The Ideal Home Office
In the past, the office was labeled as executive, formal and professional. Offices were often located in a commercial building or space. Today, there are many offices set up right at home. At present, many people have full-scale home offices functioning in every way as a traditional office does. Many people are now running profitable businesses out of their own homes.
Working at home offers privacy and instant gratification. If you want a snack, need a shower, and/or a quick nap, you can have it. Most important of all, in your own home office you can use the schedule and working methods that are more natural to you.
Working Around Distractions
Yet, we can't avoid the fact that having a home office brings in a few problems. Interruptions and distractions are common, one of the biggest reasons being that people fail to recognize that you are at work; so they don't hesitate to stop by, hang around or call. Even your own family, who supposedly should be the ones to understand, are often the ones who don't know better.
One solution is to do whatever you can to make the home office "detached" from the home. Remove as much personal stuff as possible from your office space to make your home office more business-like. Avoid placing technology in your office that is not related or won't help you with your work. One sure distraction and a big no-no is to put a TV in your work place. Don't make your office setting too warm, friendly and most of all homey. Decorate your office space with framed images related to your business or mounted souvenirs of your business successes instead of family or personal pictures. Put up a bulletin board or white board in a very visible place. Post only office-related tasks and notices on it. If you have children don't allow them to play inside your home office.
Define Work Hours
Working hours must be defined. Make people aware of when you regularly work. It may take some getting used to, but people will soon accept the notion that you're "at the office" during those hours. If you have odd office hours or don't follow a straight 8-hour shift, it would help to put up a sign so that everyone will know you are working. Don't forget to still be flexible, because that is one of the advantages of a home office after all. Always expect and anticipate interruptions and work around them.
Everyone thinks working at home is ideal because you make your own hours. That would be true in most cases. Many, however, will find that it is the hardest thing they've ever done. If you don't have enough discipline you won't get your work done easily by working at home. That is why discipline must be practiced at all times.
Follow a schedule or plan it out for the week. If you find your starting time slipping later and later in the day, the reason can often be traced to procrastination. The home office usually shares an environment that includes many potential distractions. Allot a specific amount of time each day to deal with the household issues and as much as possible separate it from your work hours. Make sure everything you need for your job is right there with you, so you rarely have to leave your office. This way, you are making your home office an ideal work place.