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?

How to make a success of home-working

It may be something you’ve been longing to do, or circumstances may have made it necessary. However, working from home is not for everyone, and can come as a bit of a shock to the system, particularly if you have been used to going to a busy office every day, surrounded by all your colleagues. So, how do you make a success of it? Here are three things to help you stay focused and productive.

Create a workspace

When you’re preparing to work from home, one of the first things you need to focus on is creating a space to carry out your job. If you think you can lay in your bed with your laptop, or stretch out on the couch, we’ve got news for you – it won’t work. Well, maybe for five minutes. What you need to do instead is earmark a corner of your house, or preferably a whole room to create an office. Ideally, it needs to be equipped with a desk, chair and computer equipment, along with space to file your documents and any books. It needs to be an area of your home that, once you enter, you know that you’re there to work and not to be distracted!

If you don’t have any room in your house to create a workspace, then look outside. Do you have a garage which you can convert? Or could you create a small outhouse or extension? Some people find it helps to have a separate area outside the main building, so they feel they are going to ‘the office’ and truly breaking away from home life.

If you’re converting any outside areas, like the garage, make sure it’s in a fit state to work in, which include ensuring it’s warm, has power, is clean and safe. You’ll want to check there are no infestations of any sort too. If you need help with this, call on Go-Forth Pest Control of Charlotte.

Create a schedule

Another important thing you need to do to make a success of home-working is to have a schedule in place for your week ahead. Don’t try and just work now and then, around other things, as this will not be very productive in the long run. If you have to keep dropping things and then pick them back up, it can make straightforward tasks longer and more complicated. If you can, set yourself some work hours. It may be 0930 to 1530 for example, if you have children at school. When you have defined your working hours, stick with them and plan your time effectively.

Create house rules

If you have a family or you share your house with others, you need to make sure there are rules in place around your home-working. You need everyone to understand that you’re at home to do your job, not to be distracted. Try and ensure that all those in your home respect your hours of work and don’t disturb you. Any temptation may take you away from your desk and put you behind.