7 Ways to Increase Productivity in Your Home Office
Your home office can be a haven; it allows you to focus on just your work. If you work from home full-time, you need a space that separates you from the distractions of home. If you work at home in the evenings, your office can help you focus on your work without the distractions of your family.
Here are seven ways to increase your productivity in your home office.
1. Eliminate Distractions
Your office needs to eliminate the distractions from home. It is important that you have a door you can shut, which will help block out the noise of home and it can serve as a signal to your family that you need to be left alone.
You may also need to set your phone to go straight to voice mail so you can get your work done. A separate office just for your work will help you to eliminate and shut out the distractions.
If you have a family office or your office set up in your bedroom, you need to find a separate space just for your work office.
2. Setting Clear Boundaries
If you are working at home when family is home, you will need to set clear boundaries about when you can be disturbed and when to interrupt you.
A closed door can signal to your family so that they know not to disturb you. Another option is to put a sign up on the door to let your family know how long you will be, and what to do if they have any questions.
If you work primarily from home, you also need to establish that boundary with neighbors and friends, who may think that since you are home, you are available for a quick favor. It can help to have a separate number for work, and then you simply turn off your cell phone or forward all of your calls straight to voice mail.
You do not need to answer the door, if you are in the middle of a project.
3. Organizing Your Office Effectively
An organized office will boost your productivity by keeping the materials you need close at hand. If you have a solid Internet connection and the proper equipment, you will not waste time running out to buy paper for a report or to fax something.
You can save time on trivial tasks by setting up a system that keeps thing organized and running smoothly. A filing system can also keep your office clean and organized, which will make it easier to get your work done. If you spend hours searching for a file or if you have to clear your desk off every time you need to use the scanner, you are wasting valuable time.
Organizing your tools so they are easy to access will make it easier to boost your productivity.
4. Finding the Right Tools
Each job will have a different set of tools that you need in order to get your work done. A headset for your phone may make you more productive if you spend a lot of time making contacts or doing your work over your phone. A fax machine or a scanner can save you time, and make it easier to convert documents into files that you can email, and to file everything electronically.
Before you begin working from home, be sure that your home computer can handle the tasks you will need to do. You can insure your office will be ready if you take the time to make a list of the items you will need and purchase them before you begin working at home.
You may also want to invest in software that allows you to access files at work, or use an online file storage system. Your job may also require you to purchase specific software such as Photoshop or InDesign.
If you want to work from home, even occasionally, you need to make sure you have the tools to do it properly.
5. Separating Work from the Rest of Your Life
While working from home may give you an extra hour in the evenings, so you can have dinner with your family and get back to work on a project, you need to make sure you are separating your work from the rest of your life.
One way to do this is by setting a clear stopping point for yourself each night. In addition to that, it is important to make sure that you are getting the sleep and exercise you need so that your productivity does not suffer because you are taking your work home with you.
Your family will appreciate it if you schedule an entire day or afternoon over the weekends where you do not worry about work. This can also increase your productivity, because it will be easier to focus just on work after you have spent time with your family.
6. Choosing the Right Furniture and Design
The right office furniture can benefit your productivity by making it easier to work without pain. You need to find a chair that is comfortable, and a desk that allows you to reach your keyboard easily. This can do a lot to prevent problems like back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you are pain free, it is easier to keep working, which will increase your productivity. When you design the office, make sure you have enough room to access all the tools you need to every day.
If it is tight space, you may need to visit a store that specializes in designing offices, so you can find the furniture that will help you the most.
7. Keep It Clean
A clean office will increase your productivity. You can save time each day by knowing where a particular file or piece of information is when you need it.
If you take a few minutes when you quit each night to clear your desk, file your paperwork, and take out the trash, you can come into a clean office each morning and start working immediately.
These few steps will make it easier to focus when you begin working at home again.
Author Credits ::
Gwen Stewart is a business development professional and writer for Outbounding.com. Her line of work often requires she have a great solution for sending big files and meeting tight deadlines. Any spare time she can scrape together finds her hiking, reading and enjoying the company of great friends.