How to Get the Most from Your Home Office
When it comes to working from home, people tend to differ sharply. For some, it is the most efficient and effective way to work, for others it is neither an option nor a preference.
Everything could be so easy: more freedom, more independence, more flexibility. Everything that is important in times of ‘New Work’ and ‘Digitalisation’. But there are challenges when it comes to running a home office and achieving the same degree of productivity like in a traditional office. While it’s certainly very possible to be successful working from home, you have to work hard, and you have to work smart. Here are some of the best ways to boost your productivity in your home office:
1. Separate Your “Work” Space from Your “Living” Space
One of the biggest challenge is staying focused at home. Especially when you share your work space with your family, it can be incredibly tempting to spend time with them. Even if you live alone, everything from chores to entertainment can become a potential distraction. That’s why you must create a distinct separation between home life and work, and the best way to do this it to set up a designated workspace within your home- in a spare room, in the basement, in the garage; it can be anywhere, so long as it is conducive to productivity. Keep this area clean, and only give what it needs to get job done.
2. Be Aware of Comfort and Ergonomics
Something that is so often overlooked in the home office is, incidentally, a common complaint of traditional offices: that it’s just not comfortable enough. A chair without proper support, a desk so short you have to stop to work, craning your neck to see your monitor — these are all things that can lead to pain, fatigue, and repetitive stress injuries. Comfort at work isn’t just a luxury, but rather an asset that helps you keep your focus where it belongs. Invest in a good chair. Make sure your desk is set up so that it promotes you to use a comfortable posture. And place the tools you use within comfortable reach so you’re not wasting time getting up constantly.
3. Dress for Work
This is more of a psychological trick, but one that many people swear by. It can be difficult to keep work and home life separate when they exist in the same building. By dressing for work, you’re telling yourself that it’s time to get down to business — and inversely, you can easily shut off by changing again at the end of the day. Whether it’s business casual attire or even just a special “work” outfit (some people even choose a jumpsuit for this purpose), this is a trick worth trying on for size.
4. Change the Scene
Just because you have a home business, doesn’t mean you’re restricted to working from home. As long as you can still document your effort and time spent on a mobile app, you can work from anywhere. Some days you may find yourself having a mental block, and a great way to get out of it is a change of atmosphere. Grab your laptop and some headphones and head to Starbucks or another local coffee shop. Go to the library, or a park (if you don’t need Wi-Fi), or anywhere where you think you’ll be empowered to be productive. Don’t be afraid to go mobile, and when you do return to your regular workspace, you may find yourself refreshed.
5. Never Neglect Your Personal Life
Maintaining a balance between work and your personal life is important, and if you let the latter slide, the former may come tumbling down with it. The first step is creating (and respecting) clear boundaries between the two. Setting up a dedicated space and having some kind of uniform help in this department, but it doesn’t stop there. Taking care of yourself and your needs during your personal time can go a long way, too. Get some exercise, eat well, read that book you’ve been talking about wanting to read, spend time with family and friends, go out and dance, get plenty of sleep; what matters is that you don’t let work take over your life, because nothing kills your passion for the job more than burning out too quickly.
Working from home can be incredibly challenging, but when it works out just right, it’s also incredibly rewarding. When you work smart, you can boost your productivity, and get amazing results.