Whether you’re working from because you want to or working from home because you have to, there are pros and cons. There’s no doubt that you’re excited by the prospect of donning your dressing gown, putting your feet up and completing a work day at your own pace, but I can attest to the hard truth that the ‘laid-back’ routine gets old quickly.
The question is: How do you create the perfect home office?
The answer to this question differs amongst all people, but there are some pretty common answers which are mostly universal. Whilst you may have a different career to me, a different workload and different requirements from your clients or the boss for whom you remotely work, we all need the same things when it comes to concentration and productivity.
- Remove Distractions
You have to separate your work and home. This is absolutely vital, yet it’s an area which trips up so many new freelance workers or contractors whose home has become their office. Sitting at the same desk which you use for relaxation or entertainment is a bad start for most people.
If there’s no separation between work and pleasure, not only will you fail to feel relaxed later in the day, but you might find that you struggle to get any work done. You need to create an office area within your home that’s separate from the rest of your home or any possible distractions.
- Make it comfortable
Don’t let the last step discourage you. Your workplace shouldn’t be distracting, but that doesn’t mean it should be dull and uninspiring. You need to build an area which motivates you and helps to keep you productive throughout the day. You have creative reign, so you might as well make the most of it.
- Wake up at 8am
You don’t have a boss breathing down your neck in person, but, whatever your line of work, there are deadlines to be met. If you fall out of a routine, you’re sliding down a slippery path. It’s best to keep on top of things and ensure you exhibit self-discipline. I find it helps to wake up at the same time every day (preferably 8am, rather than 8pm).
- Find a pick-me-up
Sleep deprivation will also affect your work. If you really feel like you just can’t do one morning, then do what we all do to give ourselves a head start; there are some incredible espresso machines designed specifically for the coffee addict working from home. You’re not trapped. In fact, working home should offer you some freedom. That means relaxing breaks are well-warranted if they’re breaking up rounds of hard work; you need a little push for the next round.
- Leaving the house
You’re not in a ‘real’ office. There are no rules. Your office can be the entire world if you want, so, if you’re really driven mad by the sight of the same 4 walls in the same old room in your same old house, then you’ve been gifted a luxury that every other poor schmuck in their office job doesn’t have: you can work anywhere. Head to the local café for a few hours and do some work there. It’s up to you to shake things up in your work life.
At the end of the day, you’ll know what style of office works best for you. Just make sure you’re as comfortable as you would be in a normal office, because you have the luxury of choice when it comes to a home-based career. You can choose the most productive conditions in which to work.