Working at home is becoming more and more fashionable. Communications technology has meant that tasks previously limited to the office are now easily possible from home.
Many full time office workers now have the option to work a day or more a week from home. Some jobs have even been entirely migrated away from central offices to home environments. These arrangements can provide a welcome break from stressful office environments, and can be invaluable for those who have ties at home, like parents or carers.
Furthermore, there are more opportunities than ever to work from home on a freelance basis.
Working from home, though, doesn’t always turn out to be quite as enjoyable as it might seem. If you don’t have the right environment to work in then the arrangement can affect both your work productivity and your personal space.
It is important to make sure that your home office space works well as an office, but also that it does not interfere with your home. Badly arranged home offices can make concentration difficult, or invade the time you have for relaxation. There are a number of ways to make sure the balance is kept strong.
First and foremost, the positioning of your home office needs consideration. Ideally, a separate room with no other uses is ideal. However, alternative solutions are partitioned corners, or even hallway or landing spaces. Try to keep your office space as separate as possible from your main personal living areas, like your kitchen or living room.
The furniture you use will obviously need to match the space you have chosen. If space is limited, there are many space-saving solutions which can keep your clutter stored away. Desks are available which fit into all kinds of alcoves and corners. Whatever you chose, give yourself enough enclosed storage space to pack away your work when you are done for the day.
In an office, you are likely to have a function-heavy phone with features like call transferring, answering machines and the ability to hold calls. Rather than relying on your home landline or mobile for your home office, it can be extremely helpful to get a second phone line to cover these features, keeping your primary line free for personal use. Aside from this making helpful divisions between calls, two lines create two bills, so claiming back costs becomes far easier.
If you are just starting up your home office, it is usually possible to find all the odd bits of required stationery around the house. Nevertheless, it can be worth buying in new stationery stock. Rather than making frequent distracting trips to the kids’ crayon drawer, this will leave you free to work. And you should be able to claim the purchases as business expenses, too.
Finally, ensure to keep your home office set up secure. Just as your company office will take great precautions to protect information and property, so too should you at home. If you have valuable items or documents, try to lock these away when you are done for the day.
Working from home has great appeal. Not least, it cuts your commute time to a walk across the hallway. If you are thinking of working from home, some good planning and good home insurance cover can make your home a joy to work in.