According to data from the ONS, the rate of people working through flexi-time increased by 12.35% from 2012 through to 2016. Last year, the TUC also released data showing that in the past decade, the number of people working remotely had increased by 241,000.
According to the ONS, in the year 2015, over 4.2 million persons were working from home on a regular basis. This shows that there are many individuals who were enjoying the benefits of working remotely from home regardless of whether they were operating their own enterprises or they were employed. For many people, leasing office space can be expensive and, when working from home, it can be hard to concentrate on work not to mention that creating a barrier between personal life and professional life can be daunting. In this article, the focus will be on the top tips on how you can set up a quality home office as well as ideas on how you can maximize your productivity when working from home. We spoke to an Admin Services business; Starfish Admin Services, whom helped us make the following points.
In a nutshell, some of the ways you can create a better working space at home include:
• Acquiring ergonomic furniture such as a standing desk so that you are not seated all the time
• Acquiring a comfortable chair
• Deciding on and keeping to regular work hours
• Ensuring that your home office is properly insured
• Demarcate your home office space separately and ensure that there is a clear boundary between your home office and personal living space
• Ensure that you are not interrupted once you enter your home office
• Ensure that there is a clear boundary between your office finances and personal finances
• Make your home office comfortable
• Ensure that you follow a routine
• Set aside time for breaks
• Consider changing your routine periodically to avoid monotony
If you have a home office, the line between your personal life and professional life can easily get blurred. Consider separating both lives by acquiring an office number that is different from your home number. This number should be directly connected to your home office.
Personally, I find that sitting in my office can be uncomfortable. I tend to find focusing on my work harder when I am not comfortable. If you want to maintain your productivity, ensure that you take the time to find a high-quality and ergonomic office chair.
When putting up a home office, ensure that you find a space that works not just for you but also for your other family members. Ideally, it should be a space that you can customise to suit your style and work needs.
When setting up a work space in your home, do not assume that your residential lease policy also covers your office needs. Ensure that you check to see if there is a liability policy that protects people who may visit your home office such as clients or persons making deliveries. Depending on the nature of your current liability coverage, you may need to purchase a separate commercial liability insurance cover for your home office.
Most people find it hard to use a home office because friends and relatives tend to think they can interrupt at any time. After all, you are in your personal space working without direct supervision. Remember that just like in a normal office setting, you are trying to earn a living albeit at home and in an environment that is less strict. You should ensure that you set clear boundaries and let your loved ones know that you should not be disturbed or interrupted once you enter your home office.
Ideally, you should ensure that you have a separate checking account for your personal living expenses and your business. Having separate expense accounts can help save you a lot of headaches when doing your taxes. If you usually file your tax returns on a quarterly basis, you will go through less hassle if your expense accounts are clear and easy to follow.
Working from home is fun since you can work from any location, listen to anything you like and wear whatever you fancy while working. However, this makes it all the more easier to get distracted from your work. To ensure that you always fulfill any tasks you have and to minimise the chances of getting side-tracked when working, you should set a work a work schedule and follow it religiously.
It is also best that you consider adding some plants to your home office. Apart from adding colour to your home office, plants also help keep the air fresh and clean by removing harmful odours and toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde. If you feel that taking care of office plants will be too much work, how about acquiring hardy office plants such as Aloe Vera or Dracanea?
When working in a traditional office setting, you will have to move around from time to time. This movement may be predicated by the need to get a snack or even the need to attend a meeting. However, when working from home, it can be hard to remember to take care of yourself. If you have a home office, consider breaking the monotony that may come with spending too much time indoors by going out for coffee or a snack, taking a short walk, playing with your pet or simply just stepping outside to enjoy the cool outdoors breeze.