Freelancing seems to be a common endeavour these days with advances in technology enabling people to work from home, cafes and in fact anywhere that has WiFi. For those of you lucky enough to have a spare room at home, it’s a good chance to create a great home office environment and maximise your productivity at the same time.
Utilise Your Space
Even if your home office is more of a cupboard, you can still make the most out of the space you have. Small spaces tend to gather clutter easily so shelving and a small storage unit that can fit under your desk will help you keep things tidy. If you need a printer or scanner then this can either go on a shelf or storage unit or be kept in a drawer and brought out when needed.
Select the Right Furniture
The desk and chair you choose for your office is all important. Not simply for the look but for your health. While cost is always a factor for furniture, going budget could see you paying more in the long run – by forking out visits to the chiropractor or occupational therapist! A comfortable, ergonomic chair with an adjustable seat and backrest is a must, as is a desk that’s the right height. If you’re not positioned correctly, you’ll soon feel sore and your productivity levels will suffer.
Enjoy Your Office
Just because you do work in it, doesn’t mean to say your office has to be a bland, featureless cubicle. Studies have shown offices that are personalised aid productivity, so add a few little aesthetic touches to boost your motivation and creativity. This could be framed photos, maps, a mood board – plants are also good to have in an office as they improve air quality and calm the psyche. Don’t go overboard with the fun decorations, though, as they could prove distracting.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
On the subject of distractions, you might think working from home would mean fewer distractions but you can easily get sidetracked, especially if you’re an avid Social Media user. Parents will have an even harder job of getting quality work time in their office, especially if the children are at home with you and are younger than five. You’ll need to structure your work schedule around them and work during nap time or consider hiring a helper to come round and look after them.
Once they’re at school, work can be done during the day and in the evenings if necessary. When they get to an age of having their own phones and tablets, encourage them to text or email rather than ‘pop’ into your office. If they persist, hang a chalkboard sign on the door and write the time when you’ll next be free. Your home office is your work zone, so set some guidelines from the start and you’ll be a lot more productive.