It’s wonderful when you can spare a room for your home office, but often enough it has a secondary function a few times a year. It’s a guest room as well. Your private work space becomes a place for your guests to sleep. You’re out of your perfectly set up work space. What can you do without your home office? You have a few options.
Take The Time Off
You have company, it may already be your plan to take the time off or at least work fewer hours. If your work is flexible enough and you can afford the financial hit or have paid vacation time, this may be your choice.
Taking time off won’t work for everyone. No one expects to always have the day off when company comes over when you work outside the home, so don’t assume you have to do so when you work at home. It’s nice to do when you can afford it and it fits into your work schedule, but it’s not always possible.
Explain To Guests That You Will Need The Room During Work Hours
While you obviously cannot do this while your guests are sleeping, if your work hours are during the day, you may be able to continue working as usual. Explain to your guests that they need to treat you as though you are away at work even though you’re just a room away. It’s what you’d have to do if you had a job outside the home, after all.
Show them the space that you will need to have left alone so that you can work. You don’t want their luggage on your desk or office chair, for example, when you want to start working. Point out things that should not be disturbed.
Set Up A Temporary Office Elsewhere
If your work setup is something you can move, you can work in a different space. This will probably be one of those less than ideal places such as your bedroom. This may be your only choice if you need to work night hours or otherwise cannot use your office space due to your guests.
Just as with your regular home office, do your best to make it a distraction-free environment. The kitchen table isn’t ideal for this reason. You don’t want to be in the middle of everything that’s happening in your home while you have company; you want to be a little away from it so you can be productive.
Whatever your solution may be, discuss it with your guests before they arrive so that they’re prepared to deal with the reality of you working at home. Many people have trouble understanding that working at home is just like working any other job, and that they need to let you work. If they need a lot of reminders, try to have another family member help keep them away as you work. You do not want to get in trouble with your job if you can’t keep a quiet work environment due to guests, so if that’s a need, be very clear about why you need quiet and why there are no exceptions, not even to tell you they’re headed out to do something for the day.
Of course, if you can be interrupted, tell them that too, and tell them how much or when. Let them know if too many interruptions will lengthen your work day or give you other problems.
Hopefully, you will have enough time off work that you can enjoy your guests. Make sure your needs and their expectations are discussed in advance so that you don’t have a lot of problems when your guests are in your home.