For many people, working from home seems like an ideal situation: traffic, office politics and long commutes could all become distant memories.
But no matter where your work-space is, it needs to be set up correctly. Follow our quick tips for a home office that’s both productive and convenient.
Get a Dedicated Space
The last thing you need during an important phone call is the television in the background and the kids under your feet. Ideally, your home office should be an entirely separate room with a closed door – you’ll find it much easier to keep your workplace free of distractions.
Create a Space You Want to Work in
Remember – you’re not in a corporate cubicle. If you’re going to spend a lot of your working day in your home office, it’s best to have everything laid out just as you like it, and decorated to create a positive atmosphere.
While you should arrange your office in whatever way makes you the most comfortable and productive, make sure you invest in a comfortable, high-quality office chair to minimize the risk of back problems.
Treat it Like Any Other Office
Ideally, your home office should have a dedicated landline, PC and printer separate from your personal ones. Keep it organised and tidy – you might need to hold a meeting with a client there.
If it’s appropriate, try to implement some of the same procedures or organizational strategies used in the bigger workplaces. A noticeboard holding an essential list of contact numbers and a daily-updated “to-do” list can have a big effect on your time management.
And just like any other work environment, you ought to carry out a risk assessment and get business from home insurance cover, to protect your business and equipment. You’re still running a business, whether it’s at home or not.
Keep Things Separate
You wouldn’t run a business out of your personal bank account. So don’t do the same with your office. Don’t mix your personal mail with your business mail, and try not mix your personal time with your work time. You might not have to stick to a 9-5 regime, but it’s important that your clients know when they can contact you, and it’s important to keep on top of your work on a daily basis.
The more fully distinct your home office is from your home, the more disciplined and efficient you’re likely to be when you work in it.