The image of rolling out of bed, grabbing a coffee from the kitchen, and immediately starting to work, all the while in your pajamas can be an idealistic vision for many traditional commuters. But there are a lot of challenges inherent in working from home that sometimes leaves those who do wishing for a more structured office environment. But the grass will always be greener on the other side of the fence so it's best to make do with what you have. This is why we have some tips to help those that work from home create an environment which feels more like an office and hopefully improve their work.
Make sure you have ample desk space. Don't underestimate the power of a large desk to help you think and be more productive. When we recently moved and had to downgrade our desk size, it was immediately noticeable (in a negative way) while working. We can only imagine the reverse would be true. If you have some dead space in your office, filling it with a larger desk would likely be more beneficial than you might first imagine.
Create an organized filing and storage system for your home office. A real working office often has detailed systems and organizational methods in place to handle this and unfortunately you don't have those resources. But that doesn't mean you have to give up completely. If you're hesitant to buy a filing cabinet because you think they're all big and ugly, look no further than our roundup of sleek modern filing cabinets.
Separate life from work. One way you can do this is to get either a separate work cellphone or landline strictly for your office usage. As the landline business seems threatened, companies are forced to think inventively to create some truly amazing phones in order to compete with the smartphone craze.
If you are unlucky enough to not have a door to your office that you can close, you might want to skip this suggestion. But for those of you who do and have found yourself needing a bit more privacy, perhaps establishing a Door Code could work for you. Set rules in the house pertaining to the state of your door so every knows when is a good time to speak with you and when you're currently busy with something.
On the flip side of privacy, however, is the need for interaction. One of the most common complaints we hear from people who work from home is the lack of interaction they have with people on a day-to-day basis. To combat this, you could make yourself go out to lunch more often and especially meet with friends in your area who you know also work from home. This can be a great way to break up your day, get yourself out of the house for an hour or so, and allow yourself the opportunity to get some face time with other human beings.
Do you have any personal tips to help make a home office feel more like a workplace or to improve the working conditions there?
(Images: Flickr member mkosut and tienvijftien licensed for use by Creative Commons.)