When you work in an office for years, it’s easy to daydream about how great it would be to work from home. No more early starts and frustrating commutes, no more spending money on business attire and no more stuck in a 9-5 time constraints. You’ll be in your own space, be your own boss and have your own choice of office equipment, decoration and surroundings. More people than ever are choosing this option, having more control over their lives and hopefully spending more time with their family.
However, working from home is not always the walk in the park you might imagine it to be. It’s tough to get the balance right, but when you do, you’ll never look back. Get it wrong though, and both your work and home life could suffer. To be successful at home-working, you must establish the right conditions, deal with distractions and have a dedicated space from which to focus and get work done.
Why you need a special home office space
Having a dedicated home office space is important to prevent the lines between family and work becoming blurred. Your first step should be to choose an area suitable for this purpose. If you intend on holding meetings or inviting clients into your home office, try to have a space that can be accessed without going through any communal or private areas. A space that you can call ‘work space’ will enable you to be more productive and focused, rather than working from the dining room table for example. Next, you need to organise the resources that you want to have around you on a daily basis, so everything is set up and ready to go every day.
Separate your work and your home
If you don’t separate the different realms, you will either feel like you’re never at work or that your work is forever following you home. For your own sanity, you need to create a mental boundary between the two worlds. Speaking to your family to establish ground rules is a good idea and remove any potential distractions to aid in your productivity. Think about having a space entirely separate to the house, like Shepherd Huts for example. These can be placed on your property and offer a completely self-contained and comfortable unit from which to operate your business.
Focus on comfort
To help your productivity, create a comfortable space that you enjoy spending time in. You’ll most likely be spending lots of time there, so don’t choose a claustrophobic under stairs cupboard with no natural light or you won’t ever want to us it. Choose the right office chair for starters, one that provides good lumbar support, encourages good posture and is adjustable. A breathable material and the right level of soft-firmness is also recommended. Ensure you choose the right size desk too, one that isn’t too small or cramped and hinder your efforts.
To help you stay focused, energised and healthy, your workspace should have plenty of natural lighting. This will also reduce the potential for headaches or eye-strain. If your space doesn’t have much natural light, choose lighting fixtures with full spectrum light bulbs which mimic natural light.