Flexible working patterns are becoming a workplace necessity rather than perk. I recently read an article that said a four day working week is not only beneficial for our own personal work-life balances and wellbeing, but it’s also more eco-friendly as it will reduce the pollution caused by the daily commute. Even better than a four day week is the option to complete your work from home which means no commute at all, or for fewer days at least. It’s a win-win. More productive, happier staff, no time wasted commuting and less polluting the planet.
Thanks to modern technology, employees can now easily get work done from home. In addition, more and more people are opting out of the corporate world altogether to start their own businesses. I already work full-time from home and my husband is currently working his notice to be self-employed too. Lots of our friends are now self-employed and working from home.
Freelancing and choosing to work for yourself definitely seems to be on the rise as well as companies allowing employees the benefits of working from home more regularly.
It, therefore, goes without saying that working from home is fast becoming a norm across multiple sectors. While there are so many benefits to working from home, it can get difficult staying productive every now and then. That's why I’ve compiled a few tips to help you create a more productive work environment from home:
Create a dedicated work space
In a busy household, it can be difficult to know where to begin your workday. If your home is big enough, you can dedicate an entire room solely to work. If not, simply determine an area where you can set up your computer and keep important documents to create a more professional atmosphere.
Regardless of where you choose to dedicate for work, ensure it's quiet, away from home distractions, allows natural lighting, and most importantly, suitable for your specific line of work. Having a dedicated work space helps you stay focused and also allows you to claim the home office tax deduction.
Invest in your office space
It helps for your home office to have all the equipment you'd find in a professional office. What every homeworker deems necessary varies by profession and preference.
However, some of the common necessities for a home office include a reliable computer/laptop, quality internet connection, a filing system, landline or mobile phone solely for business, a printer, general office stationery and comfortable home office furniture that is supportive and ergonomic.
Be sure to keep the receipts for any business related furniture and equipment so you can deduct such purchases as business expenses.
One of the major downsides of working from home is the numerous everyday distractions that can keep you from getting work done. Make a point of eliminating distractions as much as possible.
For instance, use noise-cancelling headphones or put on some white noise to keep away outside noise, hire someone to take care of your pets, turn off the TV, use apps to block distracting websites, close the door to your office to keep kids and pets away, avoid mindless social media scrolling, save household chores for later, and so on.
If it helps then set up a schedule so you have set hours dedicated to working and breaks where you can feed the cats or put a load of washing on. Make sure your working hours are spent working and not worrying about all the other distractions in your home.
Create a breakout space
It's quite easy to become glued to your work space, especially if it's conveniently located near your bed and the kitchen. This can cause creative blocks and even take a toll on your overall health.
It's worth relaxing and taking breaks in a bright, airy space. This could be your balcony, conservatory, living room, a visit to the local cafe during breaks or even a walk around the block!
This helps your mind to rest, allowing you to return to work refreshed.
Add some personality
Home offices don't have to be boring; after all, it's your space and you can get super creative with it. Add photos of family/friends, motivational quotes, exotic plants, mementos of success, some funky wall art, a scent that makes you happy, a stylish desk lamp, bright colours, or even cartoons that make you laugh –whatever you need to give your home working environment personality.
Given how isolating working from home can be, these additions will sure give you some inspiration to get to the bottom of that to-do list every day without going insane. You can find lots of great free prints online to tac to your office wall. Change them every once in a while to stay inspired and keep the room looking fresh.
Working from home can be a dream to many, but it can also be a little daunting to suddenly combine your home and work life in the same place. Try your best to create a dedicated workspace where you can really focus on your job and leave the rest of your home as a place to relax and escape from work.
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