When you moved to St. Cloud, Florida, you left the office space and began working from your remote location. Or maybe your life simply demands that you’re home for most of the day. Either way, you’re now trying to be productive while kids are asking for snacks, the dog won’t stop barking, and you can’t stop thinking about everything you have to do around the house. If you want to maximize the opportunity to work from home, you need to build a workplace environment that fosters focus and productivity. Here’s how you can do it.
Dedicate an Office Space
If you’re going to stay focused, you need to start by setting aside a space that’s dedicated solely to your work. At the minimum, this may mean a corner of the living room or one end of the kitchen table. Preferably you can dedicate a small bedroom to your work or finish your attic and put it to use.
Dedicating an office space will not only keep the kids from distracting you, but doing so will also help you get into a productive mindset. We psychologically condition ourselves to expect certain activities in certain area, so if you just work on the same couch where you watch TV, you’ll never get as much done. Plus, using a space in your home solely for your work can qualify you for a home office tax deduction.
Don’t be afraid to invest in this space. Get a nice desk with a comfortable chair, a high-quality Internet connection, a good printer, and whatever else your job demands. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re constantly frustrated with your ill-equipped workspace.
Set Priorities and Goals
Working from home requires a higher level of discipline and organizational skills that are not required as rigorously in an in-office job. There, you likely have a superior telling you what to focus on for the day. That kind of direction likely won’t come as often when you’re working from home, so it’s up to you to decide where to center your attention.
Start every day by looking at your current tasks. Take into account upcoming deadlines and direction from superiors, who may want one task completed before another. Next, make a list that orders your task according to priority, taking your schedule for the day into account. Set goals for the progress you want to make, and add whatever you don’t finish that day to your priority list for the following day. Setting such benchmarks helps you reach a discernible goal and helps you narrow your focus.
Work in a Productive Climate
How hard is it to focus when you feel too hot or cold, or you’re constantly sneezing? Comfort plays an important role in minimizing distractions and improving productivity. In fact, Cornell University conducted a study that found that when an office temperature was raised from 68 to 77 degrees, typing output increased by 150 percent and errors fell by 44 percent. Use a programmable thermostat to keep your home at a productive temperature, so discomfort doesn’t distract you. In order for your HVAC system to maintain that productive temperature, you’ll also need to invest in regular HVAC maintenance.
Temperature isn’t the only thing affecting your comfort and performance. If you don’t want to be sneezing all over your paperwork or be laid up in bed, you also need to maintain your indoor air quality. That means that, in addition to keeping your office space clean, you need to regularly change your HVAC air quality, and watch your humidity levels. Floridian summers can get uncomfortably humid, and if that excess moisture is causing mold and mildew growth in your home, you may need to invest in a dehumidifier.
Working from home can be a difficult challenge, but with a little preparation, some efficient habits, and a lot of discipline, you can turn your home into a productive and focused workspace. Start building a productive workplace climate by calling Frank’s Air Conditioning at (407) 490-2070.
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