Working it out:
Tips and tricks for taking care of business
There’s a lot of talk about work/life balance but for people who work from home, the lines can become blurred. Advances in technology have enabled increasing numbers of us to work from home — whether for an employer or for ourselves — so a well-designed home office is key.
Director of Armchair Psychology Amanda Gordon says it can be difficult for people to create a true balance, so that they’re not always tempted to be working or, alternatively that they’re not procrastinating when there’s something that needs their attention.
“If you are a highly disciplined person who can make the distinction between home and work, then working from the comfort of your own home can be quite effective,” she says.
“But without the separation between home and work, you often keep thinking about work when your mind should be elsewhere.”
The key is working out ways to mentally switch between home and work.
“By consciously completing your day’s work and closing the door, you can move to that other space which is home — but it’s harder to do it when it’s just behind the door.”
CREATING THE PERFECT SPACE
It might seem like a good use of space but Amanda says setting up a desk in your bedroom may not be the best idea.
“Don’t just make it a corner of the bedroom, make it a proper dedicated workspace you can go into and leave, so there is a separation — but it’s still conducive to work,” she says.
“Give it some bright colour and put some thought into decorating it as well, so it’s comfortable to be in.”
Invest in the workspace you’re creating, with a good chair, desk and filing cabinet, plus a few key accessories.
“It’s very easy to do that load of washing or have another cup of coffee or even turn on the TV,” Amanda says.
“Have a clock in there and work to the clock as if you were at an office, because this is your work time.” You should also dress the part. “It’s useful to get dressed as if you are going to work,” she says.
“When you’re dressed you’re ready for work.”
But also remember to take breaks from your office rather than feeling tied to the desk all day.
“Don’t take your lunch and your coffee in there,” Amanda says.
“Go out and have a break, the way you would at work.”