How do I make a home office more functional?
Does anyone have any tips for making a home office more functional to share?
Over the last six years I have worked from a home office. Working from home has presented some significant challenges beyond those that exist when working from a traditional workplace. Many of those challenges relate to how to communicate effectively with co-workers, customers, suppliers and advisors.
Some tips to make your home office more functional:
Invest in creating a pleasant working environment. Don’t skimp on your virtual habitat. Buy a water cooler, a nice painting, and invest in having a pleasant view. Most importantly invest in an executive chair – you won’t regret it.
Zero your Inbox daily. Or put better… stay on top of things. Having an automatic rule to move mail where you are CCed but not mentioned on the To line can be really helpful to prioritise. Don't spend your entire day processing email. Go for extended periods where you are physically disconnected from your email.
Expend some effort in getting out of your home office to know your colleagues, customers, suppliers and advisors personally as well as professionally. On the odd occasion that you do need to a favour, people are happier to help out a friend than just a virtual contact.
Most importantly, take advantage of the best of working from a home office has to offer. Have lunch with your family. Work from the beach. Frequent your local café.
Whenever I work from home I think it's important to actually reserve a space to work. I personally live in a small apartment, so I don't have the luxury of having an actual room or study dedicated to working in a home office.
What I call my home office is my desktop table and chair. Over time I've learned to associate that position with "work". In terms of surfing and going on the internet for leisure, I do that on my laptop around the house or on the couch.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not only objects that can make your home office functional, it can be a matter of mentality when you are in that area. As well as what Timothy mentioned, the processes and rules you set yourself in order to keep you on track.
I found this great article that talks about how working from home can actually boost productivity and there are some great tips as well that will help you create a more effective work environment at home: