Home office problems range from finding the right spot in your home to set up shop to keeping the environmental noise at a dull roar while you’re on the phone.
If you work from home full-time or just a few days a week, you’ve certainly experienced some home office problems that make working from home even more difficult than working from an office.
Many of our clients work from a home office and report feeling frustrated with issues we hear about over and over:
1) Finding the motivation to work, 2) Being productive without the accountability of working with others, 3) Finding the right area for the home office, 4) Dealing with environmental distractions and noise, and 5) Keeping work separate from family and personal time.
Solutions to these common home office problems do exist. If you’re committed to making your home office your go-to place for work, solving the problems that come with the territory won’t be so tough. Here are 5 solutions to common home office problems!
5 Solutions to Common Home Office Problems
Problem: Finding the motivation to work
When it’s just you and your laptop, it can be tough to muster the motivation to get started each morning. Even if you manage to get going, keeping up the pace is hard work and motivation tends to fizzle around lunchtime.
Solution: Creating structure for your day
You can bypass this problem by creating more structure for your day. Instead of relying on internal bursts of motivation and drive, rely on a set schedule that tells you when it’s time to work and when it’s time to take a break. Routines make it easier to stick to a schedule and stay motivated to get your work done.
Problem: Being productive without accountability
Many of us are used to relying on a boss or colleagues to keep us productive and hold us accountable for the amount and quality of work we get done. When working from home, that accountability can all but vanish, making it a real challenge to be productive and push yourself.
Solution: Find an accountability partner
But if you can find an accountability partner, things will be much easier on you. Whether it’s a colleague from work, a fellow work-at-home buddy, or your spouse, check in with someone throughout the day to update them on your progress. This is even more wonderful if it’s shared accountability, with the other person also reporting their productivity (or lack thereof) to you.
Problem: Finding the right area for your home office
You may have started out believing you could sit on the living room couch while you work and call that your home office, but you’ve realized that:
a) That couch isn’t as comfortable as you thought
b) People keep walking through while you’re trying to work
c) Holding your laptop in your lap isn’t great for your neck and back.
Solution: You need a door, a desk, and not much else
Forget couch surfing. Turn one of your rooms into a home office, and if you don’t have the space, pick a bedroom with good lighting to set up a small desk in. At the bare minimum, you need a door and a desk for a productive home office.
Problem: Dealing with environmental distractions and noise
Working from home takes on a whole new laundry list of challenges if you have children or if your spouse also works from home. Family is wonderful, but when mixed with work, it can be disastrous. Loud noises, music, yelling, picking up the phone in the middle of an important call, needing your help while you’re busy with a project – dealing with environmental distractions and noise can make working from home much more difficult.
Solution: Outsource your call answering
You can’t always quiet loud 6 year olds or predict when the television in the next room will roar to life at full volume, but you can ensure none of those things happen while you’re on the phone. By outsourcing your call answering to a third party provider like Conversational, you can keep up the illusion of a quiet, serene workspace even if your children are home and hopped up on sugar.
Problem: Keeping work separate from your personal life
When your office is in the same place that you’re supposed to relax and wind down in, keeping your work life separate from your personal life is especially difficult.
Solution: Use routines to signal work beginning and ending
One home business owner says he gets into his car and drives around the block once before turning around and coming back home each day to start his evening routines with family. Why? Because it helps him clearly delineate work from home.
“When I hop in the car after finishing work each day, it reminds me of driving home from the office. And since my home office is tucked away behind a closed door, once I finish for the day, I shut it and don’t return until the next morning. It helps me keep my family and personal life separated from my career.” – Thomas Banecheck, home business owner