While technology has enabled employees and entrepreneurs to work from home in record numbers, being productive at home requires more than a fast Internet connection. Your home office should have adequate equipment and amenities to accommodate your day-to-day needs. You must also keep business continuity in mind, and have backup plans in place.
Here are some tips from Forbes magazine, along with our own suggestions!
First, establish a dedicated workspace that keeps distractions at bay. If you do not have a spare room, you can create a workspace within a room using cubicle walls or a partition. The area should be away from household traffic, and should be an interruption-free zone. Psychologically, it’s important to commit to this area as a workspace.
Your workspace should include natural light, and a window if possible. Sunlight and fresh air contribute to alertness and well-being.
Next, be sure that you have a comfortable chair and workstation. A standing desk can be included, but it isn’t suitable by itself for an 8-hour day. Think about the nature of your work and the demands of your workday.
Arrange your work area to allow room for a printer/scanner, and for other common office supplies. Depending on the nature of your work, you may need room for mail, package assembly, a postage meter, and so on. A desk phone with a legal tablet and pens may seem old-fashioned, but a dedicated business line, and a fast way to jot down notes, can be more effective than juggling your cell phone while trying to type notes on your laptop.
Be sure that you have adequate electrical outlets, along with the appropriate surge suppressor power strips to protect your electronics. A residential power surge or electrical storm can damage your devices.
Get in good habits when it comes to data back-ups. If you use “cloud” storage, be sure the service offers strong data security. If you use physical backup devices, such as external hard drives or jump drives, secure them in a small safe. Routinely back up your data on a set schedule.
Give your workspace a touch of personalization without going overboard. Keep a professional mindset, but don’t make your work area so sterile that it bores you.
Keep good records, including your time spent “in the office.” Take your productivity seriously, and respect your need for a work/life balance. Also keep records of your office and business expenses. Treat your business like a business – not a hobby.
Finally, prepare a contingency plan for business continuity. Have an offsite location selected in advance in case your home loses power, or your Internet connection fails. A coffee shop, co-working space or library could do in a pinch.
If you are self-employed, you may find yourself eventually outgrowing your home office space! This could happen as your business grows and you need space to meet with clients, add employees and court investors. The good habits you establish in your home office could pay dividends for years to come.
We hope these suggestions help you! When you are ready to relocate or expand your business in the Boston Metro, team up with the Jay Nuss Realty Group! Whether you are thinking of buying or leasing Boston Metro commercial real estate, we can help you find the ideal property. Contact us today for expert guidance!