Working from home and being the person in charge of your schedule and workload can be a dream come true for many. It’s important to note, however, that there are a number of issues that can arise, even when you think you have everything ready to go. Working from home isn’t as easy as it might initially seem, in other words, and there are a few things you need to do in order to give yourself the best possible chance to be succeed. Here are a few tips that can help you create a great work-at-home environment and be as productive as possible.
1. Set up an office
You might not think that you need a dedicated office to work at home. In fact, many people attempt to forego this particular step at first, believing that their kitchen table is just as helpful as a desk. The problem is that work-life balance is difficult enough to maintain without confusing your workspace with your living space. In addition, keep in mind that all of the feelings you have for home will impact the way you work. Have you ever walked through your front door and immediately sighed in relief? We associate our homes with calm and peace and failing to set up a dedicated office means that you’ll be fighting those vibes while trying to work.
2. Seriously, dedicate space to your work
Setting up an office is important for all of the reasons mentioned above, but the necessity of dedicating space to your craft bears repeating. Do you have a spare bedroom? What about a room that is empty during working hours, perhaps while guests or family are out of the house? Wherever you can, find a space you can dedicate to work and then treat it like your office. Even if that space is the back wall of a den, set it up like you would any other office and make sure everyone knows that it’s solely for your work.
3. Eliminate distractions
One of the biggest downfalls of working from home is the number of distractions that are present. If you live with family or roommates, you’ll probably have to deal with their schedules as you work from home. The normal, everyday sounds of someone listening to music, watching television, or even cooking or chatting on the phone can become incredibly distracting. You can’t eliminate all of these, of course, but there are some things you can do to help alleviate noise:
- Caulk holes in windows and walls to seal any gaps.
- Buy a plush rug to absorb the sound of footsteps and place it in your home office.
- Get an under-the-door draft blocker to prevent noise from seeping into your dedicated workspace.
- Fix any rattling appliances like your washer, dryer, or HVAC system to give you at least a little peace to work.
- Hang sound-absorbing curtains to block noise coming from the outdoors.
4. Set regular work hours
One final step to take when creating a productive work-from-home environment is to treat your work similar to how you would treat it in an office setting. Set regular work hours, dress in comfy, casual clothes, and make a list of priorities to get done every day. Though this sounds fairly straightforward, it can be incredibly tempting to push off work when you’re at home. That’s why it’s a good idea to set specific working hours for yourself and make sure that you adhere to them every day.