According to a 2014 report, 4.2 million Britons now work from home – the highest number since records began! More than ever, freelancers are basing themselves a simple hop, skip and jump away from bed, rather than renting expensive office space elsewhere. It certainly cuts down on the morning commute, but home comforts can sometimes be distracting.
Here’s are a few tips to help you knuckle down and stay productive.
Pick the most underused room
It’s best to try and avoid having your office take over your living space, so if you have a room you rarely use, that’s the one to go for.
If your family are home during the day, it’s best to insist on office hours where you remain undisturbed. This way, you can keep work and home life separate. It’s a psychological thing that will help you maintain your work-life balance.
Remove all distractions
The temptations of Twitter and Facebook will always be there, unless you lose your internet connection, but other domestic distractions can be avoided. Don’t allow televisions or games console to invade your office. The more distance you can put between your workspace and your recreational and relaxation spaces, the better.
Try to avoid a bedroom office
It’s also best to avoid bedrooms if you can, as the lines between work and sleep can easily become blurred. For many freelancers working from home, the toughest test is to remain disciplined and work as hard as you would do if you had a boss breathing down your neck.
Taking a post-lunch nap may prove too much of a temptation if it’s right next to your desk, and it could make it harder for you to actually get up in the mornings. Conversely, you may find it more difficult to switch off and get to sleep at night if you have a bedroom office, as you’ll still be in your work environment.
Make everything accessible
You should look for storage solutions that keep all your work things in one place, easy to access when you need them. Invest in a filing cabinet or shelving. Don’t leave files and paperwork all over the house! It’s about maintaining the barrier between work and home life, for you and your family. And less mess equals fewer distractions.
Invest in comfort
If you’re working from home, you may as well make the most of the advantages and get yourself some comfy seating.
This does not mean lounging around on anything that’s likely to send you to sleep, but you should look for a seat that gives you comfort and support. This is better for your health, helping you to avoid back pain, and it will also make you more productive.
When working from home, you have the freedom to make the space your own, so give it a personal flavour and take time to furnish it as you would any other room. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a setup that works for you and, more importantly, makes you work!
Do you have any other tips for creating a great home office? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a look at our Pinterest for more home office inspiration.