People who work from home still require a domestic office space that allows for the same level of productivity and organisation that a traditional office provides.
Times of economic decline often coincide with a rise in entrepreneurship. As counterintuitive as it might seem, the weakened job market and stagnant wages drive many to entrepreneurship, out of necessity alone. The result? More of us are working from home and in need of a productive, domestic office space.
Who is working from home, and why?
In May 2013, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) reported that the number of people working from home in the UK has risen 13% over the previous five years. The research also showed that most new home-working jobs have gone to women, with many female professionals opting for flexible, part-time jobs based in the home.
Perhaps the greatest catalyst to the growth in home-working has been the Internet. The importance of being able to communicate with business contacts and perform routine tasks from a ‘virtual’ office cannot be understated. Despite this, people who work from home still require a domestic office space that allows for the same level of productivity and organisation that a traditional office provides.
What makes a home office truly work?
While the perks of self-employment are regularly discussed by bloggers and columnists, the distractions of a domestic setting are a major hurdle. So, what’s the key to creating a home office on par with the traditional work environment? Seclusion, organisation and routine. More specifically:
Seclusion: The best home offices have a door – with a lock. Though not all home-workers have an extra room to use as an office, creating the illusion of seclusion with furniture or a curtain can make a major impact.
Organisation: From file cabinets to personalised business stationery, to home business software, a successful home office should draw on the best components of a traditional workplace. While items like staplers, notepads, pens and hole-punches may seem unimportant, together they contribute greatly to overall productivity.
Routine: Though working from home does make hitting that ‘snooze’ button slightly more acceptable, it can really help to stick to normal business hours. That means being awake and ready for the day by 9am, as well as shutting off the computer and switching out of ‘work mode’ by 6pm.
So, as the number of home-workers rise, so too does the demand for home offices. Creating a productive space away from the many domestic distractions can be difficult, but it’s a challenge more and more people (particularly women) are happy to take on.