Working from home: creating the perfect environment

warm home office setting with laptop and notebook on desk in filtered sunlight

Working from home can be an incredibly refreshing experience. Just picture it: no need to fake smiles to colleagues at an unearthly hour in the morning, no long drive in, no need to even properly get showered or dressed prior to embarking on your working day. Sound appealing? We thought so. However, to get the most from your experience, it is important to create the perfect environment in which to work. Continue reading for our guide to doing just that.

Dedicated Space

Sitting in the living room with your laptop on your knee in front of the television might seem like a good idea to begin with. However, your productivity will be less than if you work in a dedicated space. Perhaps you are able to invest a little time and effort to overhaul your spare room into a home office. Alternatively, if you have suitable finances, a garden room can be a fantastic place from which to work. It would also be possible to choose exactly what you want in terms of size, features and style. If you do have young children, be sure to set firm boundaries to ensure they know they are not allowed to use your office as a play room.

Furniture

Investing in suitable furniture is a must when it comes to creating the perfect working environment. Many more people are choosing to purchase desks which rise and fall, allowing for work at a computer standing up or sitting down. Whichever is your preferred option, you will still need to shop around for a good quality chair to suit your needs. Consider also what storage you will have within your office. A filing cabinet is the norm to lock away personal details of your customers, potential or existing. Many people also have book cases or shelves on which to store important books to refer to as well as folders you use frequently. It is also worth spending time thinking about where bulking electrical equipment such as printers will be placed.

Décor

Dark walls are a definite no when it comes to offices especially if the space in which you work is fairly small. Choose a fresh colour such as white or even a pale green or yellow. This does not mean that your room needs to be bland. A burst of colour can be added through wall art of even the shade of your furniture. Your choice of décor will differ depending on the purpose of your home office. If it is a fairly large space in which you could hold meetings, you need to be mindful about other people visiting and therefore it being appropriate and tasteful. Limiting the number of personal items within the room will make it seem more professional, so one photo of your family is great, an abundance of them is excessive and unnecessary. If, however, your home office is simply a space in which you will carry out your work, you can choose exactly what you want.

Frequently Asked Questions About Working From Home

People nowadays are trying everything to having a good and happy life. From using the most intelligent appliances around the house to working from home, there are many things that 21st-century people are doing for a more comfortable and better life.

Working from home sounds ideal, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The next FAQs will bring some light and give you an idea about how working from home actually is.

1. How to define telecommuting?

Also known as e-commuting, or working from home, telecommuting is when you work outside the office. Typically, you work from home or anywhere close to your home. You don’t travel to the office anymore, but use telecommunication links for staying in touch with employers and coworkers via email and telephone.

Sometimes, you can go to the office and participate in meetings. However, there are many alternatives for distance conferencing, so going to the office may not be necessary.

2. Is it possible for anyone to work from home?

It may sound surprising, but not everyone can work from home. It takes some skills, work style, and a specific type of personality to be able to work from home successfully. An impressive entrepreneurial spirit is one thing to name, but you also have to be highly motivated, resourceful, and capable of working independently. Should you continuously need feedback and guidance, working from home isn’t for you.

3. What’s the best way to find a legal home-bases opportunity?

There are numerous ways to find full time and freelance openings. For instance, job boards present many postings for home-based positions. You only need to use the word “home-based” or “virtual” when looking for a job.

Cold-calling is another popular way to get a home-based job as you’re calling someone you would like to work for.

4. How do you identify a legitimate company?

Sometimes, you may have to pay a fee upfront, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a scam. As a matter of fact, plenty of legitimate companies will ask for a start-up fee for coverings the spending of training materials for the beginning. It doesn’t mean that all companies are legitimate either; you’ll still have to do your bits and bobs on your own.

You shouldn’t send money or sign up for money-making possibilities when you have no choice of talking to a live person. It’s a good idea to request a couple of names of people who are doing the job.

5. Can you still work from home if you don’t have high-speed internet?

It all depends on the company and the job. The best way is to talk to the company and see the request before. Some opportunities need high-speed internet, and dial-up connections aren’t going to do it.

6. What if your new job implies training? Are all training programs legitimate?

Truth be told, there are thousands of online learning programs, so there isn’t just one that is legitimate. It would help if you got in contact with the professional organization governing the industry. Find out their recommendations and look for successful people in the industry.

The best way is to narrow your choice and look for the schools with an impressive record of placing the graduates in professional positions.

7. What kind of jobs can you do from home?

Should you have no idea whatsoever about which job you can have, there are several categories to try. The entrepreneurial type, where you go ahead and run your very own business,  the contractor as companies look for home-based independent contractors, and direct sales, where you become a consultant for a company.

8. Are there any rules when working from home?

Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean that you should do it chaotically, with no rules at all. It would help if you stuck to a schedule (there is no manager to watch over you), with breaks for lunch, emails, or personal calls. It’s also a good thing to have a dedicated workspace so that the dining room table cannot work as an office. Look for a quiet space when nobody can disturb you.

Don’t forget always to measure your progress and success. Having goals is essential as it gives you an idea about your progress. Don’t set up the bar too high, as you’re not going to be able to reach your goals. Be ready to make adjustments as you go and don’t give up easily.

9. Does a flexible work schedule let you decide the program when the workday begins?

Unfortunately, work schedules are decided in advance and according to the business needs of the workgroup. Once the plans are set and transmitted to the employees, an employee should ask in writing to modify the schedule.

10. Who decides if you can work from home when you’re a telecommuter?

Telecommuters working from home can decide on their work area. Should you need any adjustments for your worksite, you will need to pay for making the arrangements.

11. Can your boss know when you’re not working?

When you’re not running your own business from home and have a boss to respond to, your boss won’t be able to check what you’re doing. A manager of this kind has no other option but to trust the employees.

Funny enough, people tend to be their worst critics, setting higher standards that bosses would do.

It’s difficult for managers to keep an eye on all employees, especially when they’re not under his nose. However, all bosses will find a way to see when the employees are slowing down the engines.

12. Do you have the discipline to work from home?

When you don’t typically work from home but go to the office regularly, working from home one day may seem like a day off. Everything around the house gets your mind off your job, making it so difficult for you to focus.

It’s not the same when you’re working from home regularly, and you learn how to do your job from the comfort of your home.

Building habits through repetition is fundamental, and you’ll find a way of finding your own pace when working from home.

13. Are you going to work long hours from home?

Somehow, people got the wrong impression that working from home means to have an entirely different schedule than working in the office.

The naked truth is that for the majority of people, regular office hours are still the norm. It’s the time when kids are in schools, and partners are at work, which is a decisive factor for being efficient. It doesn’t mean that you cannot alter the schedule in any way. On the contrary, you have the flexibility you need, handling more than your job throughout the day.

14. Can you do things not related to your job throughout the day?

It’s obvious that you can, especially since it’s one of the main reasons for which you chose to work from home. When you take time off from the job, you can have a chat with a friend or do something around the house, becoming more productive when you get back to your office from home.

15. Are you going to get lonely?

Sadly, yes. Loneliness is one of the toughest challenges when working from home. It’s especially tricky for people that get their energy from people around them. It doesn’t mean that working from home is the ideal job for the introverts, though.

Being proactive about the job is one way to deal with your situation from home. There are plenty of ways to deal with the loneliness of working from home. Maybe you have friends or neighbors working from home as well, which is a chance to create your community. As long as you find ways to balance the loneliness with social activities during your free time, you should be able to be successful at your job from home just fine.

In closing, a few home office design ideas from Sean Cannell:

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm hoping for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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