Are you working at home already? Or is it something you’re considering doing in the near future?In my experience (and I’ve spent 20 years successfully working from home) the idea of working from home is one many aspire to, with the ideals that it brings a healthier quality of life, which it certainly can.But to make it work and for you to create a successful business working from home, you need to GET ORGANISED!Once you’re organised you can conquer the world, or at least stay happily on top of your own little corner of it.With this in mind, this is the first of a few articles relating to giving you some simple but key tips on how to successfully work from home…Tip #1 Set Up Your Work Space At HomeFirst, you need space. Somewhere that’s yours, even if it’s temporary! Thankfully, working from home means you can be creative and flexible. If your home doesn’t have a dedicated office or study, then think about where else could you find space? Are there a few square feet to spare in any of these?
Loft or Attic
Basement or cellar
Corner of living room or bedroom (you can even use a simple privacy screen if necessary, to give you more of a private area)
Foyer or lobby
Hall or landing
Laundry room, utility room
Once you’ve decided where your home office will be, you need to be set up right with the correct equipment to get the job done.Essentials include:
Desk (or any flat surface ie kitchen table, where you can work)
Computer – desktop or laptop/notebook with Internet access, ideally broadband which provides much quicker internet access, and allows you to use the phone & internet at the same time.
Phone (using a digital cordless phone gives flexibility, in case you have to move to another space)
Filing system (cabinet, crate, box, concertina folder)
Comfortable (important!) chair
Good lighting (equally important if you’re planning on working late)
Basic office supplies (pens, highlighters, folders, stapler etc.)
But (and this is a very important “but”)… don’t go out and spend a fortune on ‘stuff’ straightaway. learn to start with what you have, add what you absolutely need. Once the money’s coming in you can spoil yourself with shiny new stuff but do that only when your business begins turning a profit and you can afford the extras.As you purchase things and create your workspace, keep in mind the need to be flexible and efficient. Your computer is crucial. Make sure your computer is ‘man enough’ to do what you’re asking of it – there’s nothing more frustrating then having to continually wait while your computer opens files, connects and/or reboots.Ensure your software up-to-date, and you’ve installed adequate anti-virus and firewall protection (something I’ve learned the painful way!). Create regular backups of your data. Your data is your business’s lifeline… protect it above all costs.Using a laptop or notebook computer and wireless Internet means you can work anywhere in your home, even outside in the garden! If you are a stay-at-home mum or dad and you have small children who can’t be left unsupervised, a wireless laptop is ideal. You can work wherever your kids are.A notebook with wireless also lets you work outside your home wherever there’s wireless Internet… in local restaurants, coffee shops, hotel foyers, airports, etc. Having the option to “go out and work” can make a tremendous difference to your quality of life and productivity.Another great tip to maximise your budget, space and time is to combine functionality. If you need a printer, look for a model that includes a printer, copier, scanner and fax machine… all-in-one – there are some great ones available at very reasonable prices.No matter how small your work space, enjoy creating one that is just for you, by making it personal to you. I love my work space – and you need to do the same, after all you’re going to be spending a fair bit of time in ‘your space’……so make it a ‘space’ you really enjoy being in – your work-from-home business will thank you for it!More ‘Work From Home’ Tips in future articles…