Distractions of the Home Office
Staff Writer/ Marketer
Working from your home sounds pretty good after a long commute. A home office certainly has its advantages - no more travel time, no more distracting colleagues or leasing expense. However, along with the pleasure of working under your own roof comes a new set of disadvantages -- commonly in the form of distractions. Some of these are:
Yes children are a fact of life, but they do not mix well with your professional image. People who work in home offices need to make sure children are quiet or away during business times. Keep your business phone in a room where it is free of noise should a client call. If you must work when children are present, make sure that they are aware of the need to be quiet, especially when you are talking with a client.
Tip: If you have a separate office room, get a glass door. Children can see you and know that you are working.
I recently overheard a woman who works out of her home complain that her dog barked frequently. She felt that this did not reflect a professional atmosphere when talking with clients. This woman decided to hire a trainer to work with the dog on his behavior. Your pet may be your best friend, but a client might not share your point of view. You wouldn't call someone in an office and hear barking, so you don't want your clients to hear this either.
Tip: Have a kennel available if clients visit your home office.
You need to set hours on your business. It is easy to work non-stop, or mix business with pleasure while working at home. Having a separate business line insures that you answer calls professionally with your name and company. When the phone rings, consider whether you should answer it immediately, or return the call at a more convenient time. If your home is full of guests, that call should wait until a quieter time when you can concentrate on business. Have a separate room for your home office (no kitchen tables!) and set hours for your operation. It will make you look and feel more professional to prospective clients.
Tip: Take breaks. You have a break in a regular office, so set up regular breaks for yourself in your home office. Energize yourself with your favorite tea or coffee!