For many business owners, the kitchen table doubles as the boardroom table, the spare bedroom is the executive office, and what was once the garage is now the warehouse. Add to that the family obligations (and perhaps toys) can encroach on your “work space,” and operating a real estate business from home can be challenging and stressful. So here are five ways to increase the productivity of your home office space.
- Define your space. Having your own dedicated workspace is key to being able to focus. Open areas like the kitchen or family room will lead to distractions. Try to allocate a specific room to your business activities. Make it conducive to being productive by ensuring there’s proper lighting and the temperature is stable and comfortable. In addition, various studies have shown that having windows, plants, and art in your office can reduce fatigue, improve health, and inspire creativity.
- Embrace technology. Technology can increase efficiency regardless of where you’re working. Cloud storage, internet fax services, and online accounting software can turn your laptop into a fully functional office regardless of where you are.
- Create a work-friendly workstation. Leave the sofa and coffee table in the den. For maximum productivity, invest in a proper office chair and desk. A quality chair will reduce fatigue, while a large enough desk will keep you organized. You also need proper storage for your files, such as a filing cabinet, if you’re dedicating significant time working from home or giving up the brick-and-mortar brokerage.
- Separate business and personal. It’s important to let everyone know that just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re available for social activities. Make sure your lunch dates are with clients, prospects, or agents. Checking into Facebook all the time can have a significant impact on your productivity if you’re not using it for advertising or connecting with clients. Too hard to resist so many temptations? Check out the next point.
- Create a schedule for everything. When working along, it’s easy to get distracted with updating your social media profiles, doing that last load of laundry, or taking a long lunch. That’s why it’s crucial that you create a daily schedule, and stick to it. Designate specific times for every type of task, including breaks and meals.