According to a study by SkipTheDrive, an increasing number of professionals work remotely. There are more and more jobs on the market that allow you to work from home. What difference does it really make whether you write those emails and make those phone calls from the office? It doesn’t really make any. There are also those who divide working hours between the office and the home. In general, there aren’t many people who never work on their day jobs from their house or apartment.
Some company owners encourage working remotely, because, obviously, it cuts expenses, and many employees ask their bosses if it is possible to take the job home, or even traveling with them. Like many writers, web developers and people in lots of other lines of work are able to travel with their jobs, this brings up the deal with temporary offices workspaces. How do you get a practical, quiet and inviting temporary office as you are staying a month or two in different cities, bringing a full-time job with you?
It’s challenging. Your work is in files in your suitcase and on your laptop. Working from home is great. It’s freeing, less pressure, it’s basically all up to you. This also leads to a problem: too much freedom and too much responsibility. A typical problem people working from a home office have is that the kitchen and the bedroom are so close, it’s hard not to get distracted. Your mind is also set to home-mode, and you need to push yourself to get going. You would think that working from home means deciding everything about your surroundings, and so avoided sounds and interruption, other than the ones you can control. The distractions are basically yourself, your room, your comfort and maybe your family or partner. So what can we do to get into hard-working office mode while at home?
Find the spot
If this is your temporary rental home, you can’t go all the way and paint the walls in the color you prefer, or tear down a wall to get a bigger office. Make do with the house you’ve got. But where though? Is there a free room you can get installed in? An obvious rule is to not make your bedroom the same as the office! A corner or wall in the living room is a bad idea too. You’ll be looking at the couch when you feel tired. Find the room with the least amount of noise. Hopefully, this is far from the kitchen and living room. What is the quietest place in a house? Depending on its structure and how thin the walls are of course, but some things are general. Don’t put up your office somewhere other people need to pass through. It should have a door you can close, that’s a minimum requirement.
Once you have found the best spot, think of the lighting. Too much or too little or just right? If you need to work late, or are one of those that are in their peak production mode at night, you shouldn’t save on the lighting. Have at least one good office lamp that is movable. White light bulbs have another effect on the eye than yellow ones, so it helps you stay awake and focused. If the room has a window, make sure you can cover it well so you can control the light in the morning as well.
This is non-negotiable: get a comfortable chair! It is a common trap to think that because you’ll only be using this office short-term, you don’t need to get a good chair for your back and neck. You do! Get a comfortable chair that is also supportive, and keeps your back up straight. It should be a chair with wheels so you can quickly move from your desk to the bookshelves and the drawers. If the floor has a carpet, get rid off it. Having some space around you helps on your concentration. Feeling swarmed and stuck in a closet doesn’t exactly ease your mind. If the room you’ve chosen is too small for your liking, you can save space by putting the printer and other equipment in a closet, and making this the second desk.
A little decor
Yes, the office space should be a nice place to be. It should be inviting and a place where you feel like you are your own boss. If you decorate it too much, it could remind you more of a living room or bedroom. Try not to make it cozy, exactly, but cute, and give it a personal touch of yours. Perhaps you want to put up a little something that reminds you of an achievement you have made, to get motivated when you start in the morning.
A professional look
There are hardly any jobs where you can avoid the famous skype video call. So, make sure the walls in your office look professional and tidy. More importantly, if you are expecting to have consultations with clients or partners, try to make the path from the entrance of your temporary rental to the office as neutral looking as possible.