With an increasing number of British workers either deciding to go freelance, choosing to start their own businesses or simply being given the option to work from home by their employers, there is greater need than ever to create an area in the home in which to work from.
There are many different ways that those attempting to concentrate on their day job from the comfort of their own home can transform their homes into the perfect working environment.
Here, spokesperson for workplace suppliers KitOutMyOffice.com, Gareth Jones, gives readers four ideas to create the right environment to work from home.
Create your own personal space and only work from there
When you’re given, or give yourself, the luxury of being able to work from home, it can be all too tempting to work from wherever might feel the comfiest.
The sofa, armchair, bed or even the bathroom can seem like appealing places from which to work at home, but the most productive way is to set aside a specific part of your home, and make this your designated ‘work spot’.
By setting up a desk and chair in a corner of a living room, conservatory or spare bedroom, and away from such distractions as the television, pets or other people, you are giving yourself the opportunity to look at your home as an office, as well as the place you relax and enjoy time outside of the standard working hours.
Make sure working from home doesn’t jeopardise your health
Whilst there can be many benefits to working from home, there is the danger that your physical and emotional health may be damaged somewhat by such a drastic lifestyle change from that which you’ve previously been used to.
If you’ve gone from walking or riding your bike five days a week to living a more sedentary life, it’s crucial that you continue to keep up with your previous exercise and activity regime in a bid to avoid unwanted weight gain and associated health risks.
Similarly, making the change from working in a busy and bustling office atmosphere, where co-workers can feel like members of an extended family, to being alone in your home all day can be an overwhelming and somewhat depressing life change for some people.
These feelings of isolation and loneliness can be combatted with keeping regular face-to-face meetings with clients or industry peers and giving yourself plenty of reasons to leave the house throughout the week.
Set realistic working hours and stick to them
Despite the fact that many people make the decision to work from home in order to spend more time with their family, in reality it becomes quite the opposite once you set up an office in your own property.
Not only are those that work from home more likely to start their working day earlier by avoiding a morning commute, with no others surrounding their work space they run the high risk of overworking themselves.
Make sure not to spending late nights sat in front of computer screens. By setting yourself a 9am-5pm working day, you’re more likely to be more productive, hit your deadlines on time and procrastinate much less during the day.
For motivation to keep working at home, tell yourself that once 5pm hits you’re going to treat yourself to a glass of wine, a hot bath or the latest episode of your favourite TV series.
Give yourself breaks and take lunch away from your ‘office’
As highlighted above, it’s important to make sure that your entire life isn’t completely dominated with replying to emails and burning the candle at both ends when you work from home.
Try to therefore treat your home working life as though it’s a typical office environment, and give yourself regular breaks for snacks and cups of tea.
At the same time, if you were in the office, you’d no doubt be entitled to a daily lunch break, so make sure that you give yourself the opportunity to regularly leave your home and venture to a local café or deli to enjoy your lunch in peace, away from any work stress or pressure.
Not only will this give you the energy and motivation for a full afternoon of work once you return home, it will also give you a fantastic opportunity to catch up with friends you may have lost touch with, or ex-colleagues that you’ve missed the company of since working from home.
Gareth Jones is the spokesperson for KitOutMyOffice.com
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