It has recently been reported on news sites such as The Banner Herald that Microsoft has been establishing tree houses outside of its large campus in Redmond, Washington for employees to use. Tree houses are expected to make staff feel more relaxed and creative and give them a more pleasant working experience. While it must be pleasant to work in a treehouse, it remains to be seen whether this will actually improve employee creativity and productivity at Microsoft, but it does raise some interesting questions for those of us who run businesses from home.
How much of a difference does it make exactly where we do our work and could changing your working location from time to time actually make you more productive and efficient?
The Importance Of A Distraction-Free Workplace At Home
It is very important when you work from home that you have a place you can set up as a workspace where you won’t be distracted. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be at your desk all the time, but it does mean that you will be able to work without being distracted by domestic things, such as chores you feel you need to do, noise from children, and other family members, not to mention other things that might tempt you to procrastinate, like your TV or games consoles!
Even at an office, you won’t be completely free of distractions because there are usually people to talk to and background noise, so if you feel like you work better with some sound around you – for example, music or the radio – then you should do what makes you feel most comfortable and focused. However, you do need to make sure that your usual workspace is one that is completely dedicated to working.
Working Outdoors Can Change Your Perspective
One of the reasons why Microsoft believes that tree houses will be a good working experience for their staff is that working in an outdoor location on a nice day can not only be pleasurable but can also help shift your perspective, and perhaps even spark some new inspiration. This is something you can do at home too if you have a balcony or patio, where you can set yourself up a temporary desk on days when the mood takes you. Alternatively, some people find heading to a public park or other appealing outdoor space with their laptop or tablet allows them to get these benefits too.
Working In Other Public Places
Some people, particularly those who consider themselves extroverts, can find working from home on their own all the time can leave them feeling a little drained of energy. People who prefer some buzz going on around them can find that working in places like coffee shops or libraries can also help them to feel more energized and productive. The only risk is that you may find yourself more interested in making new friends than in concentrating on your work. If you can remain disciplined, however, it can be a good solution to head out to a public place to work from time to time.
The best place to work when you run a home business really depends a lot on your own personality and how easy you find it to concentrate when other people are around or there are interesting things that could distract you. Even so, working in different places can give you a lift in mood and can even help you to look at problems from a different angle.