A laptop, phone and flowers sitting on a desk

Working from home – either on a full-time basis or one or two days a week – is becoming increasingly popular in the UK today. Whether you are a free-lancer or self-employed, a professional who spends one or two days a week working from home, or a student who needs to study, the place where you are working is a major factor in your ability to be productive.

Ensuring that you have the right environment is essential to be able to work effectively and can make the difference between your working from home being successful – and not.

With this in mind, here are a few tips to help to make your home working environment the one which will boost your productivity and allow you to make the best of your opportunity for a more flexible lifestyle.

Allocate a Specific Working Space

There can be two challenges to overcome when you are working at home – your ability to motivate yourself, and other people’s conceptions of what you are doing. You need to be in a space where you won’t get distracted by being at home – it could be the TV or doing the housework, but also not allow other people to distract you – extra flexibility might mean that you can have a friend over for a cuppa or take the children to school, but they might not ‘get’ that you also need to do your work.

A good way to help with this is by allocating a ‘working space’ which is dedicated to work, separates your work and home life for you, and gives a sign to others that you are working.

Your work space could be a spare room, garage, or, as is becoming increasingly common, a space in the garden such as a customised storage container. According to S Jones Containers, containers can be built to the technical requirements needed, using CAD concepts and proofing. You can make this space a haven for working, giving you the peace and tranquillity to concentrate, without disruptions or distractions, and allowing you to use your time more efficiently.

Organisation and Safety

Just because you are working at home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still try to stick by workplace health and safety, and tidiness rules. Not only will this help to keep you safe, but it will also keep your head in a ‘working’ and productive state of mind. Be strict on yourself to keep things tidy and organised, make sure that your computer, desk, and chair heights adhere to health and safety recommendations, try to clear your desk (if you have one) at the end of each day, take the rubbish out regularly, and keep things repaired and well-maintained.

You owe it to yourself to be safe in your workplace, and it will also help with your productivity.

Be Comfortable

One of the benefits to working or studying at home is that you can be comfortable in your environment and you don’t have to suffer anyone else’s bad habits. You should embrace what you believe that makes you as productive as possible and incorporate this into your workspace.

This could be as simple as getting the right room temperature for you, flooding the room with natural light, or installing a stereo system which allows you to play music which helps you along with your work.

You have the chance to completely customise your working environment so that it suits you and you only, so make the most of it!

Spend a bit of Money

Although you might not want to be forking our a lot of money for luxury office furniture – especially if you’re a student or starting out in your own business – it is important that you have good quality furniture, the technology which allows you to do your work productively and effectively and that safety is placed at the centre of everything.

If you are working for yourself, it is more important than ever that you are as productive as possible, and to ensure that you can safely do this, you might need to spend a little money. By spending it wisely, however, you are making an investment and it should pay itself back either in the success of your business or in your general health and happiness.

You should think about getting an ergonomic chair, the right software for your work, or PPE if needed, for example.

Working or studying from home is a great option for many people. It does, however, require a degree of self-discipline and motivation, and ensuring that your work environment is conducive to being productive is an important factor.

By separating out your home and work life and time, you can make sure that your work time is effective, and your home time allows you to relax and forget about work, meaning that you can stay happy, healthy, and successful.