If you're one of the lucky few who can work from home you will know the joy of skipping the commute to work. Being a successful home worker takes discipline and commitment, it's far too easy to switch on the TV or spend an extra 20 minutes in bed if you don't have an angry boss watching the clock. Many people are envious of the self employed workers who spend their days working from their living room but setting up a successful business from home takes a lot of organisation and dedication.
When you work from home you need to have a space that you can clearly define as an office. Distinguishing the line between business and leisure time is important so make sure you can close the door on your workspace for the day. Choose an area in your home where you won't be disturbed by family members or excess noise. A spare room is often a great option for an office but if you're pushed for space try to establish a specific room you can use daily, make sure you hide away your TV, any games stations and magazines so your time won't be spent playing instead of working.
Many people who work from home often find themselves working extra hours in the evenings and can quickly forget how to relax and take time for themselves. Try to establish specific working hours that you are able to stick to so you don't find yourself constantly in work mode. If clients are forever calling you for updates on the progress of their project then set up a specific business telephone line with an answering service so you won't get disturbed once you sign off for the day.
When setting up your home office make sure to invest in a good desk where you can house all your materials and organise a filing system so your documents are easy to access. Make sure you have everything you need to function daily so you don't find yourself running out for errands every day, eating into your precious work time. If you have a home computer make sure you have insurance for it, just in case anything goes wrong with your system you can be back up and running in no time.
Having everything you need to present yourself well will impress your clients and help you find new business so if you work in design or regularly need to make up professional presentations invest in some photo printers so you don't have to worry about outsourcing expensive materials. Make sure you always have an extra stock of printing paper and business cards for all those last minute jobs that may come your way.
However you want to design your home office taking care of the practical aspects of your business will set you up so you are ready to work from home as soon as you win that all important commission.
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