Running a company out of your spare room might seem like a great idea at first – you don’t have to pay out extra money for an office, and you can claim back some expenses on your tax return, so you’ll save a fortune. In addition, you get to roll out of bed and crawl to the office in your pyjamas, so there’s no more worrying about the stresses of the daily commute.
Of course, there are downsides to working from home. For starters, there’s the isolation, and the lack of routine. It can be hard to muster the energy to start working when there’s so much daytime TV needing watched. Then there’s the fact that you’re never really away from the office, so that looming deadline is nagging at you 24/7/365.
How can you combat the stresses of having a home office, and make it work for your business? Here’s a few tips.
Force Some Structure
Structure is more useful than you might first think. Even if you don’t have to arrive at your office at a set time, or take breaks on a set schedule, you can still put together a routine that will help you to stay productive.
Set some fixed working hours, and make sure that everyone (both in your business life, and your personal life) knows when you’re working, and when you’re “out of the office”.
Designate an Office Area
Having a room that you can point to and say “This is the office” is a good way to help separate your home life from your work life. For some people, this is easy. They get a leased line installed in the spare room, move a desk in there, and lock the door when they don’t want to be disturbed. If you can’t do that, at the very least designate a corner of the kitchen and make that your working space.
Use a Separate Computer
The distractions of social media can be quite a problem for people working from home. Yes, office workers feel the temptation to spend too much time on Facebook too, but they don’t have to deal with neighbours dropping by for a chat because “I saw you were talking on Twitter, so I thought you weren’t busy today”.
Have a work laptop or computer that is plugged into your “office” leased line, and use that for business, and only for business. Not only will this help you to avoid procrastinating on Twitter or on chat sites, it will also avoid arguments when your teenage son ties up the household broadband connection patching his new game, or your daughter decides they need the bandwidth to watch Youtube videos.
Make Time for You
Don’t stay in the office all day, every day. If you’ve finished your list of assigned tasks for the day, leave the office and enjoy some time at home. Don’t let the fact that your office is inside your home leave you feeling pressured to pull late nights or work on weekends. Yes, sometimes you may need to if there’s a big deadline coming up, but if you find yourself facing nasty deadlines every week, maybe it’s time to take on extra staff or learn to start saying no?
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
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