. Keeping this in mind, there are some things you can do to create a productive atmosphere with your home office.
Define Your Work Space and Work Hours
One of the most difficult aspects of working at home is that it feels like home, rather than a business office. You can adjust to this by adopting some business-like routines. Set aside a specific room, or at least a specific area, of your home for working. This is not the area to dump the laundry or sort the mail. This is the area for work-related items. Keep a routine, even though working from home may offer more flexibility. Set your working hours, and stick to those hours. Take an actual lunch break, rather than just grabbing something to eat and continuing to work. The more your home office feels like a business place, the more productive you will be.
Take advantage of technology to make the most of your home office. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection, especially if your work requires an internet connection. Use a good antivirus program to protect your computer and files. Video conferencing software, such as Skype, can offer a way to connect with your employer and coworkers. To keep paperwork to a minimum in your home office, use cloud file sharing programs, such as Dropbox.
Create an Enjoyable Space
Your home office should be a place that you enjoy. Invest in some quality furniture, and make sure you have plenty of natural light to make it comfortable for your eyes. Choose a calming color for paint on the walls, and select some photos or pieces of art that you like. If you have a separate room for your home office, make sure it has plenty of storage for papers and reference materials. De-clutter the area where you’ll be working, as you’ll be more productive in an area that’s not messy. There are many ways in which you can equip your home to resemble an office. I find DisplayMe to be a great option for acquiring items that can help your home office seem less like home and more like a professional business.
Get Rid of Distractions
When you’re working at home, it’s very easy to be distracted by your phone, Facebook, or the TV. Remove the temptation by turning those things off or putting them out of your reach. You’ll get a lot more work done if you’re not tempted to check your messages or pause for a favorite commercial.
Create a To-Do List
Create a checklist of tasks you want to accomplish each day, rather than just trying to remember everything that you need to get done. As you finish with one item, check it off your list and move on to the next one. It’s a very good way to keep yourself organized, and you’ll be more productive when you can actually see what you need to do throughout the day.
Dress for the Job
Working from home doesn’t mean you should work in your pajamas. It’s easy to feel lazy and distracted if you’re in your most comfortable clothes. Dress for the day in something suitable, even if it’s not as dressy as it would be if you had to actually go to the office. For example, casual khakis and button-down shirts are a good choice.
Don’t Forget Ergonomics
It’s easy to remember ergonomics, such as comfortable keyboards and desk chairs, when you’re in an office setting, but we often forget about those things at home. Make sure your work area is comfortable and doesn’t put a strain on your body. If you stand a lot, you may want a special mat to reduce strain on your back. Adjust light sources so that they don’t shine directly on your computer, to reduce eye strain. Some simple things can make your home office more comfortable.
Many people would be thrilled to have the opportunity to work from home, but it takes some effort to get your home office set up properly so that you can be productive. You need furniture, tech, you have to pay attention to the decor and lighting. It is not exactly a breeze but these guidelines will help you get the most of out of working from your home office.