It’s common to meet people who no longer commute to work. Instead, many telecommute and work from home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 percent of workers did part or all of their work from home in 2015. This number is likely to be even higher today.
However, working from home doesn’t come naturally to everyone. There can be a lot of distractions, and productivity can flounder as a result. With that in mind, below are some strategies you can use to make your own home office more productive so you can get the most out of your work.
Design for Productivity
When designing your home office, keep productivity in mind. If you are repurposing an existing room, make sure the new layout makes completing your work as easy as possible. You will probably want a desktop computer, a printer, a work desk, file cabinets, maybe a fax machine and other office equipment. Place these items in logical locations in your home office where they will create the most efficient workflows for you. If you are constantly printing, for example, your printer should probably be very close the computer and work desk so you have quick access to the documents you print off.
One big challenge for telecommuters is overcoming distractions at home. 16 percent say distractions at home are a big downside to telecommuting. This is true. At home, you will not be around supervisors and may be more prone to being distracted. This is why you must make an effort to remove distractions from your home office.
Overall, your home office should be used for work. Use a family room, den or some other room for leisure activities. For one, don’t place a TV in your home office. Unless it’s absolutely necessary for the kind of work you do, you will be better off without the temptation of switching on daytime television. Also, set your computer up for work only. Don’t install any games. If you’re a gamer, consider having a separate computer in a different room for gaming. Only install office software and other applications you use to complete work on your home office computer.
Create a Smart Home Office
You probably have a smart phone and heard of smart homes. Smart homes implement wireless connectivity and automation to help make life much more convenient for a homeowner. This same technology can also be applied to your work at home to create a smart home office.
There are many different technologies and gadgets you can integrate into a home office. For one, you may want to invest in a smart speaker. You can think of this device as acting as a digital secretary. You can speak to it and control other smart devices that have been integrated into your smart home office system such as your printer and fax machine.
Overall, make sure everything you need to complete your work is integrated into your smart home office system through wireless connectivity. This will allow you to complete work faster and more efficiently than would be possible otherwise. Also consider having the system professionally installed. If you live in Salt Lake City, for example, look up home automation Utah based companies that can install a system that meets all your needs.
Keep It Simple and Remove Clutter
Home offices tend to pile up with junk. They sometimes end up more like closets for random items than functional work spaces. Make sure this is not the case. Except for office gadgets and furniture, make sure your office is de-cluttered. Don’t allow papers, books and other items to pile up. Continually reorganize and clean.
A large portion of workers and employees now work from home. Pew Research reported that 14.6 million Americans are now self employed. A large number of those Americans work from home. However, this does not mean working from home is easy. If you don’t free yourself from distractions and create a functional space for work, you may not be able to make a living.
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