Working from home has never been as popular as it is nowadays. Many young entrepreneurs, freelancers, and creative minds have the privilege of working within the realm of their cozy home and being their own boss. Sounds perfect, right? But, not working in an actual office surrounded by your colleagues and not having fixed working hours may present difficult obstacles for your productivity and professional success given the unlimited freedom and excessive distractions of home life.
The key is to find a balance between a pleasant home atmosphere and a productive working environment. Below are some useful ways to make your home office inspire – rather than hinder – your productivity.
Find an ideal place
If you’ve decided to work from home, the first thing you should do is choose a room or a corner in your house or apartment to be your designated workstation. A convenient workplace should satisfy all the necessary requirements: a proper desk, a comfortable chair or even a beanbag, file cabinets, a cozy atmosphere, good lighting, and a moderate temperature. This should be your primary place for work. For some extra motivation and a personal touch, you could consider hanging some artwork, photographs, or decorations according to your style and interests.
This is one of many privileges when working from home – you have complete control over your view. Many old-school office buildings are windowless, dreary, and grayish. Your home office should be a room full of natural light and ideally with a window offering a calming and clear view. Proper lighting can invigorate your creativeness, too, and nice scenery allows your mind to rest and relax from time to time, especially given how much time you’re spending in front of the screen.
Energy boosting must-haves
Be ready to spend long uninterrupted hours at your computer once the “flow” comes in. This is why you need to be prepared and well-equipped with the essentials – refreshments, caffeine, and nutritious snacks. Get yourself one of those no-fuss espresso machines from Nespresso. They’re affordable, practical, and make excellent coffee in no time. Always keep a protein bar, a packet of nuts, or a bowl of fruit on your desk in case of a hunger emergency. And of course, drink lots of water.
Stick to a schedule
Although it’s typical for freelancers and many other at-home workers to want to avoid structured schedules and conventional working hours, it’s best to determine at least a rough framework for your daily agenda in order to avoid frequent all-nighters, procrastination, and stress before deadlines. Work on identifying which part of the day works best for you and when you feel that your concentration level is at its highest and make a schedule accordingly. This will prevent your procrastination and help you achieve more in less time.
Keep it clean and uncluttered
Even though there are individuals who do not mind a messy work environment and actually perform better in chaos, it’s recommended that you spend at least 5 to 10 minutes a day categorizing your desk items, putting stuff away, and keeping your workspace clean. Additionally, people who are messy tend to be more disoriented and frustrated, which can reflect very negatively on your work performance. A clean work space will help you feel more concentrated and focused.
In today’s world of social media, push notifications and news, keeping away from distractions is almost a mission impossible. However, in order to function well and get the job done the right way, it’s absolutely vital to minimize distractions as much as possible. This is why your work environment should only include things that don’t make any kind of audio or visual distraction, as opposed to a ticking clock or a 3D picture on the wall. When it comes to your phone, it should be either silent or on airplane mode or, in case you have a particularly acute social media addiction, keep it in another room until you finish the day’s tasks. However, there are so called “productive distractions” that you should keep at hand, such as a book, a favorite musical instrument, or a pet. These productive breaks prove to be very effective in preventing burnout and helping you stay focused.
Lying in your bed with your laptop all day long might work for a while, but it will almost certainly prove harmful for both your career and health in the long run. Working from home can be great as long as you maintain control over your workplace, your schedule, and your willpower. Take a note of the tips above and keep thriving professionally from the coziness of your own home.