Modern-Shed General Manager Tim Vack has worked from home for 20 years, broken up for a time working in an office with employees.
“Working from home with no commute is the best … for me,” he says. “For entrepreneurs and small business owners, there are large benefits in cost savings and tax advantages. For employees of other companies, the big savings is in time, frustration and cost of the typical commute.”
We know working from home has its challenges as well, and since so many of our customers use Modern-Shed to work from home, we’ve outlined some tips to be your most productive self without sacrificing the benefits of working from home.
- Keep an eye on the clock: Working from home can be distracting, so discipline is necessary to keep focused. Just as if you were in an office, let the clock be your guide. Set and keep business hours. Sticking to a set time to start and end each workday creates a regimen and making it easier to maintain focus to keep from sleeping in, knocking off early or spending half the day doing errands or house chores.
- Maintain a work mindframe: Have the attitude that you are at work. This might include how you dress and interact with anyone else that might be home such as spouse, parents or children. Make sure people know that just because you are at home, it doesn’t mean you are available. Be clear with your mate and children about how or when you can be contacted, disturbed or interrupted by appointments or emergencies.
- Be responsible: The responsibility to get your work done rests on you. Create guidelines, benchmarks and goals for yourself weekly. Be accountable to yourself for getting through the to-do list, the calendar or the Post-It notes. If necessary, create a “report” you can share with the “boss,” whether that is a real boss, yourself or your spouse.
- Get out: We know it’s easy to not leave the house all day … or all week. To keep your sanity, get out into the world. Go out for lunch once a week. Go outside for a 10-15-minute walk for a midday break to get fresh air. Join a local networking group. It is important not to get stale with just your own thoughts, ideas and opinions. Being around other business people generates energy, new ideas and possibly new customers depending on your career.
Ultimately, one of the biggest tips we can give you is to create your own space.
Working from your bedroom, dining room table, the basement or even a spare room might not be the best way to have a productive work life, says Tim, who has worked in all manner of spaces.
“It doesn’t matter how big your dining room table is, you’ll be thinking of what to make for dinner, or how big your bedroom is, you might be tempted to take a nap,” Tim says. “Even a separate room may not be enough to keep out the sounds of a child crying or the dog needing to go out.”
That’s why the No. 1 use for our Modern-Sheds is a home office space, conveniently located in a private and professional space only steps from the house.
Make your Modern-Shed home office inviting by investing in a quality desk (perhaps a standing one to increase calorie burn) and phone, one that won’t be interrupted by personal calls and texts.
Consider the colors and textures that you like, keep your space organized and comfortable and let windows bring in natural light to restore your energy and relieve eyestrain from staring at a computer all day.
The biggest reason why people turn to a Modern-Shed home office beyond having their own private space is, of course, the cost savings.
From the dreaded commute that wears on your vehicle and your wallet to the added bonus of a tax advantage, there are many considerations to keep in mind.
“What you can save in fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle alone is amazing, let alone the time savings,” Tim says. “Just think what you could do with 250-375 hours per year and an extra $4,000 to $5,000.”
Talk to your tax professional for details about the IRS’ home office deductions, which can be significant when considering the purchase of a Modern-Shed or converting an existing space. Bills such as utilities, phone and internet can also be deducted, in accordance with the IRS guidelines.
There are large benefits to working from home — it saves time, money, the environment, your sanity and your relationships (we haven’t even discussed being closer to family).
If you invest in a Modern-Shed home office, you could work full-time, have an additional 275 possible billable hours per year, with the Modern-Shed paying for itself in commuting costs within four years. Talk about return on investment!
Visit modern-shed.com to see what Modern-Shed can do for you.