Whether you’re an entrepreneur starting your own company or already running a small business, working from home is an increasingly attractive option. For many, the flexibility of telecommuting is key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. However, if you’ve never worked from home before it can take a little getting used to. Below are some tips for creating a better working environment.
Create a home office
…and don’t use it for anything else! Much like how you should only use your bedroom for sleeping, setting aside a place where you only do work will help get you into the right zone each time you are at your desk. This doesn’t have to mean revamping an entire room; it can simply mean setting up a table that you reserve for work-related activities. Decorate the area in a way that feels professional to you.
Schedule “office hours”
It can be tempting to ditch the 9 – 5 timetable completely, but having a set time of day to get work done creates a healthy routine that can strengthen productive habits. Much like going to sleep at the same time every night will improve your quality of sleep, by working at the same time every day you will be training your mind to automatically switch to a productive state. You can allow yourself to be creative here and think about when you work best and how you can fit in other aspects of your life.
During your office hours, it’s best to minimize distractions as much as possible. Turn your phone on silent, close that Facebook tab, and let others know you will be unavailable. Obviously, for many small businesses networking is key, but be mindful of how you spend your time on social media and consider whether you’re using your time effectively.
Dress for the job
It might seem redundant to get dressed up if no one’s going to see you, but much like setting aside a dedicated space, getting dressed up can help get you in the right mindset. You don’t necessarily need to wear a full suit every day, but getting out of your sweatpants and into a professional outfit can really boost your motivation.
Create a comfortable environment
Studies have shown that aspects of your working environment such as temperature can significantly change how productive you are. This makes sense, as being distracted by the uncomfortable feeling of being too warm or cold will make it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Especially if you live in a warmer climate, making certain that your HVAC is working properly can be a huge help. Investing in servicing or repair will be beneficial to your business in the long run.
Whether you’re starting a new business or considering making the change to telecommuting, it has never been easier to work from home. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to creating an environment where your business can thrive.