Working from Home – Create A Working Space

Most people would find the idea of working from home a complete dream. It gives you flexibility when it comes to the working day, there’s no stressful commute, sitting stuck for what seems like hours trying to make your way into the city, and, if you so want it, every day can be a pj day – no-one is actually going to see what you are working in. Recent research has claimed that remote workers can be up to 13% more productive than their office based counterparts, it seems that it is no longer frowned upon to fit your work around your family – to be that little more flexible.

Woman On Laptop Running Business From Home Office

And yet, there are things to consider before you become a remote worker, with one of the main one being how to focus and not  get sidetracked by things that need doing in the home, or by something interesting on the television. Staying focused on the task ahead is very important, and so a home office, or at least a working space that is conducive to working is both practical and productive. You need to take the work as seriously as you would in a traditional work environment. Apple Home Improvements have produced their own guide to designing a productive workspace in your home, and are running a social media campaign with the hashtag #ProductiveHome.

 

I think they have got it just right with their tips, your space does need to be quiet, and yet also needs to be light if you are to avoid falling asleep at your desk. Making it pleasant with plants and features will mean you are happy to work there, whilst a comfortable chair to work in is an absolute must if you want to avoid back ache. Ultimately your space also needs to be yours, so those personal touches are something to be encouraged, but also avoid chaos with a good filiing system and pinboards for your targets and deadlines.

Working from home isn’t always perfect.  But the flexibility it can offer (I work around the school run for instance), the comfort of knowing that things like adverse weather or school holidays will not stop your working day, ensures that this is an option that will prove to be crucial for so many working parents, and a good working space will definitely help too.

Organising Your Home, Office And Life

In our current busy and overcrowded lives, we are often forced to organise ourselves in order to multi task. For Mom’s and dad’s this can be even more difficult, as not only do we have to organise and plan our own lives, but we need to look after the lives and social calendars of our children too. Juggling work, family and leisure can be exhausting – in an average week my child will have after school clubs, football matches and training, as well as spelling tests that have to be revised for, whilst I am trying to manage deadlines, remember important dates and birthdays, and currently cope with hospital and doctors appointments too.

And this is where a little organisation comes in.

With the best will in the world you can’t remember everything, and so need the help of aide memoirs to help keep our organisation in check. Some people rely on their smartphones as a way of keeping dates and events in their mind, with set reminders, but for someone like me, who forgets to charge the phone, or leaves it at home when I swap bags, I prefer things that are much more visible.

A diary

An actual physical book, rather than an online diary or phone planner. I like to actually write down my important dates in a diary. A diary not only keeps all your dates together, but you can look back on it in reference if you ever need to know what you were doing on a certain date. Diaries are great in that they are physical, so you can stick in post it notes that you need to keep, or add notes to them during telephone calls.

A Whiteboard

An eco friendly white board, of the type produced by Sundeala, is a perfect way to note down information about school trips, dental appointments and deadlines. Whiteboards work well in kitchens rather than sticking notes all over the fridge, and in home offices where they are a visual aide to deadlines and important information. Whiteboards are often wipe clean, which means they can be used over and over again, the ultimate in recycling, and they also look smart and modern. Put them in a place that you can instantly see, and hopefully that homework, PE kit and deadline will be in the forefront of your mind.

A Desk Planner

If you are working in an office, or have a home office, then a large desk planner is another visual aide for planning your day/week. Because it is on your desk, you can’t escape seeing it, and once you get into the habit of using it to note down important things to do, it will become a crucial part of your organisation.

A To Do tray

Another desk aide is a file or desk tidy where you put all your to do correspondence and notes. This can work for a home office, but is also useful for placing personal correspondence and family bills, this stops letters and bills being stuffed into drawers where they are instantly forgotten.

How do you organise your life?

Back To School DIY Homework Makeover Challenge

One of the battles that parents face is getting their children to do their homework. Once the school day is over, most children just want to put the school bag away, take off their uniform, and then forget about school until the next day. But homework is just so important, especially as it gives children a sense of independence when it comes to learning. Creating a special area within your home where you child can work could be one step towards encouraging a positive attitude towards homework.

Action Storage who create staff lockers that are perfect for adult work spaces, have been challenging bloggers to create an interesting work space for their child, one which would make your child feel happy and proud of, but would also be conducive to learning. This has collided happily with Joe moving into year 3, where he is currently working on a collaborative healthy lifestyles project that has to be done outside of school time. Although Joe is very good at practicing his reading and spellings, this is a different sort of homework, one which requires a desk and working space, and so I have created a space for Joe in my old office, which I tend not to use so much in times where I can work on my laptop in front of the telly. (I know – bad example!)

Joe’s space

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The room is still a work in practice, with some boxes that still need to be moved, but Joe now has a desk space, with room for his laptop, stationary and some of his books. There is space for Joe to write, and plenty of storage boxes for all those weird and wonderful things that boys tend to collect. There are also personal memento’s – the foil picture was made by Joe’s great grandad, it was his hobby to make these but this is the only one I have. The two Winnie the Pooh watercolours were created by a friend who was a local artist, so these are very unique and special too.

Joe is really happy to have a working space now – hopefully this will be all the encouragement needed to get that homework done!