This is a video from a Udemy course I created a few years ago to help people maximize their efficiency while working from remotely or from home. Instead of selling it as a paid course, I’m sharing the content here, for free. I hope you find it helpful. -Ron Stauffer

When you start working from home, I’d encourage you to think of it as the old West days. Where explorers and frontiers people would go out and stake a claim. They’d look around and they’d say, uh, I want this land here and they’d find a stake with their name on it and plant it in the ground. That’s what you need to do when you work from home, analyze your whole living space.

Again, whether that’s an apartment townhome or a full blown house with lots of bedrooms, find an area that works for you. And claim it and don’t be ashamed. Be proud of it, make sure that you have decided this is where I’m going to work and make sure that everybody else who lives with you knows it and understands.

It’s important to stake your claim because working from home is bound to cause problems. Especially if you have other people who live at home with you, whether that’s children, whether you have roommates, whether you have older folks, maybe grandparents who live at home with you, there will be friction.

And I promise you, it’s going to get frustrating. Sometimes office buildings are made and designed with work in mind. They have rooms with doors, you can close. They have conference rooms with big whiteboards and telephones where you can call and have lots of people having a conversation at the same time about the same thing, no matter where they are in the world, houses were not made for work.

And no matter how much you try to shift the, the way that your household works in order for you to work from home, there’s still going to be some friction because they weren’t designed for work to happen. Even if you’ve designed and built a home with a home office space built into it, you still have to deal with things like.

The garbage truck coming by on a Thursday morning or airplanes flying overhead, or your kids coming home from school or the next door neighbors playing music too loud. There are always going to be challenges working from home. So when I say stake a claim, what I mean is find a dedicated workspace. And no, I said, workspace, not work place.

But workspace is just that a space where work happens. It doesn’t have to be a whole office or a whole bedroom, or a whole section of part of a room. It could just be a corner in one room, but everybody needs to know that that’s where your work happens. That’s your work space. If you’re currently working from home.

And it’s a temporary situation that you think will only last for a couple of weeks or maybe a month or two, you can even do something really flimsy. You can section off a part of a room by stacking banker’s boxes or putting line of bookshelves in the middle of the room so that you can kind of get a sense of having your own office space without having to take over the whole area.

I saw a really good example of this inaction. One time where I had some clients where there were two guys working in the same room, eventually they were going to build two separate office spaces for them. But in the meantime, they were working together in the same place. As you might imagine, they were tripping over each other and getting irritated because sharing a space is awkward.

So one of them had a really great idea. He took some painter’s tape and cut the room in half. By making a line from one side of the office to the other side. And the rule was, this is your side. This is my side. I stay on my side. You stay on your side. It worked. And at the end of the month, or however long, that period of time took before they could finish their remodel, they just pulled up the tape problem solved.

However you need to set up your home office space. Do so, even if it’s temporary, if you need to work from home. Don’t apologize for that. Take bold action and be proud of it. If you have family members that you need to explain and get them on board with you, do it, tell them what’s going on. Dad needs to work from home for the next couple of months, for whatever reason or mom got a new job and she’s going to be working remotely.

And because of this, here are the ramifications. Don’t be ashamed of that. Be proud of it and remind everybody if this applies to you that we’re all in this together and that your family is inherently interested in you succeeding. So the more they understand what you need to do your job at home. Well, the better it will be for everyone.

It’s important to communicate to all the stakeholders involved. If you have people who live at home with you again, whether that’s family or roommates, whatever you need to communicate to them. This is my spot. And I’m going to be working here from this time to this time, that way they’re on board, they understand, and they can respect your need to not be distracted.

One final note. It’s very important for you. No matter where you were to have a quiet place where you can take phone calls, let’s think outside the box here. If you don’t have a quiet room where you can do that, you might be able to take phone calls in the garage or on your back porch, or even in your car, whatever you need to do, find a place where you can take a really important business phone call without.

Kids screaming in the background without dogs barking, without airplanes flying overhead, whatever those distracting noises are, make sure you have a place where you can make and receive phone calls in relative silence.