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Working from home is becoming more and more popular. What with the number of responsibilities the modern adult takes on, it only makes sense to try and contain them all to your own space! And thus, the home office is something a lot of working professionals are getting fitted, to capitalize on the space they already have at hand, and to turn it into a multi-functional area.
And seeing as a lot of us are starting up our own businesses, or taking the initiative to go self-employed, there’s a good chance you’re in need of some tips for creating a working space of your own. After all, not all homes are immediately suitable for the task, and you’ll need to spend a bit of time renovating and curating a little office of your own.
But the key thing to remember, aside from any training you’ve undertaken on how to run a business, is that you need to have the right mindset for working from home. You need to see yourself getting your tasks done whilst you’re there, and being able to minimize your distractions.
So, with all that in mind, here are the main things to keep in mind when you’re trying to create a work from home set up.
Start With Your Mental Space
It’s very important that you prepare yourself mentally from the get-go, to make sure you’re in the right frame of mind for approaching a new place of work. It’s not quite the same as switching jobs and having a new place of employment to check into each day – this is your private space, where you eat and sleep and spend time with your family, and now it’s going to be a part of your professional world as well! It’s a big leap, and it’s one you shouldn’t underestimate.
So, first of all, make sure you feel ready to get set up. Maybe you’ve been studying for months now, at a site like Rutgers, to make sure you’re in the know and need little to no outside aide for your home owned business. Maybe you’ve had a practice before with remote working, and you know what to expect. Or maybe it’s just something you’re still thinking about, and you’re desperately trying to weigh up the pros and cons.
And if you fall into the latter camp, don’t worry yourself too much, because there are some extra steps you can take. Ask yourself if this is what you really want, and what the alternative is. Think of the benefits of working from home; the key ones are flexibility, taking charge of the clients you take on, and having vacation time whenever you need it!
Then practice it a little – set up a desk or computer table, put your laptop on it, and see how the day goes. Can you get on with little distraction? Are you impressed by own your powers of productivity? Or do you find the results less than stellar?
Then Find a Private Space
So, if you do decide to go ahead with working from home, now’s the time to find the space to turn into your office. What kind of free floor space do you have in your home? If you have a spare bedroom or an underutilized garage, half the work is already done! But if all you have is the back of the living room, or the corner of the kitchen, setting up your office is going to be a little bit harder.
You could try to build your own cubicle in these spaces if there’s still room to maneuver around them. Even just attaching some hooks to the ceiling, and hanging a curtain from them, is a great way to separate the two spaces! And once you’re inside the cubicle, and the curtain is drawn, it’s going to be a lot easier to get the kids to understand that they’re not allowed inside. There’s a physical barrier in the way, after all!
You’re also going to need to consider the sound and activity levels around you as well. Putting up some acoustic foam on your walls might be a great idea if you’re having a studio put in, to make sure any networking conferences you hold over skype are mostly contained within the room. And if you have a music career to be getting on with, it’s going to improve your sound quality by miles!
But even just a pair of headphones, that are noise canceling and isolating, is a great way to block out background noise. It’s quite a cheap solution, as far as home offices go!
Try To Set Up Like a Professional
Finally, if you’re trying to set up an office that looks and feels good, try to set up like a professional. That means you’re going to need to consider your color scheme carefully, and the type of furniture you’re using to kit the space out. An ergonomic chair, for example, is going to do wonders for your hips and back, especially if you’re not too used to desk work!
Make sure you get a large desk as well, that has plenty of room for your equipment and your stationery, and room for storage underneath. Keeping all of your business items in one place is key to running a successful home office, after all. And even investing in a standing desk, to make sure you can get up and move around from time to time will break up the monotony of the day. A standing desk will be a great idea for staving off boredom in the early days!
So, have you got the right space for working from home? Well, only you can truly decide that. After all, we all work under different conditions, and we’re all produced in different ways at different times of the day. Most of all, your home office should suit you, even if it goes against the ideals all the working professionals tell you about! Feel free to experiment!