More people than ever are working from home, whether on a self-employed basis or a flexible working contract. Home working can bring flexibility and an improved work-life balance, but it comes with its own challenges. To work from home effectively, you must be super organised and disciplined. The space you work in will make all the difference. Maximise your chance of success with our top 5 ways to create the perfect home office.
Make your home office a space you want to spend time in
Unless you’re a true minimalist, plain white walls and nothing other than the most essential furniture and equipment will not make for an inviting space. If you’re working from home, you will be spending a lot of time in your office, so you need it to make it somewhere you want to be.
This will vary between individuals but consider creating an ambience that suits your personal style as well as being conducive to productivity. If you need to get a lot done quickly, dim lights and incense probably won’t help. Make it comfortable by investing in a good chair. Are you the type of person who works better with photos of loved ones around or do you see work as an escape from the family, preferring to look at scenic pictures of nature? Get a good balance between style and functionality, adding personal touches to boost your mood.
Keep your home office neat and tidy
You will do your best work in a neat and tidy office, free of clutter. Invest in useful storage and filing solutions – and use them! When working from home, it’s your responsibility to clean the office. Make time in your schedule for clearing and tidying your space so that it doesn’t get cluttered. Knowing where everything is can help you to stay calm and focused whilst working.
Equip your home office to meet your needs
Make sure you have everything you need to get the job done. The right technology can make all the difference to your work rate and how easy your life is whilst working. You might want to consider upgrading your internet connection or having a dedicated work phone number.
How do you want to use your office? Will you be holding meetings in there or is it just for you? This will affect the furniture you need. If you intend to have customers in your space, think about how it will look to them and whether you’re creating the right impression.[adsense]
Utilise the space effectively
Depending on the room you are using, you may have limited space so it’s important to get the most out of it, no matter how small. Measure the space before you buy furniture and invest in smart storage solutions that don’t take up too much room. If you’re working with limited space, consider devices that have multiple functions in one.
If you have the luxury of a larger space, make sure you maximise it’s potential. Don’t be tempted to junk it up with furniture you don’t need or use it as a storeroom. Consider having different areas for different purposes, such as a refreshment area, desk space, guest area etc.
Plan for avoiding distractions
Working from home inevitably brings its own distractions. Whilst you may be free from the office gossip, now you’ve got to manage yourself and that’s easier said than done for most people. Partners and children can add an additional layer to this problem. Make sure you plan for any distractions you may face. Clearly define your boundaries in terms of workspace and hours you will be working. Communicate these clearly to members of your household. Get a Do-Not-Disturb door sign if necessary. Write a list of things that may distract you – your phone, impromptu visitors, the lure of the fridge, the tv etc. – and plan for each one. Be strict with yourself. Plan your schedule and stick to it.
Following these top tips will help you create the perfect home office. If you find your spare room just isn’t enough, consider a garden room, tailored to your needs. This will ensure you have the ideal space for your requirements, separate from the main house and all its distractions.