Working from home is the dream setup, right? You can choose your hours and working in your pyjamas is perfectly acceptable, while you also don’t have to worry about the cost or stress of the commute. With its perks, however, there are also challenges. The home is full of distractions, and it’s easy to fall into bad habits if you don’t apply a bit of self-discipline.
Hiscox recently enlisted the help of an occupational health therapist and interior designer to create a handy guide for creating your own home office heaven.
Here are a few of their top pointers for keeping yourself motivated and focused when working from home.
Create a workspace that will inspire you
One of the most important factors to consider when working from home is where you’re going to set up your ‘home office.’
If you have a room that you can dedicate to work that’s perfect, but if not, an unused space in the hall or kitchen will suffice. Deck it out with a decent sized desk, a supportive chair and smart storage options for clearing away any clutter – an organised desk equals an organised mind!
Interior designer Cathy Phillips is a huge advocate of maintaining a well-ordered workspace. “Having everything in its place and furniture arranged in a pleasing and practical way will make for a calming environment,” she says. “If you can’t find what you need, or you can’t reach that all important file, your mood is bound to be affected.”
Set boundaries between work and home life
The risk of working from home is that the boundaries between your job and personal life can become increasingly blurred. House-work can creep into your working day, and if you’re not careful, business can encroach on your free time. The problem with this is that distractions can hinder work-performance and this ‘always on’ lifestyle can become mentally exhausting over time.
Psychologist Gail Kinman advises against multi-tasking. “The switching costs of moving from one task to another (whether work to household tasks, or from writing a report to checking email) can reduce concentration and add hours to the working day.”
To avoid this, set yourself some strict boundaries. Consider banning work in the bedroom or forcing yourself to stick to conventional and consistent working hours. A daily routine is a sure-fire way of maintaining this separation. Try waking up at the same time each day and getting dressed as though you’re heading to an office. You’ll instantly feel more productive!
Give yourself breaks
Working from home can encourage a sedentary lifestyle, which isn’t good for your physical or mental health. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of breaks, fitting in some exercise when you have time. Flexible hours mean you could fit a morning gym session in, but if that’s not your cup of tea, a walk around the block could be all it takes to maintain healthy fitness levels. Releasing endorphins and getting some fresh air are both proven ways of boosting creative thinking and focus, as well as improving mood.
While working from home doesn’t come without its challenges, a little drive and determination can make it work for you. For more advice on creating a workspace that inspires you, follow the link to the full article at the top of this page.