Working from home is the dream for most of us who trudge every day into the office, battling with public transport, long and traffic-laden car journeys and late home times.
Several years of this can become tedious and once you have a family, priorities begin to shift. Late last year, I took the big step of becoming a freelance copywriter, with the aim of getting more flexibility and a work/life better balance.
I have fully embraced the Work From Home (WFH) lifestyle – is it something you’re interested in? It might be the fresh start that you’re looking for, especially if you’re reassessing your options after maternity leave. You will need to make some simple adjustments to your home to create the perfect space for working.
Having your own office
If you have the luxury of a spare room then you’re off to a flying start. Having a space that is purely business-related will keep your concentration focused and will keep the rest of your home closed off for family/relaxation time.
A simple and functional style will be a great start, as you don’t want to make it too comfortable or you might forget to work! IKEA is my go-to shop for organisation and storage, with plenty of affordable solutions on offer to help you create the best space you can with the square-footage you have.
Our home office is teeny, but we have managed to squeeze not one, but two desks in there: a large corner desk for working at the computer and a smaller one for reading, writing and crafting.
Be kind to yourself with the lighting too, especially if you plan to stick to your usual working hours. Eight hours in a badly lit room will make you dread walking from the bedroom to the ‘office’ every morning to be greeted by a dull, flickering light. IKEA are also very good at this too, helping you to work out the perfect lighting to keep you feeling alert and ready for a day of challenges.
Sectioning off your work space
If there isn’t the option of a spare room then you’ll have to be a bite more creative. A sturdy and spacious dining room table could be transformed for your working hours into a place for business, especially if you have the space for some storage for paperwork too.
It can be annoying to clear away your papers and laptop/computer everyday but you have to keep your eye on the prize – No. More. Commute.
Whether your dining room is off the living room or kitchen, sectioning off a space with bi-fold doors means you can keep the room functional for work, then come the end of your working day you can tidy up and open the doors ready for family time!
Being strict with your working hours
The most important thing to remember (and one that I struggle with, to be honest) is that you started working from home for a reason: to have more time for your family and less time stuck in traffic and dealing with public transport. There’s also the benefit of being in charge of your own time, so when you fancy nipping out for a coffee somewhere or you need to pick the kids up after school, you can factor this into your day to suit your commitments.
If you have eight hours of work to do, then you might need to start earlier in the morning to fit it all in. Working from home means you can dip in and out of work to suit your home life situation. It might be hard at first not having an office routine, but eventually you’ll find your working rhythm.
This article from the Guardian also helps to answer the question of work attire when you work from home. Are pyjamas suitable for a productive day? Unfortunately, I think the answer might be no… but I must confess to doing it every once in a while!
Do you have any tips for working from home? I’d love to hear them!
*This is a collaborative post.