With the ability to easily communicate from any location, working from home has become a popular option in recent years. Whether you telecommute to a corporate job or have your own home-based business, working at home eliminates tedious travel to a separate office.
However, working at home can be challenging due to the many distractions around you, such as dishes to be done, vacuuming to do and a dog wanting to be walked. How do you escape those distractions and focus on your work? The answer is to add a flex room to your new home.
What’s a Flex Room?
A flex room - also known as a multi-purpose room - is a space which can be used to serve many purposes. It may have possibilities as an office, a dining room, a yoga room, a music room or a storage space. Flex rooms for business purposes can be ideally located just inside the front door, or at the rear of the home with a dedicated separate entrance.
The ideal flex room should be separated from the rest of the house to offer quiet and the ability to focus on clients and phone calls. The ability to completely separate your workspace from the rest of your home allows you to set clear boundaries and devote organized time to both parts of your lives.
The Challenges of Working Remotely
Being surrounded by aspects of the home environment and with no peer pressure to stay focused can be a challenge for many who work at home. Success with this type of work environment requires structure, dedication, and good time management.
Determining the hours when you need to be available to your boss or your clients is the best starting point, and you may also choose times when you tend to be at your most productive.
It’s easy to let work spill over into your home life, so keeping the two separate is a two-way street. If you work set hours in a focused way, your work will be complete and shut away in your flex room. Then, you can relax with your family and enjoy time spent in the rest of your home.
Kids and Pets: Setting Boundaries
Because distraction-free work time is one of the biggest obstacles for working at home, it’s important to keep your kids, pets, and spouse out of your flex room. If you allow it to become a social gathering place, it will be difficult to maintain your boundaries when you need to focus on work.
A flex room with doors is ideal to ensure maintenance of your quiet workspace, and locking doors are essential to avoid interruptions from children.
Planning Your Work Day
Having a plan for your daily work is an important part of successfully working out of your home. Starting your day by outlining your tasks and checklists for the day will help you to stay on track and complete your work as planned.
When you enter your flex room to start your work day, planning your day’s work activities is a wonderful way to move into your working mindset to focus on your goals.
Work Attire for Your Flex Room
Even though you are at home and can potentially work in your pajamas, wearing appropriate clothing for your work time will help you to adopt a professional work mentality and will help you separate your flex room office from the rest of your home’s living space.
Preparing for your work day as if you are planning to commute to an office can improve your focus and productivity. If you treat your flex room like a real office environment, it will help you to continue to set those boundaries between work and home.
Organizing Your Flex Room
If your flex room office is comfortable and well organized, you will be more enthusiastic about working in the space and spending your productive hours there. A large, centrally situated desk with a comfortable chair and all the contemporary tools for your storage and communication needs will make your time in your flex room businesslike and productive.
When you are organized in your dedicated flex room space, you’ll feel more confident, more professional and better equipped to make the most of your work day. Entering your flex room as if it is a corporate office and decorating it to have a businesslike environment will help you to focus on your work and see your flex room as a dedicated workspace rather than an extension of your home.
A Professional Environment
Another advantage of creating a professional look in your flex room office is the option to have clients, co-workers or even your boss visit you in your home office. A haphazard, messy space in the corner of your dining room does not give a positive impression, but a nicely organized flex room with a dedicated entrance helps your clients, boss, and coworkers to see that you take your job seriously.
Purchasing a new home with a convenient flex room is a wonderful way to set yourself up for successfully working in your home. A separate flex room allows you to set boundaries and prevent distractions in your home environment from interrupting your work day, so you can successfully transition to the reality of working out of your home.