Is your kitchen table now your office too?

Do you prefer working at home or working at the office?

Telecommuting is the new normal for many former office workers. In fact, a recent survey suggests that 91% of full time office employees would like the option to work from home once the pandemic is over. Employers see cost savings, a potentially more engaged workforce, and recruitment that isn’t limited by geography, so the best people can be hired for a job rather than the closest. Employees love the less stressful environment, an improved work/life balance, and not sitting in traffic for a couple of hours a day.

The rise of the entrepreneur had already driven the shift in perception of what constitutes the working environment and the current situation has tested that theory.

Working from home brings challenges too

Butter from breakfast smeared on the bottom of your laptop. Children and/or your spouse appearing in the background of that vitally important Zoom call – fingers crossed wearing all appropriate clothing.  And so many potential distractions.

Does your phone ring with the inevitable sales call from someone claiming to represent your broadband provider? Do family members make sure you’re ok, not too lonely, or in need of a 30-minute disquisition on Ben and Holly’s latest adventures? And, the big one (for me, anyway), easy access to your TV that awaits with the box set that you’re currently binge watching and the last episode you watched ended with the cliff hanger to beat all cliff hangers and you really need to know if your favourite character really is dead, an evil traitor, or capable of being less bossy and rude to suspected elderly witches and in need of rescue by a fairy princess and her elf friend! Sigh!

Overcoming the distractions

So, how do you overcome these distractions and have a productive day of extra-office working?

There is some great advice out there for those who want to make a success out of working from home. It seems that there will need to be rules, if you’ll pardon my use of so awful a word. These are self-imposed rules, rules that you tailor to your needs, your strengths, and your weaknesses. My rule would have to be a padlock on the TV cabinet where I only get the key on completion of the day’s tasks, somewhat like Crystal Maze but without the unflattering jumpsuits.

And, where to plonk yourself so you can get your head down and get working? The general advice seems to centre around creating an environment that you can work well in. Somewhere you can relax and still feel motivated. If you hadn’t worked from home often before the pandemic, have you been spreading out on the sofa? Or is your kitchen table now your office?

As it seems the whole working from home thing might be with us for quite a while, you have probably started making changes to your home to make it easier for you to be productive.

Your home office!

Some people have been looking at the little used spaces in their home that could be better utilised.

If you have a loft that is basically the place where empty cardboard boxes go to retire indefinitely, maybe a loft conversion would be your best bet. Perhaps your car resides on your drive and not in your garage, which instead houses all those things that might come in handy ‘one day’. That might be an excellent spot for an office as well as some highly organised storage. Do you have a good sized garden with a corner that never quite worked? A purpose-built, bespoke garden room could be the solution for you. All the benefits of electricity and the internet but away from the bustle in the house. And a spot with a glass wall giving you a hopefully tranquil, green and pleasant backdrop to your working day does sound quite wonderful, doesn’t it?

Whatever solution works best for you, splash out on a coffee maker, a comfy chair, and a window to sit by and you have the perfect place to get some serious work done!

Good luck in your domestically located endeavours!

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