Working from home can be a great experience, if you do things the right way. However, if you try to work from the living room, with pets and excitable children underfoot, it can be an absolute nightmare. Setting up a cosy, comfortable, and distraction-free home office will go a long way towards turning your remote working experience into the productive, stress free work day that you’ve always dreamed of.
Give Yourself a Dedicated Workspace
Ideally, you should set aside a small room to use as your home office. If you can’t spare an entire room, devote a corner of your kitchen or living room to work. Make sure everyone knows that your office space cannot be used for any other purpose. When you’re in “the office”, don’t accept any distractions. This will help you to stay productive during the work day.
Have an Office Computer
Your employer may have provided you with a laptop or a desktop PC which you can use for remote working. Make sure that you only use this machine for work. Stay away from Facebook, Twitter, video games, and streaming TV while you’re at work – unless, of course, your work involves social media. In that case, use your work accounts on that PC. Save your social life for later, when you’re finished with work.
Watch Your Bills
One thing that many people overlook when they start working from home is the possibility of an increase in bills. If you are on a limited internet package, and massively increase your internet usage when you start working from home, then you may get some angry letters from your ISP. Consider asking your employer to sort out an ISP account that you will be able to use for work.
Your telephone bill might increase as well, if you need to make a lot of ‘phone calls. One solution to this would be IP telephony. If you have a broadband connection (even a slow one will do), then IP telephony could save you a lot of money on calls. Computer-to-computer calling is far cheaper than standard phone calls (and in some cases is free). Some IP telephony services allow you to have a standard phone number for inbound calls, but it won’t look like a local telephone number. You might find you still need a dedicated phone line to take incoming calls.
Invest in a Good Chair
This may seem like it goes without saying, but if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your home office, you should make sure that you’re comfortable. Get a good computer desk and a comfortable chair. You may also want to invest in a portable phone (for a fixed line) or a good headset to use with your IP telephony software.
Don’t try to skimp on your office – you’ll be spending eight hours a day in there, so trying to work using a rickety table and a dining room chair will get frustrating fast. Spending a little cash on improving your comfort will pay off many times over.