Dealing with the unique problems of working from home
If you’re working from home, distractions created by friends and family can make it hard to focus on work. The following are a few tips that can make life easier and help you work more efficiently.
I have been working from home for several years now, and I’ve discovered that other people in the house can be very distracting. People talk, make noise, turn on music or the TV, and all of these things can distract you from what you need to get done. Fortunately, I’ve found a few ways to deal with the distractions and get more work done with less frustration.
If you do most of your work on a computer, I highly recommend getting a laptop. I don’t usually make expensive recommendations, but I’ve found that a laptop has increased my ability to work by leaps and bounds. With a laptop I can move from room to room and get away from a lot of the distractions in my home. It also helps to have wi-fi. I got a wireless router last month for only $25 at Best Buy. It would have cost around $60 to get one from my ISP, so I bought one myself. It works great, and now I have complete mobility.
If you can, set aside a room in your home as an office. Maybe a part of the garage or a spare bedroom can become your workspace. Having a room that is meant only for work allows you to have a quiet, private place where you can focus without distraction. You can have a TV or radio for background if you like, or you can have complete silence. If your home job requires the use of tools, this will also keep you from annoying anyone else with the noise.
If you can’t get a whole room to yourself, try making your work portable and setting up in a room that no one uses during the day. We have a home office, but with three other people in it, it can get noisy and annoying. I have a comfy chair in my bedroom along with a lap table and I go in there with my laptop to work if too many people are in the office when I want to work. I also have a folding table that I can use if I want to work on my crafts, and all my supplies are in cases that I can carry around without much trouble. If you have a large enough closet in your home, you can try setting up a chair and folding table in the closet for a private place to work.
If you have to be in the same space as other people, you can try setting certain times of the day to be your work hours, and ask your family to respect this time and stay quiet. If that doesn’t work, you can try using headphones to deal with outside sounds. You can either get noise-canceling headphones to create a sense of quiet, or you can play music to drown out the sounds around you. When I’m working in the bedroom and people are being noisy in the living room I often put the TV on one of the 24/7 music channels to create a peaceful setting and help me ignore the other sounds in the house.
Sometimes all the distractions we have at home can make it really hard to work, but it is possible to deal with them if you have a little patience and creativity. I hope these tips help you create a pleasant work space and make working from home a bit more comfortable and productive.