How to Make Your Friends and Family Respect Your Home Office

By Princess Jones

Working from home is a blessing and a curse. Sure, you have the option to avoid that morning commute and a dress code. But the other side of it is that you often have to fight for respect for your workday. The fact that you’re still in your pajamas makes some people think that what you’re doing isn’t as serious as if you went to a traditional office.

You’ve got to nip this in the bud. Here’s how you get some respect for your home office.

Designated Space is Crucial

It’s very hard for your kids to believe you’re at work if you’re sitting on the couch with a laptop with Game of Thrones on in the background. Part of that is because you’re in a common area of the house and they’re used to watching their cartoons or playing with their toys there. The other confusing part is that they sometimes see you with your laptop at night watching Youtube videos and you’re not working.

You know what you need? A designated space to work.

An enclosed room is great but it could even be a desk in the corner of the living room. Knowing that when you’re sitting there you’re working gives everyone notice not to interrupt you. And if you can’t have a designated space, try claiming designating certain hours. The kitchen table is a common area but you can reserve it for work for your office hours.

Set Some Office Hours

Speaking of office hours, you need to get some. If your friends know that you work during the certain hours, they understand that you can’t hang out or Facebook chat for hours. If it’s clear when you’re working, you’re going to be less likely to be asked to pick up someone’s dry cleaning “because you’re home anyway.”

You may be thinking “Hey, I got into working from home for the flexibility. This defeats the whole purpose.”

No, it doesn’t. You still have flexibility but office hours give you some stability. No one says that you have to work from nine to five every day. If it’s easier to work from five to noon, do that. I know someone who works from three am to two pm four days a week and takes off Fridays. That’s how she stays productive. Choose hours that work for you and stick to them.

Show Respect to Get Respect

The most crucial part of getting some respect for your home office is to show some for it. The more you make it seem like you’re just hanging out and not doing anything, the more everyone else will treat it that way. So close your office door and stop posting to Facebook. Don’t make running joke about how you do nothing all day. Stick to your office hours. Say no to errands or tasks that conflict with your work. Respect starts with you and spreads to everyone else.

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Princess Jones

Princess Jones is the evil genius behind P.S. Jones Copy & Design, where she helps food and drink businesses speak the language of their audiences. For more talk about copywriting, design, and the tools to pull them off, follow her on Twitter @imprincessjones.


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