A Harvard Business Review article suggests that people who work the same office schedule from home, accomplish more than those who work from their offices. This should sound like good news to those who would like to stay at home and work. However, the reality isn't so simple.
If you've ever taken a day off from work – determined to meet those work targets in a less noisy, less cluttered, less distracting environment – you may have found that your home is full of distractions of its own.
Also, without a line manager or supervisor breathing down your neck demanding you meet your deadlines, there is a tendency on many occasions to cut yourself slack when working from home. Your home environment is a comfort zone, where you have your XBOX, your bed, your Netflix, unrestricted access to social media, the fridge; essentially every distraction and temptation at your fingertips which will keep you more or less from work.
Working from home will prove futile without discipline and the right creative space. The secret to accomplishing your goals is to design for yourself an uncluttered workspace through meticulous discipline as well as by redefining your home workspace.
Creating Your Home Workspace
Noise: Some people need background noise, while others opt for no noise at all, whilst others like a soft hum of a fan to drown out all other noises. For this, you need to find the quietest corner in your house far from noisy children and pets and the whir of household items.
Light: When you pick your room, make sure it’s not in a dark corner of the house where you need a lot of artificial lighting. Natural light is always easy on the eyes, especially if your work consists of looking long hours at a screen or reading. The right amount of lighting plays a big role in the amount of productivity a person put into their work. Make sure your screen doesn’t pick up the glare from the outside. The goal is to have balanced lighting in your workspace because you will be spending a good deal of time working.
Order: If you are a person who likes order rather than chaos, we suggest you clean your desk. For a blogger, for example, a cluttered desk is the equivalent to a cluttered mind. The less the clutter, the more room to be imaginative, creative and inspiring. The same holds true if the rest of your house is in total disarray. If you are one of those people who can only work when everything is in the right place, a cluttered house will only delay your process of getting down to work. You will not only want to declutter your desk but also need to get down to cleaning out your house.
If you need to refer to papers and books, they can be on a side of your desk while all the important paperwork can be filed away in a folder within easy reach. More space to work with less clutter gives your mind to breathe.
Schedule: Creating a work office, requires strict schedules. Set down your work hours. If you are used to working from a certain time through to a certain time at an office, these same hours should be adhered to even at home. As tempting as it may seem, sleeping in should be avoided at all costs. We should walk into our home office at the same time you would clock in at work.
Another factor to keep in mind, you can’t take your work, home with you and this rule applies all the more when you work from home. You need to clock out at the designated time. Just as your personal life cannot overflow into your working hours, your work life cannot overflow into your personal life. There should be strict boundaries.
Day’s Goals: Spend each day, jotting down in order of priority the things that you would like to accomplish within your workday. Make a small list of the tasks you wish to get done within the hour.
Breaks: Take your tea break, your lunch break and the formal office breaks without wasting it on social media. Breaks are another Bermuda triangle. If you don’t set your alarm, these can prolong into hours eating into your set schedules. So time yourself. Walk out of your workspace, have your tea, read the paper, browse but only until it's time to go back to your desk.
Working from home can work for just about anybody with just a little bit of discipline and creative thinking beforehand to create your workspace away from an office.