How to Set up a Home Office
Check out our Seven Top Tips on how to set up a work station to work from home.
Ideally, you will have a spare room to create a home office. If not, a corner of another room, will be fine as long as you are not constantly distracted in the family fast lane.
Set up your kit
Set up your computer, files and phone to give you maximum comfort for long hours. Have enough plug points for PC, printer, phone, scanner, mobile charger, fax machine and answer phone. Even better get an all in once mod con to save on a jumble of cables and wires.
Pick your desk location
You should be able to see the door of the office from where you are sitting or at least more of your surroundings. Beware of facing the garden and the bird bath – too tempting to watch the world go by! A hard chair will give you backache so spend a little extra on a good one.
Working outside 'normal' working hours helps to balance your work and home life so don't feel guilty dashing off to take the lads to footie after school, as long as you get your work done. Catching up in the early morning or later in the evening works well, but also watch out for going OTT. Make sure you close down and walk away at some point or the family will go hungry.
Have a breather
No matter what kind of work you do or what home you do it in, you can go bonkers if you spend 24 hours a day at it. Get out, whenever you can, to clear your head and to see other people. Use lunch time as a good break to pop down to pick up groceries for dinner, step outside to feed the birds during your coffee break or walk the dog around the block to clear the cobwebs. This is also a great way to mull over a document or get inspiration for new ideas.
Keep in Touch
Have no fear that your social life at work comes to an end if you leave your office to work from home, in fact in some cases your relationship with your colleagues may improve. Email is instant but be careful of 'funnies' – they can eat up a huge chunk of time. Chat through business issues by phone and meet for a quick bite every now and then.
Give yourself little goals and objectives and then reward yourself when they are complete. Make sure family and friends know your hours or days of working at home and stick to that. Don't be tempted to pop over for a coffee or cook a large meal. Give yourself this time as a reward for getting up early on a Monday to finish a long-winded report. Or if you score well with a new client take five to put your feet up before the school run. Whatever incentives work for you, use them to motivate yourself to balance your time around your other responsibilities.
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