If you’re thinking about working from home, it’s important to set up a good space to work in that allows you to be comfortable and relaxed yet focused and productive. You’ll want a distraction free environment that allows you to focus on the task at hand, and ideally, a feeling that differentiates your ‘home’ from your ‘home office’.
Setting up the space
The first step, in setting up your office is to declutter the space. You’ll want to create a distraction free environment that allows you to focus on work without distraction, therefore decluttering the space that will become your office will ensure a minimalist environment that assists concentration.
There’s a very strong chance you’ll need a desk, even if you are working from a laptop, as you’ll want to spread out and be able to focus on your work. The most basic office furniture checklist comprises a desk, a supportive chair, a bright lamp, and some type of file storage system.
What you sit in is extremely important. Whilst it might be convenient to make use of your fashionable dining room bentwood chairs, this isn’t a good strategy based on the fact you’ll be likely to be sitting in this chair upwards of eight hours a day; on this basis you’ll want a chair with decent ergonomic support and plenty of padding. The last thing you want is to be suffering with a bad back due to your desk and chair set-up, as this will not only be distracting, but subconsciously your brain will associate (even more) pain with sitting at your desk and being productive.
If you’re used to wandering down to the stationary cupboard, at work, then the price of stationary might surprise you. However, the equipment you need itself, shouldn’t break the bank. As a bare minimum you’ll most likely need a computer, a pen and paper, a stapler, and something to store your documents in (e.g. plastic wallets).
Work when you’re working
It’s all too tempting for your attention to drift anywhere other than on work; particularly with the advent of social media notifications, YouTube and Netflix. You might have to parent yourself and set up your own ‘parental controls’ that allow you to restrict the content you’re able to access in order to remain focused. There’s a great app called Freedom that offers this functionality. The other aspect of removing the temptation is to get rid of books, photos, magazines, and other such paraphernalia that allows your attention to divert away from the task at hand.
Have a routine
Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse; on the one hand your commute is now limited to going from your bedroom to your home office, which has huge benefits in terms of convenience, but it can create a less focused emotional state if you’re used to a morning ritual of getting dressed in business attire (rather than sweatpants or your dressing gown) and being around colleagues in a similar state of ‘working’.
Working from home can be a lonely experience that might at times make you feel quite isolated. The most important thing in terms of having a routine, is that it provides structure and keeps you focused – set yourself a lunch hour between a set time each day… perhaps even get dressed for work, as if you were going to the office, and let your family know that when you are in the home office… it should be treated as though you are out of the house.