26 Feb How To Beat The Home Office Blues
The number of location-independent freelancers and entrepreneurs is growing daily, and for good reason. The freedom of working from home is nothing short of amazing.
For starters, there’s no ‘boss’, you choose your own hours, and you can from wherever you want.
As incredible as that is, there are still a few drawbacks.
It’s Almost Perfect…
Leaving a 9-5 job may seem like the best decisions you can make.
But believe it or not, there are some things you’ll miss about that old office job…
Offices can be fun, social work environments with great peers. This is something you may forget about but soon realize when making that transition to the home office.
You are by yourself for the entire day and it can become lonely at times—even with an active social life. If you live alone or with a partner, you may go days without seeing someone else. This can put pressure on your relationships and it may start to wear on you as humans are inherently social beings.
Separation of Home and Office
Offices are dedicated to one thing: work. It’s easier to be productive when everyone around you is doing the exact same thing and focusing on the same goals.
Yes, being able to work from home in your pajamas is nice. But working at home also makes it that much harder to be productive when nobody else is around you is working. Some people can make it work, but most can’t sustain this for very long.
One common trap is when you fail to separate your ‘work’ space from your ‘freetime’ space. People also find that the time spent ‘relaxing’ at home will be negatively impacted because you think of it as a workspace.
It’s important to separate these areas as much as possible. Having a dedicated office inside your home is a great way to combat this issue. Heading in to ‘work’ may take the form of a dedicated ‘office’ in your home.
These may sound like trivial things, but they can have a huge impact on productivity and work-life balance.
Here are Some Tips to Avoid the Home Office Blues…
Create a More Workable Space
These days, top performing businesses are investing time and energy into workplace design. If you work from home, you should care just as much about your work environment. Your office should consider things like natural lighting, office space, and ergonomic design to foster productivity and improve your mood. This may include:
- Clean work surface
- Posture-friendly furniture
- Ergonomic layout
- Functional organization
- Natural light
- Avoid “Bad” Foods And Get Exercise
If you tend toward feelings of isolation and loneliness, sugary, carb-filled foods will make those feelings worsen. Stock up on healthy choices and get into a routine that keeps you fit and happy. Schedule trips to the gym or another form of exercise. It clears the mind, releases stress and supports healthy brain chemistry. You’ll be far more productive when your body is happy and healthy.
Open Up Your Schedules
When working from home it may seem like you have all the time in the world, however, it is just as easy to feel boxed in. Not many people take into consideration how claustrophobic it can feel when you work and live inside the same four walls. One of the major complaints home-based workers have is how lonely it feels to work from home.
Beating the home office blues often means making an effort to become less isolated. This could mean joining a local organization or activity that holds regular events. It might come in the form of a weekly lunch with industry colleagues, or making more time during evenings for friends.
Pro tip: take a short break daily in the form of a 15 minute walk. Get some fresh air and reset.
If Those Tips Don’t Help, Try a Coworking Space
Finding The Right Space
Over the past five years, coworking spaces have started to sprout up all over the world to solve some of the problems one faces in the home office.
If you don’t know what a coworking space is, think of it as a place for people that don’t want to rent out their own private office. It’s a like a cafe in a university, but everyone is dedicated to freelancing or entrepreneurship.
Understand what each coworking space provides is key to selecting the right environment for you.
Coworking spaces can be the perfect place to get that connection that you are missing when you work from home.
These are great places to collaborate with other like-minded people who are usually as driven and motivated as you. They are doing the exact same thing: trying to learn, grow, and develop as quickly as they can. It’s much easier to stay focused in a coworking space since everyone else is doing the same thing.
These spaces also bring people from every niche and industry you can think of. This exposes you to some fantastic concepts and businesses you wouldn’t normally think about. Some incredible partnerships and business ideas have been born in these workspaces.
Stationary and Supplies
No matter how many office supplies you buy, you won’t have as nice of a printer, conference equipment, or an espresso shop at home. You can certainly go without all that stuff, but having it makes life easier.
You don’t realize how much there is to gain by going to a coworking space until you finally try it for the first time… The only downside is it makes working from home even harder to do once you join.