In today’s world of hyper connectivity, the “home office” is becoming a staple of the workforce. No longer are people commuting through breakneck traffic to and from work to sit in a cubicle for 8 hours a day. The days of the water cooler and cubicle farms have been replaced with the basement nook, kitchen table, and bonus room desk.
With this change of scenery comes issues and challenges you may have never thought about. Here are 7 home office do’s and don’t to help you adjust to your new surroundings.
Schedule Your Time
One of the biggest challenges with working from home is time management. It’s easy to think that you can be more productive with the tv on, but four episodes of The Big Bang Theory goes by quicker than you think. Think about how you’d schedule your time in a corporate office and then carry out the same principles at home.
You may understand the separation of work and home, but your spouse, children, neighbors, and or friends may not. Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you are at home. It’s ok to let others know that you are unavailable during certain hours, except for emergencies. If you didn’t work from home, would these people come to your office and ask you to do what they are asking of you from home? Probably not.
Interact With Others
Loneliness and isolation are other major challenges that come with working from home. Schedule time to get out of the house and interact with others. Go out for lunch, volunteer once a week in the community, or form a group with other home office workers for support. These human interactions will keep you from going crazy.
Get Your Tax Breaks
A great advantage of working from home is all the tax breaks. Most items associated with your home office including square footage, electricity, insurance, mortgage interest, furniture, equipment, internet, etc should be tax deductible. Be sure to check with your CPA on the details.
Mix Business and Pleasure
This goes along with the time management challenge. It’s very easy to think you can go play a quick nine holes of golf then come back and knock out a bunch of work. It’s fine to have balance between work and play, but setting a specific time to “be at the office” is crucial for being productive and staying on track with your work. Keep to a schedule, get your work done, then enjoy some personal time.
Flaunt Your Freedom
Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you are retired. Other people don’t want to hear about your 30 second commute or your pajama work attire. Of course there are perks when it comes to working from home such as spending less on gas, clothes, food, etc., but everyone doesn’t want to hear about them. Not flaunting your convenient work situation will keep you in good favor with your non work from home friends.
Work Near Your Kitchen
It’s very easy to eat all day when you are working from home, especially if your office is near the kitchen. Don’t let a stocked pantry and fridge get the best of you. Keep to your scheduled breaks and you won’t have to worry so much about the bulging waistline.
If you or someone you know is looking for a house with a home office, we’d love to help you find the perfect one.