Photograph by adamr via freeforcommercialuse.org
A café, a park, a co-working office are often portable work spaces for a freelancer. The choice of particular “headquarters” might be due to numerous reasons.
So, even if there is WiFi access in a park, it does not always work among all those trees and flowers. Weather and seasons can influence WiFi reception as well. When it comes to cafés we need to consider financial and social aspects of such choice. You can forget about a nice, quite place to focus on the job.
Therefore, it is the freelancer's home which becomes the office, the business headquarters. It might be their home or a rented flat, but the main pros and cons of working at home are always the same. In order to get rid of all cons or at least reducing them significantly, you have to set and prepare your working station. It sounds innocent but it takes much more work than you might expect.
1. Set your permanent work space at home
It might be an entire room or just a desk in a rearranged flat's corner. The most important thing is to define a clear border between the office including all business issues and the rest of the house. Soon this spot will be associated with work and a very unique bond will get created between the space and its user. This bond will make you more work orientated and you will pay less attention to all, so called, “distractions”.
2. Tidy up the environment
At home, unlike at work, we may be tempted much more and we have easier access to everything. Some electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, or simply a good movie on the TV interrupt our work, which may not only affect our productivity, but also our ... vision. It is your job to make sure that none of these are around your work space. If it is possible, of course. And remember (write down these words all Useme Users) Minimalism is the road to efficiency.
3. All must-have equipment available at hand
When it comes to getting rid of unnecessary electronic equipment, make sure you keep all stuff which is necessary for your work. A computer/tablet, WIFI, a printer, a phone, an external hard drive, a clock or a shredder might be kept, as they often come handy.
Photograph by marin via freeforcommercialuse.org
4. Assign functions to devices
Set strict rules for the use of your equipment. For example, the tablet is used only to view business applications or reports. The phone is used just for calling and not to access Instagram or Twitter. Check your e-mail twice a day at pre-set times only.
5. Work space ergonomics
It is not just the place itself that is so important. The seat – your chair or an armchair is not of any less importance. The seat should be fully adjustable. The backrest should be the "S" shape, so that it could give support and rest to the lower and upper parts of the spine. Your seat has to be the right size for the desk and the tabletop so that operating the mouse was held at a right angle between the arm and hand. The distance between your eyes and the screen should be about 3 to 5 ft. You should also remember about choosing right colours for the room. Blue is associated with rest, but red or orange represent action and being active.
6. There is no efficiency without breaks.
If you want to be productive you have to have a break from time to time. Researchers in the UK calculated that business is loosing 50 million pounds everyday if the breaks are not taken. Therefore, it is recommended to take a 1-minute pause every hour. Others recommend to turn your eyes every 20 minutes and look ahead for at least 20 seconds. A tea, a coffee or some hot chocolate can also be considered as a mini-break. You need to remember not to abuse this as it is an easy way to procrastination. You should also remember to book 20-30 minutes for lunch.
7. Right Light
The light your computer is emitting should be neither darker nor lighter than light in the room where you work. If the room is too dark go and buy yourself a table lamp. However, there is no other thing that can affect human body as well as natural daylight.
Photograph by Ambro via freeforcommercialuse.org
8. Eat well and healthily
Make sure your diet provides you with vitamins (A, C, D, E), beta carotene, omega 3 fatty acids. Therefore, you should eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate (it improves mood and concentration), lean meat. If you follow these rules you should avoid problems with weight. Make sure you avoid junk food. Healthy diet is also the right amount of liquid (pure water, tea), which is delivered to the body.
9. Dress up for work
Treat your work space at home as the real office. Make sure you wear proper outfit. This will allow you to separate yourself from home atmosphere and not to think about it. Wearing right cloths will also help you fully focus on professional tasks and challenges.
10. Be consistent in your agenda
Follow your daily plan. Whatever you have planned for today, needs to be done today. Not tomorrow or the day after. If something does not go right you have to improve everything that does not work properly. The most important thing is to be consistent and persistent. Without this and all rules above, your work-from-home efficiency won't be anything you can be happy about.