Having a virtual office and working from home has many advantages, including lower costs.
But how do you stay creative when working from home?
It can be hard to have a creative buzz when you’re a one-man-band and your only near colleague is the dog.
Here are our top tips on staying creative when working from home.
Separate your office from the main living quarters
This means dedicating a spare bedroom or converting a garden shed to be your working area. If you decide to work in the latter, you’ll be joining an 80,000-strong shed workforce, according to shed expert and blogger Alex Johnson. Doing so means you can work without your creative space being invaded, yet still have the proximity of being close at hand should a domestic emergency occur.
Block out distractions
This is especially important if you have to work in a shared living space. Perhaps your cramped accommodation means there is no alternative to working in the lounge or shared bedroom. The trick is to block everything out, no matter how much your partner may be angling for a row or the children on school holidays running riot. Headphones and a desk facing the wall are the simple solutions, especially if you have screaming babies at home.
Make your office comfy and fun to work in
It’s your office, so there’s no limit to how funky it can look. Your chair is key to office comfort. So make sure you get one which properly supports your back. The feng shui benefits of an attractive, uncluttered office environment can’t be under-estimated. So when you first start-up, view your work space as a fresh canvas and mould it into a hub that will bring the best out of your creativity.
Get the tech right
Invest in reliable systems and make sure you have super-fast broadband to help meet your deadlines. Communications are important, so ensure your mobile phone, landline and email are all working properly.
Set yourself targets
OK, so there’s only Fido to bounce off and he’s not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to your line of work. The way around such mind-numbing isolation is to play games by setting targets. Keep a daily tally of how many jobs/tasks you perform each shift and try and break your record whenever you can.
Not even the most dedicated office-stationed employee works 24/7. Sat at home, you can’t enjoy the luxury of water-cooler gatherings, a team cuppa or catching up on workplace gossip. So every time you finish a job, particularly a tricky one, reward yourself instead with a one-minute trip to your favourite website, for example, checking the latest cricket scores or breaking news. Or text your partner to see how they are doing at work.
Stay forever conscientious
It is said that the best judge of anyone’s character is a mirror. So stay true to yourself. Just because there’s no managerial eye to watch over you doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t put in the best shift possible every day. Self-motivation and a Stakhanovite work ethic are priceless assets to companies heavily reliant on their freelance, home-based workers. They can also earn you a trusted reputation which can stand you in good stead for future employment.
The Secret Businessman