There are so many advantages to working from home that it’s definitely becoming the norm for more and more professionals. One of these advantages is a major reduction in expenses (if you have a business, for example, you wouldn’t have to spend money on renting out office space) and more time on your hands (no more time wasted in the daily commute to and from work).
You'll need discipline to work from home; learn how to develop this discipline by taking online business management courses.
However, to make your home office a place where work definitely gets done, you have to have it set up properly. Here are some tips how:
- Allot a separate room for your work. Assigning a specific space for your home office is very important. Not only will this enable you to be more organized, this will also help set a professional mood that will help you focus on your tasks and start up your work mode. Ideally, your home office should be in a separate room. If this isn’t possible, you can put up dividers or at least set up your home office so that there is a clear boundary between your home space and your workspace. You could use other furniture and desks to establish this boundary. The important thing here is to set up a visible and obvious demarcation between your office and your home. Feel free to integrate an office design in this space. This is truly a work cubicle, so you’d want to visually be reminded of this fact. The good thing is, you are free to design it according to your tastes, so use colors that you find have a soothing and calming (but still with a professional air) effect on you.
- Prepare all your necessary materials and equipment. Once you’ve established your work space, you should set up all your needed materials and equipment there. Again, this would help you start up your professional work mode, and also would be very convenient since everything you’d need would be easily accessible. Have a home desk that would serve as your office workstation. It’s good to have your own phone, along with a work phone line, where customers could reach you. Computer office furniture, along with an Internet connection, is a given nowadays. You should also have accompanying equipment such as a printer and fax machine. The key here, especially if you’re just starting up, is to acquire the most basic equipment first then expand and add your materials as your business grows.
- Establish rules. Teach your family members that once you are in your work space, you are working and shouldn’t be disturbed. You could list situations wherein it is absolutely necessary to call you away from your work. Remember, this is a workspace so never let the clutter from your house ever invade this sacred area. A word about receiving clients. Would you be expecting them to drop in personally at your office? Then you might need reception desks to receive your clients, or at least an area where they could wait on you if necessary. If most of your business comes through the phone, it’s best that you be the one to answer calls, with a line pertaining to your business. Your business’ credibility just might be lessened if, say, your five-year-old kid answers the phone. The key here is to keep it professional. Keep social calls at a minimum. Some people tend to think that since you are at home, you couldn’t possibly be busy, right? So establish firm rules regarding “disturbances”, or situations that keep you away from your work. You could plan stock lines such as, “I’m hearing you Rita, but I’m at work right now, so could I call you around 5?”
- Set your mood. There is definitely a temptation, if you work from home, to feel too lax with work (since you’re technically just at home anyway). This might prove harmful to your business’ efficiency, however. Here are some ideas that would help you remember that you should be adopting a more professional mode: set up specific work times, along with lunch and break times, which you would strictly adhere to; take a short walk around the block to pretend that you are walking to work; make sure to bathe and dress up in regular clothes (not your pajamas) to set your mood for work.
There you have it! These tips would definitely help you out in setting up your workspace at home. You can learn other excellent business management tips by taking online classes in good business practices. Good luck, and remember to have fun on the job!