Working from home can seem like living the dream for some people, while not so much for others! There’s plenty of pros and cons for going ahead and setting up a home office, so here’s some tips to consider.
Have a Timetable
One of the biggest pitfalls in working from home is all the distractions. Not the usual office busyness of phones and chatter; now you are faced with the messy kitchen, washing, kids & pets and so on. To ensure you stay on task, draw up a daily timetable. You can assign 30 minute slots throughout the day for household matters if you are juggling extra considerations such as children at home. It's also important to schedule a regular start time and lunch break to get into a healthy routine.
Create a Separate Workspace
If you have the luxury of a home office that’s great, but for a lot of people the dining room table has suddenly found a whole new purpose in life. Try to find somewhere in the house where you can shut yourself away when needed, such as for those potentially awkward video conferences. Ideally you’ll have somewhere that can remain your space and off-limits to the rest of the family. A sign on the door gently reminding everyone that you are actually at work and not available for a chat just now can be helpful too.
Consider your home office as an external workplace. Have everything you need set up in your work area, including all those little things you’d usually have near your desk (eg water, note paper, rubbish bin) Having to get up and grab a drink can be a trap when you pass all those jobs in the house that need doing. Before you know it you’ve got distracted by putting on the washing or emptying the dishwasher. You'll be the most productive if you can stay focused at your work station. In saying that, getting up to stretch is important so don't forget to stand up every hour.
Working from home can be lonely, and you may need to ask for someone's advice or assistance from time to time. If you aren't part of a company that already gives you connections with others, there are other ways to have and give support. Join a Facebook group that is relevant to your business, or schedule a regular video conference with a colleague or friend in your industry.