Talk to anyone who works form home and they will tell you how great it is to be able to avoid the rush hour traffic, the run ins with the coworker you don’t like, and who can not mention you can work in you pajamas. However, there is a challenge to be taken up by the work at home person whether it’s a home business or an employee who can work from home.
If you are going to work from home for any situation, you need to create an environment that is business like and professional as possible. This means the first thing that should be done at all costs is to set up a space apart from the remainder of the house. This could be a spare room, basement, garage, even a closet if it’s big enough.
Since you’re going to be spending many hours in you work at home space, create a pleasant experience by having it organized and not being interrupted by having to wash the dishes. Keep all the business papers and stuff separate from your household papers and stuff.
While this suggestion may not be very popular, it is very effective. Start your home “work day” by showering and changing clothes. I know what you’re thinking to yourself. One of the advantages of working at home is the concept of working in your “jammies” The problem with that is it’s hard to stay focused on your task while you’re in your pajamas all day. Once you’re showered, you can most certainly put on comfortable clothes. Find the most comfortable slacks and shirt or blouse you own. You can even choose a sweatshirt, but please no “jammies”. Go with comfortable shoes or no shoes. I find that working in bare feet in the summer and socks in the winter is very comfortable. The whole idea here is if you shower, change clothes, eat breakfast and move to your “office”, it’ll seem like you’re going to work.
You should set up hours of operation. In fact, it’s not unreasonable to post your office hours on the door. Sounds a little silly, but it does give your work a professional feel. It also lets the family know that you are unavailable except for emergencies. Let your friends know what these hours are and ask them to respect your time and not call during those hours.
If you have small children at home, the best thing to do is have someone else watch them. It may be your partner if they are not working. Another possibility with small children is to have your work hours coincide with their naps. It’s not the best situation, but you’ll have to make compromises when small children are involved. You may be able to do some computer tasks while your small children are around and save the phone calls for when they take their nap.
Regardless of your decision of how to make the perfect environment, keep it mind it must fit your style. If your style means working at the dinning room table with a laptop and a small file cabinet, then so be it.