Working from home can be an ideal opportunity for some. There is no commuting. No wasting money on gas. Time to sneak in a load of laundry between conference calls. And best of all, you can wear whatever you want (…unless you have a video conference of course)! There are so many great advantages to working from home, but by no means does that mean it is always easy. For some it can be difficult to stay focused – there are plenty of things to distract you. That is why your home office needs to be set up to best help you stay on task.
1. Make a list. You need to figure out the items that you will need in your office, such as a computer, phone line, desk, etc. Nothing is too small. Make sure you put everything on your list.
2. Find room. Once you know what needs to go in your office, you need to find the right space for it all. Preferably you want an entire room that can be designated solely for work and is located away from daily household commotion. That way, when you step into the room, you are in work mode. It is like you are actually going into work – it’s just a much shorter commute!
3. Personal is personal and work is work so separate accounts. It is important to keep your work separate from your personal life, especially if you won’t have the physical differentiators of an office away from home. Consider setting up a dedicated phone line (if you can’t use a company issued cell phone) and create a work-only Skype account as well.
4. Make your office comfortable. It is worth it in the end to invest in nice office supplies. Get the more comfortable chair, the more spacious desk, and don’t forget about decorations. Even though you may be the only one that ever enters the room, you need to enjoy yourself while you are in there. A chair with a little extra back support may seem like a luxury that you do not need, but if you plan on working long hours, it will end up being your best friend. If you do not love your home office space, then you won’t want to be in there which means less work will be done. It’s as simple as that.
Having a home office can be challenging, especially with the increased distractions that can come along with working from home for some. But one bonus: you may be able to deduct expenses and get a tax break.