Gareth Jones, spokesperson for Kit Out My Office, shares his tips on how to create the perfect home office environment
When working from home it’s important to be able to separate your career and working life from your personal and social life, as this will help to create the healthy balance in which you can concentrate productively but also relax.
If you are the kind of home-based worker that constantly rises early to get a head-start on the day, yet you still find yourself cancelling evening and weekend plans with friends and family in order to work more, then your work/life balance needs a refocus. Below are some top tips on how to ensure your home can become not only your office, but also a place to switch off and relax at the end of a busy day.
Timetable your day
Creating a timetable or a to-do list around your day or week can be a great way to help divide the two aspects of your life. One of the perks of working from home as a freelancer is that you can take an hour out of the day to pop to the supermarket or enjoy a workout at the gym during less hectic periods, and having a structured day will increase productivity for both home life and business tasks. You will constantly be working towards a deadline, and while this may sound stressful, it will make you more productive in the long term. Keeping a visual aid of your days progress on a white board or post-it note will help keep you on track of all tasks.
Creating your work space
When it comes to designing your work space at home, it’s important to make it a simple and productive space with minimal distractions. Keep the walls surrounding your desk simple and not too cluttered and ensure furniture and ornaments in the area are subtle to re-enact a typical working environment to help you stay focused on the work in front of you. Even if you don’t have the space to have a completely separate room, finding the perfect spot in your home is vital. Even though it may seem more convenient to work from the kitchen table or on the sofa in front of the TV, this will cause many distractions and can lead to a chaotic day.
Ensure you take a break
It’s important to treat your home as if it was any other office and give yourself regular breaks during the working day to spend in a separate area of your home away from your desk, computer or smartphone. Make a point to eat your lunch either in the kitchen or lounge and then go back to work when you’re timetabled lunch break is over. If your partner works at home or you live with housemates that are home during your working day, spend time with them, relax and clear your mind from work. This will increase productivity in the afternoon and help with your general wellbeing.
Organising your work space
Keeping your work space clean and organised is another factor of productivity. Having all your work organised into folders and boxes will save time when you need to find work later. If you need to reference anything all relevant work will be easily accessible. A messy and cluttered work space can be distracting as you’re often tempted to tidy things up rather than focus on the task at hand. Try to tidy up everything at the end of each working day so that the next morning you can sit down and focus entirely on the work that needs completing that day.