More and more of us are taking the option of working from home. This may be in terms of flexible working, which gives us an option of sometimes working in our home environment, or due to the fact that we are self emplyed and actually run our businesses from our work place. But whilst there are definite advantages of working from home – no worries about childcare during the school holidays for instance, or facing the daily slog that is the commute, there can also be issues in organisation, focus and space. Our home is supposed to be our sanctuary, but how can this be if it is also our work space.
With more companies adapting flexible working hours, and the rise of digital printing meaning you can promote your business from just about anywhere in so many different ways, working from home has never been easier. Below are a few tips that can help you maintain that work/life balance when the lines are blurred.
Have a Dedicated Work Space
If you are working from home you need an office space that is away from the television and other distractions. Your office needs to be a space where you can focus on work and the jobs in hand, and it needs to be well stocked with all the office stationery and supplies that you need so you are not taking shopping trips out for paper, folders etc.
Your home office doesn’t need to be big, but it should be a space that is conducive to working and well ventilated, particularly in the current hot climate, a desk fan is probably a good investment at the moment. Wall charts with targets are also useful to help keep yourself on track.
Try to give yourself some set working hours
Working from a home office means that you don’t have to work nine to five, but this can create problems, either with working too many hours or too few. One of the problems I sometimes have working from home is not stopping enough for lunch and dinner breaks. I now stop at 1.30 and leave the work to one side and watch something on the TV or sit in the garden for at least 30 minutes with a book. You need to make sure you don’t burn out, so make time for breaks in order to recharge your batteries.
Change is as good as a rest
One of the main problems with working from home is that it can sometimes be a bit isolating – you are working in the same place where you live, and this can feel suffocating too. You can alleviate this by simply working somewhere else, take your laptop to a coffee shop or a library, or somewhere where you can work, drink latte and enjoy a cake.
You can also take time out. I have at least one morning a week where I go out, take a look around the shops, or go to an exhibition or meet a friend. I honestly believe you have to do these things in order to preserve your sanity and give your working life the balance it needs.
Do you work from home? What tips do you have for people who do or are considering it?