I’m Working From Home And Want A Productive Space
Even five years ago, the idea of working from home was a notion relegated to only the most daring–or reckless–souls in the workforce. You had to start your own business, possibly freelancing or consulting and all the risks that entails, if you were going to “work in your pajamas.”
For most mainstream businesses, the idea of allowing full-time, traditional employees to work from home was a frightening prospect.
Slowly, forward-looking startups began to unravel and solve all those worries. Project management software and websites, document sharing solutions like Google Docs, and other tools of the home-office trade, popped up to fill the need.
Nowadays, even old-school traditional businesses are starting to see the wisdom of remote workers. Companies like U-Haul, Amazon, and Xerox are quickly adopting remote work arrangements to deepen their talent pools and curb their expenses.
If you are one of the growing number of people who have found the opportunity to work from home, whether as a remote worker or as a more traditional freelance or consultant business, there are certainly some things to consider when it comes to setting up your own workspace at home.
Some companies, such as Citigroup, which employs remote workers for parts of its debt collection teams, have stringent rules for home office setups. Employees who work from home must have dedicated computers from which to work, with specific security protocols in place. Workspaces must be quiet and away from the usual interruptions of family life, lest phone calls sound unprofessional.
While a particular employer’s requirements for quiet, separate workspace and equipment, or availability during specific hours must all be considered, there are other home office setup arrangements that may be left up to the employee. In this regard, remote employees, telecommuters, freelancers, consultants, and other home-based businesses all face similar challenges.
How you set up your home office can make a tremendous difference in your income potential, your ability to efficiently and effectively do your job, and even your health. Here are three of the most important considerations anyone who works from home should look for.
Your Telephone Setup
Of all the tech options a home office should consider, this may be the most critical. Therefore, it is the one “tech issue” we will list here.
Even if you do most of your communicating with fellow workers, clients, and others via email or chat programs, if using the phone is in your business plans at all, give a lot of thought to how you do it. Sometimes, relying on your cell phone, on Skype, or on Google Voice just will not cut it.
You do not have to be a giant like Xerox or Citigroup to have an effective telephone setup. Even online marketing agencies with only a few team members in various locations can benefit from a well-considered telephone solution.
Our customized remote and home office hosted phone systems fit the bill nicely in this regard.
These systems help give a home-based workforce that much-needed feel of legitimacy. No one minds dealing with someone who is working from home, it just should not feel like they are in a home environment. A professional telephone setup from Vaspian is one of the fastest ways to convey that professionalism and legitimacy, even if you are in your pajamas when you use it.
Too many home workers do not consider their lighting needs until it becomes a problem. As a general rule, allow as much natural light into your office space as possible. Obviously, you want to have an appropriate amount of light by which to work in your home office area. Planning for sunlight is not just about the level of light for work.
Letting sunlight into your work area is critical for your mood, including helping you keep your internal clock from going haywire. Workers who can’t see the sun often find themselves dealing with a range of problems, including sleep difficulties, weight gain, depression, and poor eyesight.
If you are unable to allow in actual sunlight, then you will need to fake it. Use the brightest compact fluorescent bulbs you can and light up the room.
Desk or Workspace
As with lighting, your desk area or workspace is a critical part of your day-to-day business setup. If your desk height or chair is wrong, you risk back and neck issues that can plague you so badly as to stop work.
Some home workers heartily recommend sitting on a yoga ball at your desk or even having a standing desk. Some go so far as to rig that desk at a treadmill. Consider spending some time at an office supply or furniture store, carefully making your decision. Bring your laptop and sit at different desks, try different chairs. Office furniture is not cheap. Pick the wrong one and you will pay for it long after you have bought it.
These three things–your telephone solution, your lighting, and your desk–are core pieces of any home office setup. All the other decorations, filing systems, organization tools, and the like can be tweaked and tried over time. These are where you do your work and how your clients see you. Choose them carefully.