Working at home is often perceived as the ideal perfect work environment. However, not everyone is successful at it and many find themselves wishing for the days of moving back to their original office space.
There are many reasons and explanations why working at home may not be the most practical solution for some people in Hungary as well as over the world. For some, it may be a discipline issue, while for others it may be realizing the motivational role that personal interaction with others influences your motivation and enthusiasm. However, even for the self-motivated disciplined worker, other factors can lead to an unsuccessful, unprofessional, and non-productive workspace.
Choose your space wisely
When getting ready to migrate to the life of a home-based business, choosing where you want to set up your office is an important decision. For example, if you are a computer programmer, it is critical that your office does not get hot and has adequate ventilation. As a programmer, you will have multiple computers which can generate a lot of heat which increases the temperature of the room. If the room gets too warm it can cause your equipment to overheat and shut down.
Make sure that your computer is positioned where there will be good ventilation. In other words, where air circulation around the computer will not be an issue. Over time dust will accumulate inside and around the computer making it important that you clean around the area to cut down on the dust – such as in the power supply which can easily overheat.
In addition to concerns about your computer equipment, the overall space must be free from distractions and loud noises. In regards to distractions, this can be as simple as being too close to the living area of your home where people come and go and it is tempting to get involved in casual conversations which can take you away from your task at hand.
It is also important to not be distracted by noises around you such as radios or TVs. These may be in another room, but if you can hear it, they may take away from your productiveness. Not to mention the unprofessional impression this can create when speaking with clients over the phone.
Everyone loves to work near a window, however, remember to consider what noises are outside of that window. If you live in an apartment or condo, is there a child’s playground right outside? Are you next to a parking lot or next to a busy road with lots of traffic?
Take these considerations to heart as they will influence your workday and productivity. It is better to get it right the first time rather than having to relocate to a new room or office once you already took the time to get set up.
One of the benefits of working at home is the savings made as a result of no longer commuting, making lunch at home rather than eating out, etc. However, one cost which is easy to forget is your office equipment. Make sure to generate as detailed a list as possible before starting your first day on the job.
Here is a quick list of items to consider:
Printers – To save on paper try to purchase a printer that offers duplex printing. This means that the printer can print on both sides. This is especially useful when printing large documents such as manuals and documentation.
Copiers/Scanner – These are frequently used when scanning documents or contracts that are mailed to you through regular mail. Copiers are especially important when making deposits as you need to have a copy of the deposit for your bank records. If you can find a printer which is also a copier, it can be a good investment as it is a big space saver.
Mail Weigh Station – This item is often overlooked, but if you think you’ll be doing several mailings or sending packages in the form of promotions this is a plus to have. The automated systems which can stamp your mail envelopes for you are ideal and convenient will help you know what postage will be. Now you can purchase stamps online or print shipping labels helping to reduce time and energy from going to the post office and waiting in lines.
Often overlooked is the type of phone you use when doing business. Purchasing phone systems can be a very expensive item and frequently unnecessary. There are many options for your telephony needs without breaking the bank.
Cell phone – This option is good for people who are frequently on the road or meeting with clients. However, issues of connectivity and quality of service are important considerations as they can often be compromised when inside buildings or when reception is low.
VoIP – This type of phone runs over the internet and can range in price for service. Telecommunication companies that specialize in business accounts that allow for toll-free numbers, auto attendants, etc. often offer VoIP. Remember that the service relies on the internet so if your internet connection goes down you will not have the ability to make or receive calls. However, on the other hand, since all you need is an internet connection, you can physically move your phone to another location that does have internet and it will provide you with access.
SIP Trunking – This option is like VoIP in the sense it runs over the internet, but is based on a different set of protocols which allows it to have advanced functionality such as being connected to a corporate or another office. It integrates with many unified communication systems such as Microsoft Lync, ShoreTel, or Cisco. SIP trunking is more specialized and costs more than regular VoIP. You need to go through a SIP provider who offers this service and is certified with the various UC systems, such as a Lync sip provider. Finding good sip providers is not always easy but when you do they can help make your business shine.
Working from home is not for everyone, but for those who can handle it, these tips will help develop a more productive and professional environment which helps improve the reliability and image of your business.