The typical notion of an “office space” is something that’s gone through something of a transition over the past few years. Technology has advanced massively over recent times allowing workers to carry out their duties from almost any location on the planet – it’s safe to say, the corporate office is beginning to steadily give way in parts to the office in the home. Flextime, remote working and entrepreneurs running home businesses means that more people than ever are working from their own home rather than a specific place of work, but whilst the idea of not having to get up and head out to work in a morning may sound like bliss, just how practical and easy is it to actually work at home.
Some of the biggest attractions to working at home are obvious, you’re in a comfortable environment, it’s relatively less pressure than an office, and you don’t have to spend an hour of your day sat in traffic trying to get to and from work, and its no wonder that people are attracted to that, it sounds great! The truth is though that whilst the home brings comforts, it also holds some pitfalls which can destroy productivity and actually leave you a lot more stressed than the days of the daily commute.
You see the thing that many people don’t always realise is, yes you may be working in your home, but a typical home “set up” is often just not suitable for working in, and you have to create a suitable work environment from within that home. First things first, you need to have a suitable space to carry out your work, a home office space that is spacious, quiet and inspiring, otherwise you’re going to find yourself struggling to get anything done very quickly. So many people grasp the opportunity to work from home and found themselves sat on the sofa, with an excited child playing one side, a hungry dog barking on the other, and before they know it sales invoices have slipped down the back of the cushions, memos are covered in sticky paw prints, and that important client fax has somehow managed to make itself to the bottom of the garden and half buried itself in the soil – disaster! Therefore it is critical that you have a designated work space, you don’t have to confine yourself to it all day long, but you need somewhere you can be alone and focus when some hard work needs to be done, so designate either a room, if you don’t have that much space, then a corner of a room to be your official “home office space”.
It’s not just about having an office area though, after all, if the office space isn’t set up properly to meet your needs then you’re probably going to be even worse off in there! Make sure it has all of the furnishing and facilities that you would expect in any workplace office, this means having a comfortable and suitable office chair – not just something dragged out of the dining room – and make sure you have a good quality desk and plenty of storage space, if you’re using make shift boxes and sock drawers to keep your filing then things are going to go wrong sooner or later.
Decor is a very important factor too, many people who have a spare room in their home often dedicate it to being a storage facility, a place where you keep everything else that has no all year round purpose, and no specific place of its own – christmas tree’s, suitcases and bad birthday gifts to name just a few things! However, if you choose this spare room to become your home office space, it cannot continue to be an unkempt storage room as well, it has to be adjusted to meet your needs and help you focus – no one is going to be at their most productive in a dark, dingy room, squashed in the corner between boxes of old things. Most importantly it needs to be spacious, you need to be comfortable in your work with plenty of space to move around and arrange your surroundings. Secondly make sure there is some form of natural light in there – it can work wonder simply for morale, and also for timekeeping, and finally, just make it a pleasant place to be in! Paint or wallpaper the walls in a pleasant, bright color which inspires creativity, hang some attractive artwork or pictures, add plant life – do anything which makes you happy, if you’re going to be spending at least a few hours per day in this room it has be a place you enjoy, if you dislike being in there then more often than not you’re going to be disheartened when in there, and use any excuse at all you can to leave, dragging you away from your work and killing productivity.
Now, I’m not tyring to discourage working from home, in fact the complete opposite if anything – it can have a fantastic effect on your family, your social life and your happiness, but only if done correctly, don’t fall into the traps mentioned above and working from home can be a great thing, so go on, get out the paint brush, create a beacon of creativity and happiness to work in, grab your slippers and a coffee, and relax!
Plus, if you’re stuck for ideas, there are some great ideas for home office decoration here – http://decoratingideas1.com/23-wonderful-home-office-decorating-ideas/