Since I work at home, I find that I hardly leave the house. Sometimes when I step outside in the afternoons, I find myself wishing that I had left the house earlier, that I could have went somewhere instead of keeping myself inside all day. I love working at home, but need to find a way to get away from my work at the end of the work day as if I were locking up my door at the office. When I received this guest post, I knew that I had to share it with you. This guest post has helped me and hopefully if you work at home, it will help you too.
Keep Cabin Fever At Bay When Working From Home
Whenever I’ve told friends I’m working from home they invariably express envy, saying they’d love to work from home if only their boss allowed them to. And sure enough, it is great avoiding the commute, being able to spend your lunchtime in the garden or get some of your household chores done when you take a break. When you’re a business owner, not only do you make huge savings on commuting costs – and petrol costs and train fares continue to soar – you also negate the colossal costs of buying or renting premises.
But my envious friends often also overlook some of the challenges of working solo at home, which can leave you isolated and demotivated if you don’t take care to keep cabin fever at bay. But just as they often ignore the drawbacks, they also – in my opinion – overstate a potential problem. “I’d be too tempted to do check Facebook or watch TV,” they say. Aside from the fact that if you’re self-employed then it’s only yourself you’re cheating by skiving from work, I actually feel you can be more productive at home. So often at work I’ve managed to get ‘into the zone’ only to be distracted by office banter or an impromptu meeting. At home you can truly shut out all distractions – if you choose to!
Based on my experiences and what other home workers have told me, I’ve put together five tips that should stand you in good stead for being both productive and happy when working from home.
1. Separate your work space from your leisure space
How difficult this is to achieve depends on how the size of your house or flat of course. Ideally you’ll have a study designated for work and be able to repair to your living room in the evening. If you don’t have the luxury of a separate study then whether you work from your kitchen table or the living room sofa, be sure to tidy away all your documents and other work-related paraphernalia at the end of a ‘shift’, so you can properly switch off without work reminders floating about.
2. Get your social interaction where you can
If you’re running a business where you need to speak on the phone with customers or suppliers frequently then this problem looks after itself to a large extent. However, if you’re, say, running a website and there’s less need for sales calls, you could make the occasional call to family or friends. Humans are social animals so visit friends and family rather than resorting to talking to yourself!
3. Escape the office at lunchtime
Break up your day by visiting clients or attending exhibitions or networking events. It doesn’t have to be work-related, you need respite from work, so go for a long walk occasionally. This is invaluable insulation from the dreaded cabin fever.
4. Relocate your ‘office’ occasionally
OK, so you can’t justify paying for an office, but think creatively and there are plenty of alternative places to work. Visit your local library or – if it’s been closed down! – a coffee shop one day a week. Fair enough, some of these places may not be quiet enough or equipped for certain types of work. However, you could save less demanding work – reading documents, for example – for sitting in the park or a café. You know what they say about life, variety and spice…
5. Go out in the evenings
Whether it’s the cinema, the store or a friend’s house, it’s more imperative for a home worker to leave his or her flat/house than for someone based in premises. If you’ve spent all day at home then cabin fever might stalk you at night if you stay in during the evening too.
Daniel is a young blogger from London with a passion for business. He now works for Franchise Sales, where he helps people find the best sports franchise for their needs.