Working at home gives you the freedom and flexibility of a multitude of roles. But you must take on the role of office manager, an IT-personnel, a utility person as well as an inventory stock keeper all at once.
This is why it is important that you follow an office management plan when shuffling these tasks and responsibilities. Roles that either require you to create a good work space or implementing a contingency plan in case something interrupts your work such as computer and network latency issues. A good home office management plan not only ensures work productivity but also continuity.
Home Office Management Tips
- Establish a Separate Workspace
When setting up your home office, it is vital that you build an isolated or independent impression for your office space. If a separate room is not achievable, then at the very least, make sure that your office interior design creates an isolated space where work is productive regardless if walls or partitions are not available. Build an illusory wall that bound your work to such a space where you can freely answer phone calls or emails. Incorporate the use of natural materials such as wood or tree furniture to add a sense of warmth and nature to stimulate your creativity.
Listed below are points why isolating a space only for work is crucial in a home office setup:
- A good outlined workspace gives you and other occupants of the house the distance you need when it is essential that you be focused solely on work or when you are available for other matters such as family or personal concerns.
- It cuts down the burdens of losing office documents or equipment in your home.
- It shows your competence and ability to succeed when meeting with clients.
- It also provides you the means to validate against an audit when you plan on having the home office tax deduction since you have a space that is solely for work.
- Go Pro With Your Office Supplies and Furniture
Using an old classy desk and chair may look stunning but is a functional and disruptive nightmare. It’s best to have a cozy chair and a well-built computer desk that not only is practical, but also provides you with a feeling of a clutter-free and liveable bearing when working at home. You can even add armadillo rugs.
You can even save by getting second hand furniture through Craigslist or through stores that resell used furniture. You might even encounter going-out-of-business sales, establishments wanting to sell used office equipment and furniture while trying to liquidate their inventory.
- Establish Separate Email and Telephone Accounts
For communications, it is also crucial that you divert matters that are not involved with work into a separate account email account. You would not want to have critical conversations from clients mixed with family or personal affairs, this way it is also easy to distinguish messages that may have been left out when you are flooded with personal and work communications through a single account.
If a separate phone line may not be applicable to you, you may get a separate voice mailbox number which enables you to contact your clients at your convenience or a later time. It is like separating your living space filled with coastal furniture from your industrial styled shed in the backyard – it is better to keep them separate as otherwise, they almost disrupt the flow of each other.
- Make Use of Home Office Services
You may even benefit by getting mailing services from companies that provide such services like your local copy shop, the FedEx Office or the UPS Store in your area. Especially when getting a mail room or staff could prove to be more costly.
Such services may include document copying, package shipping and even having private mailboxes although they differ depending on your location. Some shops may even cater securing personal packages and also provide free or inexpensive access to a computer for customers.
- Make Backup Plans
If you are a small business owner, it is critical to have a business continuity plan should problems arise. Problems can include a range of things such as your home office been flooded and that tree wood furniture is now damp and unusable. Be receptive of issues and factors that may befall to your business and plan contingencies should they ensue.
Circumstances beyond one’s control may bring your business to either a halt or a complete closure if you are unable to carry on working. Technical issues such as a power outage or a computer breakdown can incur losses that prevent you from meeting your client’s or business’s obligations.
- Planning for Major Events
Even established businesses may struggle to continue when confronted with circumstances such as acts of nature, terrorist attacks, anarchy or a major pandemic hit them. A website provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration guides businesses about government programs that help affected businesses overcome the adversities should they encounter such and provide means that business owners can continue their business operations again in the event of a calamity.
- Planning for the Unexpected
Businesses sometimes encounter inevitable interruptions to everyday operations such as power or utility failures, equipment/device malfunctions, health or injury, as well as personal or family crisis or emergencies that may tend to incur losses to the business if you are not able to meet your business obligations.
Below are some concepts to help you overcome these common disasters:
- Identify Places to Get Online. Check your local community for alternative places where you can get a good reliable network connection. You can check local Cafes, copy shops, offices that provide shipping services as well as your reliable public library to name a few. You can also opt to stay at your friend’s or at a family’s home. It is also best to observe operating hours when in commercial establishments to avoid shifting from one place to another.
- Look Into Pay-As-You-Go Broadband. Having a prepaid or a pay-as-you-go broadband handy will allow you to stay at home in case of a network downtime.
- Backup Technology. It is necessary to have a backup equipment handy in case you encounter technological issues with your current equipment. Most preferably have a low-cost laptop or a netbook that you can use should you happen upon power failures and the like. An old desktop may prove to be difficult since you may need portability when taking your work elsewhere. Companies, like Backblaze and Mozy provide backup services that you can also check.
- Keep a Hard Copy of Important Information. It is also advisable to keep a hard copy of your contacts, that way you can always get in touch should the need arise when access to such devices restricts you to.
The ordeals that you encounter when working at home can easily be diverted when you build a functional home office space which you can always gain help from interior styling in Sydney or any other state for that matter. Always consider that to have a functional home office, involves a keen judgment, staying motivated and focused will bolster your business operations in the long run.