People who work from home need to understand that, even though they do have an option to work from a living room couch, this is not something that helps them achieve great productivity. Therefore, making a home office is more of a necessity than a recommendation. Not only can a poorly optimized home office can take a toll on your productivity, it can also strain you physically and multiply the chances of making errors. First of all, it’s place optimized for work, devoid of all standard distraction. Second, it’s a zone that tolerates no trespassers and a way to create a physical barrier between you and your roommates/family members, while you work. Still, even though this may sound simple enough, there are some mistakes that are incredibly easy to make while doing so. Here are four such mistakes for you to avoid.
1. Making a dual purpose room
The first major mistakes that some people make is creating their office in their bedroom, thus making the room into a dual-purpose one. The reason why this is a bad idea is due to the fact that A) you might distract your partner while they’re sleeping and B) you won’t be able to qualify for home-based tax deductions. In order to deduct a part of your utility bill, your room needs to be work-only. Additionally, you can use bookshelves, or even dividers to separate your workspace from your living quarters. This helps you treat the space as a place of work, even if it still essentially is a part of your home.
2. Not looking at local retailers
Another thing you should understand is the fact that constructing your office is a matter of urgency. The lack of a proper home office also means a partial downtime (due to the fact that your productivity is not at its peak). This is why you need to find a way to make your home office as quickly as possible. Most often, this means looking for local retailers. By ordering an item from across the country you’ll have to A) wait for it to arrive and B) pay a stellar figure for the shipping alone. Aside from this, you’ll also increase the carbon footprint of your business, due to the pollution caused by transportation. It’s much easier, for instance, for a Queensland-based company to find an office desk Brisbane retailer and make an order there.
3. Not considering the clients
Most freelancers and online businesses never meet their clients in person, yet, in some industries, this might be a possibility. It’s more than obvious why this would be inconvenient in a bedroom-office or any other kind of dual-purpose room. So, you need to be realistic about the prospect of ever greeting clients inside of your own home, so that you can prepare the room for this in a timely manner. This may require some specialized equipment, brochure holders and an altogether different layout of the room. This should also affect the location of the office within your own home, seeing as how you don’t want to lead the client through your entire household in the process. Not to mention the fact that you need to mind the clutter. Keeping your home office organized doesn’t only make you look good,but also makes you more productive. Knowing where the important paperwork is, at any moment, saves you time (and nerves) in the long run.
4. Not soundproofing it
Lastly, as early as the introduction, we talked about minimizing the interference of the outside world. Due to the fact that you’re in a room, you’re literally walled off from an outside world but this might not be enough. Not being able to see distractions is an important thing but it’s even more important that you’re not able to hear these distractions. For this reason, you need to focus on soundproofing the place. The first step in doing so lies in finding the quietest spot in your home and making it into your office. Second, you need to cover the walls (most often with shelves) and even consider investing in some acoustic wall tiles. This may seem like a bit excessive, yet, it’s both effective and productivity-enhancing.
At the very end, avoiding just these four mistakes should be enough to make your home office more efficient and, in some cases, even more cost-efficient. To some, this trend (of making a home office, in the first place) may seem unnecessary, however, the very fact that there are so many people interested in this topic and trends related to this topic testifies otherwise. Now go on, try to avoid these mistakes yourself, and see what kind of effect it has on your productivity.
Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).