As more and more of us take to having a ‘hobby business’ or online business working from home, many more people are utilising their kitchens, dining rooms and other household space as their home office.
Employers are now looking at how they can reduce building costs and rental space by introducing flexible working patterns and locations. In the next 5 – 10 years home working will not be as unique as it seems to be now.
Health and Safety
There are health and safety aspects which need to be considered by those who would wish to ‘work at home’. The work space needs to be set up in such a way that you are comfortable working in that area for a few hours per day.
- Preparing your chair correctly – ensuring that there is proper lower-back support.
- Adjusting your screen height – ensuring that your screen is at eye-level to reduce straining your eyes or slouching your back.
If you spend a lot of time at your home workspace – don’t get too comfortable! Always ensure to move throughout the day to release tension build-up in your back and to keep blood and oxygen moving around your body. Get up and walk around every 50 minutes go up and down the stairs a few times, or walk in the garden.
For many people it is a new concept to work from home, as such some thought needs to go into the location of your home office. Your office needs to be away from noise to maintain a professional environment, especially if you are going to be working offline on the telephone.
Your office can be set up in your spare room. Make sure it is a comfortable environment for you to be working in as you will have to be there for several hours of the day.
Ensure you have adequate room to put your files, documents and equipment in, there is nothing worse that having your documents or equipment in another part of your home, and they are not easily to hand.
Using your mobile phone is more convenient that a landline phone, as many mobile networks now offer wificalling which means you can call virtually anywhere worldwide at no extra cost, especially if you utilise whatsapp or telegram, or even FB Messenger.
When looking at the equipment required such as printers and scanners, Consider buying a three in one, printer, scanner and fax machine, as this will take up less space. Although not many places utilise fax these days. But having a Printer and Scanner is essential.
Lap tops vs desk tops is another issue you may wish to consider. Depending on whether your business can be conducted anywhere globally you may wish to think of purchasing a light weight laptop as this will not only create less space, but can serve a dual purpose if you need to travel but keep in touch with your home business.
Choosing your office hours is important. What times of the day do you wish to work? The great thing is that you are your own boss, and you can be as flexible as you like. The great thing for me, is that my commute is now 30 seconds. From my Bedroom to my home office! The great thing about home working is you can decide what your office hours are, as you do not have a boss watching you clock in or out.
However, it does require discipline to work set hours and to be consistent and productive.
Prepare yourself for working from home by ensuring you have a to do list each day and tick off what you have or have not achieved. A sense of ‘having done some work’ is better than not having a record of what you have completed and then looking back at your ‘wasted day’.
Letting your family know what your working hours are, is equally important. I know when I first started working from home, my mum and my friends constantly called me and wanted to chat during the ‘day time work hours’. I was also seen as someone who could go and do the adhoc jobs because I was ‘at home’.
Making it very clear to friends and family that your working hours are for instance 10am – 3pm,means that you will not be able to take calls unless they are of the utmost urgency during that time, and that no visiting to be made within those core working hours. Setting the rules, avoids frustrations from yourself and upsets.
There you have it, some useful tips for home working, please share if you have any others.