Working from home might sound like a dream. But if you’re not careful, the line between work and play becomes blurred really fast, and your productivity could quickly go down the drain.
If you don’t have a professional working space, you’ll be easily distracted, less inspired and motivated, and you won’t be able to fully relax even when you’ve finished working.
That’s why it’s crucial that you have a separate space that is solely for work.
Creating a professional, functional working space at home doesn’t have to include high investment. With a few tweaks, you can create a workspace that will keep you motivated and productive.
Here are 5 tips to create a winning workspace at home..
1 Know the Needs of Your Business
Let’s begin with the basics.
What does your business need? What do you need to keep doing your job as efficiently as possible?
For example, will you need to scan documents in, or regularly print things out? If so, then you’ll need a printer. If not, it could just end up hogging desk space and collecting dust.
Having a large table with good light where you can look at documents is a good investment for obstruction-free work.
An ergonomic chair with proper lumbar support may mean some more expenses upfront, but spending hours in an uncomfortable chair hunched over your desk will take its toll on your health, productivity, motivation and the quality of your work.
Do you need to pay for several pieces of software or are you able to do the majority of your work online or using Google Docs?
Don’t complicate your life with various pieces of software that have a ton of features you won’t use. Look for a simple solution that fulfils your needs, and is accessible from a variety of devices.
Does your job require you to make phone calls? Nowadays, most things are done via email. Not interrupting work for a phone call that could have been summed up in a simple email will keep you focused on the task at hand.
If you do need to chat regularly with colleagues or employees, that doesn’t automatically mean you should get a phone. Why not try one of the many business communication tools out there like Slack, Trello, or Basecamp instead?
It all comes down to needs.
Basically, don’t get everything you think belongs to an office if it doesn’t serve a purpose. Focus on getting the best tools and solutions for your particular needs.
When you know what you need, and what is optional, you can cut on unnecessary features and equipment and surround yourself with only the tools that will keep you on track.
2 Keep Your Documents Online
Businesses are embracing technology in their ways of working. Right now, you can have most of your operations entirely online.
Think about whether you could store all your documents online using a storage solution like Google Drive.
This is a great solution for several reasons:
- It reduces paper printing costs
- It eliminates the need for storage space
- It saves time
- It reduces waste and your carbon footprint
- You get access to all your files on the go
- They are safely backed up
- You can easily share them
This will keep your working space clutter-free. Additionally, all your important data and documents are within reach, easy to edit, organize, and share.
3 Shop Around For Internet Providers
One thing most people need when working from home is a fast and reliable internet connection. If your work is done primarily online, it’s frustrating having to deal with a slow internet connection and frequent downtimes.
Also, it doesn’t leave a good impression on your clients if your work suffers due to something as preventable as internet issues.
Check different company’s broadband speeds in your area. This is especially important if you have regular video chats with your team or do lots of uploading or downloading.
In that case, you will need a provider without limited data caps in their package. Do some research and read customer reviews to see where you can get the best value for your money.
Registered businesses can usually get better deals than private citizens, so make sure you are looking for a deal for your business.
Don’t be afraid to switch from a company you’ve been with your whole life if they’re not giving you a good deal anymore, or if the service is unreliable. Your career is at stake. Wasting time on daily outages means lost time and money.
4 Consider Your Space
So far, we have discussed things in the office, but an important thing to consider is —where is your office located in your home?
Many people find it difficult to focus on work if family members go around their daily tasks and create noise. Other people work well even with background noise such as children, TV, or traffic.
It can be isolating and repetitive when you work from home, which is also why lots of people will head to a coffee shop or coworking spaces and work for a few hours on their laptops.
It comes down to your preferences. Switching up the scenery can be refreshing. But if you need quiet and peace to focus on work or meet clients, there are a few things you can do.
Try to find a space that is separated from the noisiest parts of your home. You can try to establish working hours when the rest of the family is in school or at work outside the home.
If this is not possible, there’s a variety of noise-cancelling headphones that could help you block out some of the distractions.
5 Speed Up Your PC
If most of your work is done on a computer or laptop, this can be one of your biggest expenses when working from home. It can also be a great issue if your computer is acting up, crashing every so often while you’re in the middle of a project.
This doesn’t mean that you have to run out and buy a new PC. Instead of upgrading your PC for a brand new one, you can give your current one a little spruce.
Updating and repairing your current PC or laptop might be all you need to avoid common tech setbacks.
If you didn’t do any housekeeping with your PC before, you’ll find that there’s a lot that you can do to speed it up quite a bit.
Some simple housekeeping involves updates, getting rid of software you (and the system) don’t need and eliminating programs that start as soon as you turn on your PC.
Creating a Professional Working Space at Home Doesn’t Need to Cost a Fortune
As you can see, it’s easy to create a productive workspace at home that suits your needs and doesn’t break the bank.
You just need to get clear on what you need. Do some research into what tools and companies can help you stick to your schedules and prevent downtime.
Identify the biggest distractions and productivity killers, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a highly productive work environment.
Ashley Wilson is a content creator, writing about business and tech. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.