There are many challenges to working from home. Apart from having the tools and access you need to do your job, there is also the issue of ethics. Working from home has its own set of rules, and as an individual that wishes to be productive at the end of the day, you must have structure, boundaries, and discipline to be successful. It’s important to strictly follow these guidelines. In this article, we will focus on home office organization and home office design to stay productive and not be distracted with home issues or family.
1. Distinguish Your Personal Life and Work
Imagine that you are actually in the office. Do not engage in extraneous affairs, no matter how great the temptation. When you come up with a theme for a presentation, it's easy to notice a spot on the curtains and take them to the wash—but hold on. You will do all this after the end of the working day.
The same goes for lunch. You should not spend an hour cooking, half an hour serving, and another hour eating. If you cook yourself something to eat in the morning, you will be able to devote yourself fully to work throughout the day.
2. Take Breaks
One of the disadvantages of a home office is that with all the possible distractions, it is harder to define how and when to take a break. In the office you can do this when you go to the water cooler or for a cup of coffee. At home, you still need to try to take small breaks: go out for some fresh air on the patio or balcony, walk with the dog, take a half-hour run.
3. Reduce Distractions
Having a schedule helps to start up briskly, and at the beginning of the day, many can work productively. But another difficulty often presents itself: Even if you do not interfere with yourself, then others will interfere with you. A more advantageous position is for those whose work is not related to time-bound communications. Therefore, I set aside time for administrative work at the beginning of the working day. If your work allows, check mail and messages in during a strictly allotted time.
Turn off notifications on the working computer and let the messages wait until their time arrives.
Turn off the phone ringer. This will help to eliminate all external stimuli, but there will still be those temptations that draw your attention away from work. To deal with them, use applications such as SelfControl. This is a free application for Mac, which blocks access to a list of sites for a certain period of time. This will help you to avoid wasting time on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, App.net, Google and this entire vanity fair along with applications, newsletters and news, and shopping on online stores. When your hands reach out to launch Twitter, the connection to the service will not happen. And you will immediately remember what you should focus on—your work. SelfControl helps you keep your attention on work if you lack the discipline in behavior to resist those distractions otherwise.
4. Separation of Work and Household Chores
All of the above sounds harsh, as it should be. You need to concentrate on business. But it often happens that people who work from home full time devote too much time to the profession. This is also wrong.
It is important to distinguish between work and household chores at the psychological and physical levels. A special place must be allocated for work.
Do not sit on the couch with a laptop. If possible, do not put your computer in a common room. You will be distracted by family members and household chores, which will annoy your family and interrupt you. It is better to select a separate room (part of the room, a niche, a corner, a stairwell, a garage) and work only there. Decorate this place with home office design essentials and make it clear that this is not part of the house, this is your home office. When you are there, you are in work mode. Your home office should not have any other function than a business one: it should not hold non-work items—no folding bed, no dining table, or washing machine, etc.
5. Get Ready for Work
No one talks about strict office dress codes, business suits or high-heeled shoes. But, if you stay in home clothes or pajamas, you interfere with your mood for work.
Try to dress so that you are comfortable working, but at the same time, you can easily leave your home or answer a video call. Try soft jeans and a long sleeve sweater or a comfortable but presentable shirt. The same applies to your appearance: Shave/groom yourself and style your hair, and use skincare and make-up as you would if you were working outside the home.
6. Follow Your Schedule
Anyone who works from home is his own boss, so it’s very easy to succumb to the temptation to finish work a couple of hours earlier, or a couple of hours later, or to stretch lunch. Get yourself a clear schedule and try to follow it. “Reminders” in your smartphone can help you with this— they will signal that it is time to finish a snack or to finish the day's affairs.
Top Five Ergonomic Machines Needed to Work from Home
It is important that you take your health and safety into consideration. This part of this guide will discuss the relevant machines you need to work from home, such as standing desks, monitor stand workstations, and standing desk converters.