Taking the ‘home’ out of home office

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Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. The short commute, the relaxed dress code and flexible work hours are all appealing benefits. But one of the greatest challenges of working from home is making it seem that you are not. Here are some tips to help turn your home space into a work space:

Websites are often the first introductory point of a new business, so make sure you have a clean, professional site with your own domain name and workplace email address. Avoid using “free” sites that are bombarded with other company’s advertisements; this can be very off putting to potential new clients. If you are not a skilled graphic designer, consider using a clean website-design template with basic, but necessary information.

It can be difficult to conduct a client call when the kids are picking up the handset to make their own calls and a telemarketer is calling on the other line. To avoid these distractions, consider a dedicated business phone line with a distinctive tone separate from your home phone. Take advantage of your existing high-speed Internet connection and use a voice over IP phone system. A sleek VoIP device like the Ooma Telo will save you money on the cost of a second line.

Whenever possible, have a separate room for your home office with its own door. This is especially important if you plan to host regular client meetings. Make sure the room is located far from busy areas of the house, like the kitchen and family room, to avoid excessive noise and distractions.

Differentiate your home address from your work address. Consider using a post office box if you don’t want clients knowing you work from home. Alternatively, you could add a “suite” number to your home address to help separate your business mail from your regular mail.

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