The pros and cons of working from home
Writers, designers and other web professionals know that one of life’s little pleasures is the ability to work from home. This means no hectic commute, bad office coffee, or an uncomfortable desk chair from the strict hours of 9-to-5. Instead, a work-from-home schedule means working at a more relaxed pace and under your own conditions – which, for some, is pyjamas. It also, however, means many added distractions – and lots of them. Despite being committed to the work, people often hit roadblocks throughout the day when confined within the four walls of their own home.
Clare Evans, a time management and productivity coach, admits that it’s not just the surrounding environment that causes distractions. Other difficulties include finding the discipline to sit down and work, dealing with the idea of not being able to “get away from the office,” and a lack of human interaction. On top of this, it’s the chores (“that pile of laundry isn’t going to fold itself”), the kitchen (“I can use another cup of tea”), and the television (“Just one more episode…”) that are major culprits of distraction. Ahead, Evans offers simple solutions for the very difficult task of how to work from home.
Have a designated work space
Whether you have a dedicated office or a small table for your work, make sure that this zone is for work only. It will make it much easier to leave work at the end of the day and not let it trickle into your home life. Pick a spot that’s away from most of the commotion in the house or consider making space in a part of your garage just for your office. Sorry, but your sofa or bed don’t count. One of Evans’ best working from home tips is having a space specifically for work. She suggests using a spare room just for your home office or investing in a comfortable desk and work chair to get the job done. Either way, stay out of the bedroom and off the couch!
Work regular hours
Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t be on a minute-by-minute schedule. “Schedule your working day in the same way you would if you were in an office,” Evans suggests. This may be more difficult for those with kids, but consider sharing child-care with another working parent; that way you can both have some much-need uninterrupted time to yourselves. Make sure that you maintain your normal business hours, whatever they may be. Think of yourself as “on the clock” during those hours. Plan to arrive at work and leave work during your same, regular hours. This will allow you to set boundaries between work and home.