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Working from home - do you have a designated room for working?

Paul David

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I've worked from home for a few years now, I have my own office but often I'll work from the living room or another room in the house. (Like watching a seminar lying on my bed)

My wife doesn't like this, she feels that every room in the house is like my office.

To be honest I'm starting to doubt whether I should be staying in the office just from a productivity point of view. I'm never switching off. Whereas if I work when I'm in my office and then stop when I'm elsewhere in the house I think it will help with the work/life balance (oh and also keep the Mrs happy!)

For those that work from home what do you do?
 

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Rabby

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I mostly keep to the home office for work stuff. However, if I'm reading or writing/designing I'll sometimes commandeer the dining table for space. You definitely don't want piles of work stuff all over the house, because then it becomes impossible for anyone to organize. There's also something to be said for using the office "for work" and nothing else to set your focus (no random Internet, video streaming, etc)... but admittedly I do not do that.
 
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SparksCW

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I used to have a dedicated study and got loads done, in our new house I have a desk in the living room and really can’t get into it properly. Kids leave toys all over my desk and it’s just a nightmare so most of my work now is at my office.

Looking into a garden office to solve the home working issue.

Personally I’d keep all work to the dedicated office/study that way you’re more productive and your whole home isn’t your “office”.
 

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@Paul David I would find out what she actually has a problem with when you're working outside of the office. Then address that. Why does it bother her in other words?
 
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Paul David

Paul David

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@Paul David I would find out what she actually has a problem with when you're working outside of the office. Then address that. Why does it bother her in other words?
Moans about the noise of the laptop keyboard clicking when she’s been in work all day listening to that.

She said she just feels like the whole house is my work space there are no boundaries.
 

Tourmaline

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Hmm well, I suppose I understand that. Doesn't want to come home and feel like she's at work because of laptop sounds.

Two solutions imo:
1. You don't work on your laptop outside of the office on days she also worked.
2. You make working outside of the office a bigger pro for her to outweigh the cons of hearing your laptop. As in, you periodically do things for her or pay attention to her as well to make her feel some benefit to you not working in the office. Do enough of this and the benfits will outweigh the cons.
 

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Yes, I have a separate office. I find it useful as a mind trick. In the office I'm at work. Even my wife respects that I'm at work when I'm in my office. This is also very important if you claim home office space as a tax deduction.

I have a friend that took this to an extreme. He built an addition on his house with NO door on the inside. He has to get dressed and walk around to the back of the house - his commute to work.
 

Tourmaline

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He built an addition on his house with NO door on the inside. He has to get dressed and walk around to the back of the house - his commute to work.
Brilliant!

adds to his to do list
 

becks22

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Yes-- I think it's necessary. It creates the office environment that I need to be productive. Less distractions too especially if you have other people in the house during the day.
 

SD Entrepreneur

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I've worked from home for a few years now, I have my own office but often I'll work from the living room or another room in the house. (Like watching a seminar lying on my bed)

My wife doesn't like this, she feels that every room in the house is like my office.

To be honest I'm starting to doubt whether I should be staying in the office just from a productivity point of view. I'm never switching off. Whereas if I work when I'm in my office and then stop when I'm elsewhere in the house I think it will help with the work/life balance (oh and also keep the Mrs happy!)

For those that work from home what do you do?
Separate room with my desk upstairs away from wife/kids, no other way to get work done at home surrounded by the other noise/distractions...
 

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FriskyFleabag

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I have an office upstairs utilizing the 4th bedroom. My wife and I share it. I have all of my office stuff and books; she has her sewing machine and all fabrics with a table. It keeps us separated from the kids so no toys everywhere.
We are rarely in there at the same time, but we have a good time when we are. I also have a large white board so we can write objectives or whatever else.
 

Rabby

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I just want to mention that nothing is worth doing if it pisses off and annoys your wife ;) Home is less fun as a conflict zone. You know... one thing we have to be conscious of, which is related, is that we should plan our working hours to leave free time for the spouse when they are home, whenever possible. Keeping your relationship strong and happy and attentive is a business strategy in a way, because a fight with a loved one will take all the energy out of your entrepreneurial efforts.
 

GoodluckChuck

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I have an office in my house and a sweet desk setup. I do the majority of business in there.

When I do online courses and stuff that isnt business I sometimes do it in the living room and kitchen.

I'm 100x more productive in the office because it's less distracting.
 

EnviroAaron

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Like most of the above, I also have a dedicated home office, where I run my environmental consulting business.

With my wife also working mostly at home (hair/makeup, with a salon and office), two young kids and a demanding dog, not having a dedicated space would never have works for me. We actually bought out place a few years back, as it had extra bedrooms that we could covert into offices.

I have intentionally set it up like any other office with all the key things that help me stay focussed, such as gentle tunes, filing/storage, in/out trays, company logo on the wall (behind me and in line with computer camera for Skype calls), nice vista out to the garden (also a distraction if the sun is shining), mini fridge with water/snacks, etc.

I also try to minimise is doing personal things there, just so it keeps its focus as a place of work.

I've worked hard to train the family. The kids now get it when I say "I'm off to work" and I walk down the hallway with coffee in hand. My only interruption is the odd hello/goodbye as they do their things each day. They also know to come in quietly and check I'm not on a call.

All that being said... a huge part of why I chose to work from home was to have that closeness with my family. So, although they can be a little annoying at times and I can get the odd inappropriately timed office visit, that's why I do it, and its a small price to pay. Plus the majority of my clients also know how I work, so the odd little head popping into skype screen shot I just turn into a nice little ice-breaker anyway ;-)
 

Monkeycom

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I definitely have a room dedicated to work, and work only.
And I even recommend to rent an office.
Your relatives will just think you're available all the time if you work from home.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Random internet stranger advice.. just my .02

My gut says this isn’t the issue at all and there’s a WAY bigger underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

Take your wife out on some dates. Spend copious amounts of time with her, focused on her. Something else is driving her crazy and she needs time to vent.
 

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My gut says this isn’t the issue at all and there’s a WAY bigger underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

Take your wife out on some dates. Spend copious amounts of time with her, focused on her. Something else is driving her crazy and she needs time to vent.
I was thinking the very same thing. Paul, you are intently focused of learning as much about FB advertising as possible which takes a lot of time, probably often eating up the evenings. She may well be feeling neglected and rejected but won't come right out and say it as she knows you are under pressure.

Weekly date night? Laptop away on charge after 6:30pm? Have a romantic meal ready for her when she gets home from work? Get her some bath bombs and take the kids out for a few hours one evening?

It is easy to get fixated on our business (especially when there is a time line we have to meet) but it allows our relationships to slip, as I know only too well from past experience.
 
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Paul David

Paul David

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I was thinking the very same thing. Paul, you are intently focused of learning as much about FB advertising as possible which takes a lot of time, probably often eating up the evenings. She may well be feeling neglected and rejected but won't come right out and say it as she knows you are under pressure.

Weekly date night? Laptop away on charge after 6:30pm? Have a romantic meal ready for her when she gets home from work? Get her some bath bombs and take the kids out for a few hours one evening?

It is easy to get fixated on our business (especially when there is a time line we have to meet) but it allows our relationships to slip, as I know only too well from past experience.
The reason I asked wasn’t necessarily because she moans when I’m working around the house more from a productivity issue.

We had a date night on Saturday and all is fine. In fact the cue for my post was actually some advice from you which has helped me a lot.

I had a seminar last night and I was sitting in the living room with the laptop on my knee and the match on the tv in the background. I then thought to myself the old me would sit here half watching the seminar and half watching the match then not take any action on information learned. So I went upstairs in my office and took notes and concentrated solely on work.

The fact that it also keeps my Mrs happy is an added bonus!
 

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The reason I asked wasn’t necessarily because she moans when I’m working around the house more from a productivity issue.

We had a date night on Saturday and all is fine. In fact the cue for my post was actually some advice from you which has helped me a lot.

I had a seminar last night and I was sitting in the living room with the laptop in my knee and the match on the tv in the background. I then thought to myself the old me would sit here half watching the seminar and half watching the match then not take any action on information learned. So I went upstairs in my office and took notes and concentrated solely on work.

The fact that it also keeps my Mrs happy is an added bonus!
Ah, I had visions of you engrossed in evening webinars on the sofa and you wife feeling more and more neglected. Glad to know that's not the case.

I'm not sure what my advice was but glad it helped. I try to keep all my work to my desk.

By trying to only do productive work at my desk it trains my brain to associate that area with building my business, not playing games (I have Counterstike and a load of other games on the PC but I haven't opened any in a long time, nor dare I).

If I go mobile it's for a change of environment. So a cafe all morning and the library in the afternoon. Usually only when I'm feeling a little stale and can't concentrate at home.

I could move my desk to a spare room but we have a very large living room and so its down the far end. It means I can work in the evenings but will still be in the room with my wife so we can converse. If you wife is happy for you to lock yourself away to focus that's great news.

I know it's difficult at times if there are live webinars you need to attend out of 'normal hours' but otherwise I would have set times for work (8 till 5 for example) and live within that routine.

When I don't have the main business to run I work from around 6am till 3 then head to the gym for a couple of hours.
 
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Paul David

Paul David

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Ah, I had visions of you engrossed in evening webinars on the sofa and you wife feeling more and more neglected. Glad to know that's not the case.

I'm not sure what my advice was but glad it helped. I try to keep all my work to my desk.

By trying to only do productive work at my desk it trains my brain to associate that area with building my business, not playing games (I have Counterstike and a load of other games on the PC but I haven't opened any in a long time, nor dare I).

If I go mobile it's for a change of environment. So a cafe all morning and the library in the afternoon. Usually only when I'm feeling a little stale and can't concentrate at home.

I could move my desk to a spare room but we have a very large living room and so its down the far end. It means I can work in the evenings but will still be in the room with my wife so we can converse. If you wife is happy for you to lock yourself away to focus that's great news.

I know it's difficult at times if there are live webinars you need to attend out of 'normal hours' but otherwise I would have set times for work (8 till 5 for example) and live within that routine.

When I don't have the main business to run I work from around 6am till 3 then head to the gym for a couple of hours.
I agree on a routine. The problem for me
Is that when I’m not working in the office I’m sitting on the couch reading work stuff on my phone.

From Monday to Friday I could quite easily go through the week by only leaving the house to take the kids to school and back. And not to talk to another person other than my wife.

I exercise almost every day but I have a running machine in my garage. I used to be in a gym but found that by having the running machine I can get my work out over and done with quickly without the need to get in my car, drive somewhere etc. I do tend to go on walks every now and again to break it up though.

The days of playing midweek football with my friends are long gone. I’ve thought about trying something new, different through the week but my circumstances are dictated by finances at the moment and i honestly can’t think of something I’d like to do. I enjoy eating out and socialising of a weekend but that’s about it.

My main dream is to move to Spain, better weather, spend more time outdoors etc. So I tend to think to myself i might aswell work towards that as I can’t think of anything I want to do in England. The coming winter is going to be a struggle!

My aim is to make it my last! And I’m going to use that to drive me on.
 

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MoreValue

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I've worked from home for a few years now, I have my own office but often I'll work from the living room or another room in the house. (Like watching a seminar lying on my bed)

My wife doesn't like this, she feels that every room in the house is like my office.

To be honest I'm starting to doubt whether I should be staying in the office just from a productivity point of view. I'm never switching off. Whereas if I work when I'm in my office and then stop when I'm elsewhere in the house I think it will help with the work/life balance (oh and also keep the Mrs happy!)

For those that work from home what do you do?
Wish I could have a designated room for working. I just work wherever.

I feel like that is an entrepreneurship thing, I'm never switching off either. If you enjoy doing what you are doing, why stop?

Good thing, I'm single and can do whatever I want.
 

AmbitiousInstinc

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I've worked from home for a few years now, I have my own office but often I'll work from the living room or another room in the house. (Like watching a seminar lying on my bed)

My wife doesn't like this, she feels that every room in the house is like my office.

To be honest I'm starting to doubt whether I should be staying in the office just from a productivity point of view. I'm never switching off. Whereas if I work when I'm in my office and then stop when I'm elsewhere in the house I think it will help with the work/life balance (oh and also keep the Mrs happy!)

For those that work from home what do you do?
I work from cafe's, I found that I get a lot more done in a shorter period of time. Sitting down at a cafe, you have no choice but to smash all your work out as soon as possible.

Here are 3 reasons I work at cafe's: 3 Reasons Why I Work At Cafes - AMBITIOUS INSTINCT
 

Andy Black

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I timeshare with the kids by having a desk and PC in the playroom. When they’re home from school I can’t work anyway - except for when they’ve gone to bed.

Sure, I may be sat at the kitchen table on my phone while drinking a cup of tea. I try not to do that too much. Switching off when I’m not working is very important, and I need to get better at it.

My wife has the same issues with me not switching off. She’s right... I need to stop thinking about work when the family is home and I’m not at my PC.

To answer your question: Yes, I have a designated room to work in.
 

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