If you’re balancing a family and working from home, you will quickly learn that it becomes a struggle to be able to pull it off without there being a level of conflict. Whether it’s just you and a partner, or kids, or even pets…..you will need to be proactive to create the ideal productive environment. Here’s a handy “cheat sheet” on how you can go from the cubicle life to adjusting to a home office in the most painless way possible.
Establish Your Work Space.
Where are you planning to work? While the obvious perk of working from home is that you can be untethered, I highly urge you to consider having a consistent space that is marked as your “workspace”. Unless you live alone, this will be a critical step towards setting some boundaries in the home that will allow you to focus on your work. Having an established workspace also gives you an area that is for productivity and will allow you to “shut off” easier when you walk away from it. That separation is helpful in ways that will make sense once you’re heavy into the home-based workstyle.
Establish Some Rules
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that can have a soundproofed and isolated work space at home that you can lock, make sure you lay down some ground rules for the household. This includes division of chores, privacy, voice and entertainment volumes (especially if you need to do phone work) and other things that could lead to distractions. Explain the importance of treating your work no differently than traditional work and that you are to be left alone when you are in “work mode”. Communicating your schedule/when you plan to work will also be useful, as those can be clearly “off limits” times. If you are dealing with kids, age can obviously play a role…but setting boundaries with children of any age is crucial, especially if you’re a parent they often seek out.
One of my biggest struggles was that there’s this misconception that if you are home, you are available…..whether it be for random Facebook calls, house visits or outings. Usually just letting the “offender” know to contact you in advance (or during certain times) will help resolve the issue. If not, you may need to consider moves like silencing your phone, logging out of social media (especially if you have desktop notifications enabled), putting Skype on “do not disturb” or even a more blunt “go away” mat at your door.
Speaking Of Your Phone
While it’s fun that you have access to it, it’s probably best you silence it. Unless you’re expecting an emergency, it becomes an easy distraction if your entire life is connected to it.
In The End, Comfort Is Key
Working from home isn’t all about fun and games, though it can be for some. But if you’re serious about fully committing to a home-based workstyle, take a realistic look at how you can make your home office environment one you can take seriously and stay productive in. It’ll only help elevate your cubicle-free game.