Working from home makes a lot of sense, particularly if you’re setting up a business, as it saves a lot of money and time. In fact, even if you have a job, working from home is a much more efficient way to work, as you’re not having to waste time in traffic in rush hour or have the expense of peak travel.
That said, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, there are downsides to working from home, such as the feeling of isolation and subsequent loneliness that can inevitably kick in if you are by yourself all day, in your home office.
Then, there’s the productivity cost. For some people, working from home makes them much more productive, as they don’t have the idle gossip by the water cooler, pointless meetings, and colleagues interrupting them whilst working on a critical assignment… yet, for most of us, productivity suffers due to various distractions and a lack of accountability.
In this article we’re going to look at the two most important aspects for staying productive when working from home:
- CREATE A GOOD WORKING ENVIRONMENT
It’s important to create a good working environment, one that has comfortable office furniture along with the peace and tranquillity required to concentrate. In an ideal world, your home office will be separate from your home – perhaps in a little annexe, or even the garden shed, as this way there’s a disconnection between “home life” and “work-life” which might sound silly, given it’s a few feet away, but the psychological difference is profound.
People that work from home tend to suffer more with procrastination and guilt; the procrastination comes from the number of distractions and lack of accountability – meaning, it’s much easier to just sit and watch Netflix at home than it is in the office, whereas the guilt comes from a feeling of pressure that we should always be working… unless there is a clear divide between working time and non-working time.
You obviously want a clutter-free environment that is light and airy. This way, you’ll feel much more focused and clear. That said, if you have a tendency to work late at night, you might want to invest in some mood lighting in order to not feel out of sync with the rest of your family… as there’s nothing worse than getting into bed, feeling wired, from work and the bright lights of your home office.
- HAVE A ROUTINE
Routine is important to good mental health, and especially productivity, as long as your routine is helping rather than hindering your progress. For instance, you can have a routine of leaving things to the last minute and having to wake up at 6am to finish work that is due for a 9am meeting.
You want to make sure your routine supports you.
Furthermore, there’s something to be said with rituals such as getting dressed into work clothes, rather than lounging around in your dressing gown as this puts you into a more focused emotional state to work.
Then, it’s imperative you give yourself a lunch hour, and get out of the house – even if this is just for a few moments walking to the local shop. If you stay in the house all day, this will affect your mood and therefore productivity. It’s important to not isolate yourself away, in your home office, as this will lead to a feeling of loneliness.