According to a recent survey by the Trades Union Congress, more than four million of UK employees and 4.3% of all American employees are now regularly working from home. Providing it is properly managed, working from home has many benefits. It means you can avoid costly travel and lengthy commutes, and, with planning and discipline, allows for efficient time management. Of course there’s also the added bonus of being able to wear your pyjamas all day, without concerned and disapproving looks from your workfellows.
But, to reiterate, the key to success when working from home is proper management. Not only do you have to be your own office supervisor, but also your own HR manager, ensuring your work environment is conducive to a happy and productive worker. Therefore the right set-up is essential.
For people who regularly work from home, separating home life from the stresses of professional life can be hard, but keeping the two physically separate can avoid the unwanted clash. Setting aside a dedicated space for work is vital. It allows you to get in the working frame of mind and avoid any unnecessary distractions. But importantly, it means you can leave it all behind at the end of the day, relax and resume being a normal person. It goes without saying: opt for a quiet corner away from the TV and any distractions. Whether it’s a small desk in the dining room, or a purpose built study, ensure that it is can be distinguished from the rest of the house. And importantly, you can close the door (or fold away the desk) at the end of the day.
Have the Right Equipment
Being adequately equipped is essential. A laptop and telephone are minimum requirements nowadays and most of us already have these at home. But if possible, it might be a good idea to have a separate device altogether, specifically for work. You need something with adequate storage that can handle work correspondence, but something light you can easily take with you, whether that’s around the house or back to HQ. Laptop makers now are responding to the demand for lightweight yet high-spec capability devices to cater to those who work from home. Toshiba have released a new range of ultrabooks, ideal for use as a separate ‘work-only’ device you can carry about with you and then tuck away at the end of the day. To check out the new range of Toshiba Kira Ultrabooks click here.
As if staying in bed wasn’t tempting enough, when working from home it can be easy to fall into the trap of just propping yourself up with a few pillows and switching on the laptop. To avoid this, and get yourself into the right frame of mind for working, it’s a good idea to make sure your desk is just as inviting as your bed. Don’t let that space you’ve set aside go to waste. Make sure you’ve got a comfy chair (important to avoid back problems) and a tidy yet welcoming desk. Remember, this is your space, a few photos of the family and a novelty coaster will make you much more willing to stay and work. Although be sure not to let your space get overrun with household clutter.
Working from home allows you to allot your own working hours. You can hop out of bed without worrying about being late; avoid those awkward exchanges between co-workers; and best of all you’re getting paid for it. Setting up your own work station can be quite satisfying, allowing you to separate your home from your job. As long as you ensure you’ve got the right set-up and attitude, the benefits of working from home will make you wonder why you ever bother leaving the house at all.