Making the transition from commuting into an office or other place of work every day to running your own business from home is a big one. Many people struggle with suddenly being completely in charge of their own scheduling and environment, and it’s common to find yourself missing the familiarity of your old set-up initially. However, apart from the obvious wins of zero travel time, being able to work in your pyjamas if you feel like it, and low overheads as you get your company off the ground, running a business from home can have many other benefits, if you set yourself up for success.
Create A Feel Good Environment
Your workspace is where you spend a lot of your time, so it’s hugely important to create a welcoming space which encourages your creativity and productivity with good spatial design. Instead of working from the kitchen table, make sure if at all possible that you have a dedicated office space where you can shut the door. A spare room, loft conversion or garden studio are all great spaces for this. Invest in professional office equipment and furniture to guard against repetitive stress injuries and ensure an ergonomic fit. An adjustable chair is the minimum, but also think about a standing-to-sitting desk and proper task lighting.
Take Regular Breaks
Even in the nicest environments, you still need to factor in regular breaks – a chance of scenery can revive flagging energy levels and shift any creative blocks you’re experiencing. Working from home has the potential to be quite lonely, so make sure there’s a local cafe with free WiFi that you can retreat to occasionally. Be sure to book in networking events and conferences in your sector so that you get a chance to connect with others on a regular basis too. Of course, depending on your business, you may run events such as pop-up shops that get you out and about. Make sure that you have all the kit for this, such as a folding trestle table, pop-up advertising banners, business cards and a credit card processor and you’ll then have smooth enjoyable events which break up your time working at home nicely.
Organisation is absolutely key to staying productive when you work from home. Research shows that the average worker spends a huge three hours a week just looking for things – and when you’re self-employed and time is literally money, this is critical. Stay on top of things by creating a color coded physical filing system and maintaining orderly digital files. Learn how to use your inbox properly to keep from getting overwhelmed with emails, and find an office organisation system which works for you and is easy to maintain. Allocate ten minutes at the end of each day to file things away and tidy up so that clutter doesn’t build up and you have a fresh working environment for the start of the next day. If your office is also a part of your home, or is open plan to other rooms, source furniture which does double-duty, like a stylish ottoman which has storage for files in the base. Add air purifying plants to make the space look nicer and be a healthier working environment.