Image by: Victor1558
To some, working from home is akin to living the dream – no boss, no inane chatter from your annoying colleagues, and BLT sandwiches and your Playstation on tap. That’s a lovely fantasy, but in reality if you want to work from home and actually, y’know, make some money, then you need to put the sandwich down and turn off your games console.
Turning your abode into the very essence of a productive, dynamic workspace can be easily achieved in a few simple steps. First things first, you need to identify the best possible area to claim as your office. Needless to say, the sofa or the kitchen counter won’t cut it, but there are many spaces that can be turned into a usable workspace by following these simple tips.
Banish the TV
It may sound obvious, but if you have a television in your workspace, it’s unlikely that you’ll get much work done. A radio or stereo is ok, but move the TV and any other distracting gadgets into another room. As much as we like to think we’re great at multitasking, writing up that invoice while watching a Simpsons rerun and scheduling shows on your Sky+ box just isn’t gonna happen.
Your mind needs space to think and create, so a clutter-free space is essential. Just like the TV, piles of unnecessary books and magazines will be nothing but a distraction. Make sure you use a filing system for all your paperwork, and only keep the office essentials on your desk or in your drawer. If your work requires you to think creatively, free up some desk space by using a pinboard to display inspirational images, important business cards and any notes you’ve scribbled on scraps of paper.
Colour theory is interesting stuff – did you know that the colour blue can make you more productive? If your budget allows for a little redecoration, do it – introduce colourful stationary or paint a statement wall. Keep the feel of the room clean and minimal, and splash out on colourful storage for any paperwork and equipment you may have.
It’s no good sitting in your perfectly decorated, distraction and clutter-free office if you can’t communicate with your clients. Do you need to install a separate phone line; have you got enough power outlets to keep your computer powered up? If your business is international, try downloading software such as Skype, Yammer or Trello, which will allow you to conduct video conference calls, message your co-workers and act as a collective space to organise group projects.
All of these tips can be applied to any size workspace, whether it’s a bedroom, a conservatory or even that odd little space under the stairs, so now you have no more excuses to procrastinate with that Playstation!
Elise Lévêque is a French translator who left her beloved Paris after falling in love with a Brit. When she’s not teaching French or planning her wedding, Elise blogs for David Salisbury. Her ideal office would have a helter-skelter in it.