Home based business: 10 tips to make your home office work
Soloists know the benefits of working from home. They tend to be more efficient, spending less time in non-productive situations caused by travel and traffic than their office-bound friends. Read on to discover 10 tips to make your home office work.
As well as being able to work in your own comfortable environment, there’s also the opportunity of having more time with the family. It’s also more flexible.
The major problem with working from home though, is clearly separating work from downtime and home life. With your business literally only steps away from the home environment, everyone faces the temptation of overworking and never leaving the office.
Here are 10 tips to make your home office work.
1. Physically separate your work area or office from the rest of the house. Avoid setting up in leisure rooms such as your bedroom, lounge room or kitchen. Many find a separate entrance helps.
2. Have discipline and treat going to your office as if you’re going to work. Make the mental switch that you’re working. Dress appropriately.
3. Ensure your family respect the boundaries of your office.
"Ensure your family respect the boundaries of your office."
4. Don’t overwork. Try not to spend all your time in the office. Try to stick to set office hours and aim to achieve your work in a reasonable amount of time rather than dragging it out over a long period.
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5. Have a comfortable work environment. Set yourself up with a good desk and most importantly chair. Don’t skimp on poor and cheap furniture. It will cost you in the longer term as you become frustrated with the level of comfort. Buy the best your budget will allow. Allow for good lighting.
6. Have a separate work phone line and fax line. There’s nothing more frustrating for clients when they’re faxing through important details to find the line engaged.
7. Buy a decent computer, fax and printer – all essential tools for the soloist.
8. Avoid meeting important and unfamiliar clients at your home office. Meet on neutral ground such as a coffee shop or a professional location. Business clubs often provide meeting rooms for members free of charge.
9. Get out of the office regularly. Network at least twice a week with potential or current clients.
10. Plan enough storage for your business. It’s uncanny how much paper you accumulate in the so-called “paperless” office. Always keep good financial records and put in place a simple and efficient filing system.