Working from home is the dream of many parents who are trying to maintain regular income and their family lives. However, the idea that all you need to make it work is a laptop with an Internet connection is a little exaggerated, to say the least. While there are undeniable advantages to the situation – starting with the absence of commute –, it’s important to understand that you have to establish a strict routine to maintain your office productivity. Home-based workers tend to work longer hours than their office-based colleagues. Nevertheless, they sometimes struggle to hit their productivity target. Here are the four most common underlying causes for their problems – and, you’ll be pleased to know that you can sort everything out easily!
#1. It’s messy
From the moment you’ve decided to work from home, you’ve immediately set a home office to keep everything in one place. You didn’t want to accidentally stumble on your clients’ invoices in the middle of the lounge and to find project briefs behind the kitchen toaster. Nevertheless, confining your work to a single room isn’t enough if your desk is so messy that it clogs up your thoughts. An organized desk encourages an organized mind. Something as simple as keeping a clear surface and storing your stationery in plastic containers can make a significant difference to your day-to-day experience.
#2. It’s not practical
Do you need to unplug your laptop to plug the printer? Do you have a multiplug extension that is tangled in a forest of cables? Or maybe the room is dark and you’ve had to add a lamp desk to see? Ultimately, if you’re going to make the most of your home office, it should be built to support your objectives. Consequently, if the room is ill-fitted, you can hire professional electrical services to run an extension. From a new socket to a ceiling light, simple improvements can revolutionize your daily work!
#3. It’s uncomfortable
Extra jumpers. A warm mug of joe on the desk. Your feet against an electric heater.
And still, you are cold! When your home office is based in the basement, garage or the unused garden shed, it’s likely to lack adequate insulation. It doesn’t matter how many jumpers you end up wearing to keep yourself warm. The fact is that nobody can be productive when they’re shivering. Being cold disturbs your thinking process – it slows down your creativity and problem-solving skills.
#4. It’s got an open door policy
Most people who’ve chosen to work from home have done so to be available for the family. Nevertheless, it’s equally important that your family, and especially your children, understand that you can’t be disturbed when you’re working. If they are old enough, you can have an honest conversation with them to explain when you work. You can also encourage them to respect your schedule by rewarding them — such as by taking them to watch a movie, for example. At the end of it, you have to be realistic; it’s a learning process. It will take time until young children understand, but if you make sure to remind them, you can gradually build up your productivity back.
Your home office is your productivity field. You need to treat the space with respect and care – and encourage your family to do so too – if you want to make the most of it every day.