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How to Organize the Perfect Home Work Environment

on 9 May 2018

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Posted by Kevin Senior

Working from home can be an amazing way to get more accomplished both at work and in your life. Online collaboration is proving to be one of the biggest trends in business. It can be both an enormous cost savings for companies as well as an important benefit to employees. The key to making telecommuting work is making sure you make the most of your time at work, even when you’re at home. Here are the top tips for organizing to make your home workspace aid your success.

Limit Distractions

Home offices can suffer the same problem faced in business offices – too many interruptions. There is a tendency to think of home offices as uniquely facing that challenge with family members popping in and out of the office throughout the day. That type of thinking tends to lead to employee guilt about any time spent talking to others in the household. Before you barricade your home office door, think about all the interruptions you experience when you are in a business office. Depending on your company, you might have struggled with both deliberate interruptions and the noise from surrounding workstations, copiers, and other parts of your office. Keep that in mind as you try to make your home office work better. 

Improve your efficiency by planning around home interruptions, instead of assuming they won’t happen. Use coffee breaks and lunches as a chance to catch up with your family or take care of necessary responsibilities. Start checking emails before your workday officially starts to make it easier to use your morning break to walk your kids to their school bus stop. If you know you’ll need to step away from work for a few moments later in the day, make that your lunch break.  

Make Your Space

Settings matter. That’s why you want to have a desk set up to use as your designated home office space. Then you can gather your computer, printer, and any other offices supplies together so that whatever you need is within easy reach. This can eliminate a lot of wandering around the house where you might become distracted from work.

Having a dedicated office space isn’t always an option. If not, you still need to establish your space while you’re working. This can set the right mindset for you and for anyone else in your household. If necessary, use a file folder to create a sign you can prop up next to you that is labelled “Working” or a similar message as a reminder to everyone.

Another part of making your space is to have your morning ritual. At the business office, you probably brought in your personal items for the day, turned on your computer, and went to get your morning cup of coffee from the break room. Go through the same type of process at your home office. Gathering together your coffee, morning Danish, or other key items before you sit down before you begin, helps to set yourself up the expectation of productivity.

Clear Your Head

One problem with being at home is that you may be surrounded by constant reminders of things you need or want to do. From washing clothes to painting over that weird spot on the wall by the bed, errands and to-do projects can suddenly come to the forefront of our minds when we need to do work on something else. Rather than fighting those thoughts, write them down. Make a list as things occur to you. Have the list conveniently located next to where you’re working. Writing down your thoughts makes it easier to let them go until you have time to do them. Fighting the temptation to think about other things is more likely to make them haunt you.

Virtual Commute

If you are surrounded by family while you’re at home, even escaping to a secluded home office each morning might not be enough of a mental break. Often our drive to work is a chance to clear our heads and separate from home before we arrive at work or to switch back to home mode at the end of the day. If you are facing this problem, the solution is to add a virtual commute. Travel to your home office a few minutes early to begin putting a bit of mental distance from your home life. Spend that time reading the morning news like you used to do on the train or listen to music. This will help you be ready to face your workday. Together these strategies can make your home office setting happier and more efficient. 


About this author: Kevin Senior

Managing Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience working with businesses of all sizes and industries, Kevin brings success to fast growing companies advising on best practices and growth lead technology solutions.