Oh the joys of working from home, let me count the ways… As fabulous as the concept may seem, working from home carries its own set of challenges that can make it hard to get things done effectively and efficiently. However, a key ingredient to making it work is creating an at-home atmosphere conducive to productivity.
As a freelancer, I do the bulk of my work from my apartment, and yes, while there are some major perks to this, I’ve found that working from home still presents challenges, albeit different from those found in most office environments. For one thing, you have to be ok with being alone – sometimes all day. (I’ve tried having “water-cooler conversations” with my cat and it just isn’t the same.) Another challenge is avoiding normal household distractions when work needs to get done, such as chores that need doing, a stocked fridge full of your favorite snacks, personal calls, and so on.
A common mistake many folks make is working from the couch, or even bed. While it may be tempting, this is a recipe for lower productivity and a higher likelihood of overtime. The daily routine of getting up, showering and getting dressed can truly kickstart one’s at-home workday. What’s more, the process of separating the places where you sleep and relax from where you do your work can do wonders for your mental well-being. When working from home you never actually leave the “office,” so this is really crucial for maintaining a work-life balance.
This process also ties into self-motivation, which is pretty much a deal breaker when it comes to working from home. With no one else looking over your shoulder, it’s truly up to you to stay on task and stay motivated throughout the day. By sticking to a regular “work-schedule” and maintaining all the same project management and organization skills you picked up at the office, you’ll be better equipped to take on a day’s work from your homestead.
These days there are more and more opportunities, and often a need, to work from home. The necessity to create a home that can serve multiple functions is ever growing. Setting up a home office in which you can feel inspired and productive is essential for anyone taking on work outside a conventional office. That’s not to say a home office has to be a separate room complete with a copy machine and a fax. (Do fax machines even still exist?) Personally, I don’t have a room to spare, but all I really needed was a strategically placed desk, good lighting, and a supportive chair to take my workdays from slightly disorganized and draining to enjoyably productive.
If you’re also looking to create an at-home workspace in a room that serves multiple functions, opt for a desk that adds to the overall style of the room while still being functional. Think minimalist both in the size of your desk and what you include on it. No one wants a giant eye-sore in the middle of their living room that’s cluttered with papers. Joybird’s Jasper Desk is a perfect example of a sleek modern desk that exudes sophistication, while still having just the right amount of surface space and storage.
If setting up a workstation in a space that gets a lot of foot-traffic during off-times, consider using a desk that can double as an entry table. Both the Dorsey and Wyatt Desks have this capability with their sleek frames, elegant angles, and compact drawers.
With a desk in place, the next crucial element is finding a chair that not only complements your desk but your work style. Maybe you need plenty of lower back support to stay focused, or perhaps sitting in a swivel chair naturally gives you a sense of business. Really consider what kind of chair works best for YOU.
Finally, be sure to include things that inspire you, and ignite your own creative passions in your at-home workspace. This could be some beautiful wall art, a handful of your favorite books, a plant, or even a few framed pictures of people you love. Even at home, a day of work can sometimes be difficult, so it’s important to replenish your motivation by surrounding yourself with things that make you happy.