Working from home is a dream for many people. They see it as a way to spend more time with family and cut down on commuting which is proven to cause dissatisfaction in peoples lives.
However, the truth can often tell a different story. After working from home for a while many people begin to feel dissatisfied or even isolated.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple things you can do to keep your home environment happy and healthy. Below we’ve outlined 5 tips to ensure the work from home dream doesn’t become a nightmare for you.
1. Keep Some Separation Between Work Life and Home Life
Keeping some level of separation between your domestic and professional life is incredibly important. If you aren’t able to do this you’ll end up working all hours and being distracted while spending time with family.
This is without a doubt one of the hardest parts of living the home based business dream.
To make this easier we recommend dedicating a particular section of the house to work only. Ideally, this will take the from of an office or dedicated room. If you don’t have the luxury of space (and with real estate in Australia being some of the most expensive in the world, this applies to many of us) then consider partitioning off a small area within a larger room.
An example might be placing a small desk with a computer in the corner of your living space. Ensure you keep that space only for work as the worst thing you can do is overlap. You won’t benefit at all if you spend 5 minutes sending emails, then grab lunch and browse the internet followed by leaning back in to watch Game of Thrones.
This leads us to our next tip…
2. Get a Dedicated Computer For Work
Technology and especially the internet are distracting enough as it is. The more computers integrate into our daily lives the harder its becoming to sit down and crunch out a few productive hours of solid deep work.
A good way to help with this distraction is to keep a separate computer dedicated work related activities. It should be devoid of any unnecessary apps or time sinks such as music players, games or chat programs like Skype.
Doing this will help form a good mental habit of work. Every time you sit down at the computer you’ll know ‘Its Work Time. Not Play Time’!
3. Keep The Place [At Least a Little] Clean
There are many who believe that successful people have all of their things in order. However, on closer inspection this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, some of the most successful people have the messiest work areas around. One famous example that comes to mind is Albert Einsteins desk at Princeton University. In the famous photo we see that even one of the most intelligent and productive people in history had a hard time filing away his paperwork.
That isn’t to say that you can’t benefit from keeping a few things in order. On a very basic level you should ensure the floor and carpets remain clean by having them steam or dry cleaned. It’s also a good idea to have a pest controller give your entire home a going over every couple of years.
You should also remove unnecessary clutter or distractions which may be hampering your ability to get things done.
4. Set Appropriate Time Limits
When your home is also your office it’s always tempting to conduct some sort of work related activity with your free time. We highly advise against this. It’s a very slippery slope and before you know it you could be dedicating every moment you have to sitting at the computer.
Decide which hours of the day are your most productive and stay focused on work during those hours and only those hours. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure yet when you’re most productive. You can easily figure that out. For a couple of weeks try working at different times of the day and see which periods are the ones where you get the most done.
Once you’ve figured out your productive hours set aside that time everyday for work only. As an example, you might find that first thing in the morning right after exercise is your most productive time. If that’s the case you’ll gain a lot of benefit out of working during that time.
The next step is to be disciplined with yourself. If mornings are your productive time then make sure afternoons are set aside for personal or fun activities. We highly recommend trying to get out of the house during your non-productive periods.
5. Make An Effort To Socialize
One of the biggest downsides of working at home is the social isolation. Social isolation can have an extremely negative impact on your well being and overall happiness. There have been numerous studies that confirm the positive impact socializing and strong relationships have on human psychology.
This is perhaps one of the be st things you can do for your own well being while working from home. Each day try to call a friend or get outside and have lunch with a colleague. If you are working for an employer who also has an office it can be a good idea to work from there every few weeks or so. It can help create bonds and give you a much needed refresh.
Working from home is something that many people dream of. It can enable you to live a happier and more fulfilled life. We hope using the tips above will give you some guidance to keep your home a happy place for both work and play.