So you've decided to work from home and you're feeling excited right? Well I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you are your own boss and there's no one to tell you what to do. The bad news is that you are your own boss and there's no one to tell you what to do!
The purpose of this article is to help you get into the right frame of mind and set up your home to eliminate any stress that may arise from trying to combine your work space and family life under one roof.
Where will you set up your office? The ideal situation is to have a separate room. If you have small children, it does help if you are out of their sight and they are out of yours. (Of course with the presumption that they are not in your care during your working hours). Bigger kids need to be told that you will be working from home. They must be taught that this is serious right from the start. Your space is your space wherever it may be. Because you are not at your desk does not mean it's okay to do a craft project there, for example. They will take this as seriously as you do.
If space is an issue, look around the house for an area that is suitable. Maybe at the end of a hallway or a landing area? Under the stairs? In the garage? I initially set up my computer on a table with a chair in the living room next to a bright window. The moment I sat down I was ready for business.
I have two small children so my working hours were (and still are) while they were at school and an hour after they went to bed. That area was off limits to them and they knew it!
The important element is that you have a permanent work space dedicated to your work.
Wherever you decide upon, productivity is of the utmost importance. Therefore, you need to clear out whatever household clutter doesn't belong there. When you sit down to work you don't want to spend any time shifting things or dealing with distractions of any kind.
Just as you may have done in a corporate environment, you will want to arrange your necessary supplies in a way that will promote your efficiency. The items you need regularly should be close at hand. Things you only need occasionally can be stored out of the way. Tidiness of your office environment can help to improve your productivity.
If you don't need a phone line dedicated to your business, you may need to practice ignoring it during your working hours. Otherwise you can find that your day is spent fielding phone calls and being drawn into conversations that will quickly use up your time. Equally you will need to let your friends and family know that because you're at home does not mean you are available. Your discipline will lead to your success!