6 Things You’ll Need to Start Working From Home
Working from home is getting easier and more accepted in our culture than ever before. Whether you’re starting your own business or doing freelance work for someone else, working from home is a great way to earn a little extra money for your family while still having flexibility to be with your kids.
But working from home isn’t simply a matter of flopping on your couch and diving right in. As with any other job, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the tools you need to hit the ground running and be successful. Here are six things you should have in place to start working from home.
A Dedicated Workspace
A dedicated workspace is essential to working from home. However, you don’t need to have a private office – just somewhere that you can spread your materials out and work comfortably. For some people, that’s the living room couch or kitchen table! However, a small desk in a quiet corner of a less-used room is ideal.
Computer with Webcam
You’ll want to make sure you’ve got a powerful computer that’s capable of handling the most up-to-date software programs and storing all of your data. Also consider investing in a computer that has a built-in webcam, or purchase a standalone webcam to attach to your existing computer. Companies who work with remote employees often like to utilize video chats, Skype, or other types of video conferencing to communicate, and you’ll want to be ready.
As a busy mom, you might think you can just “sneak” work time in between your other obligations. But if possible, try to set at least an hour or two aside every day as your official “office hours,” so you can work without distractions. It can be at any time of day that works for you and your business, but having time to really focus can be critical to your success.
An Updated LinkedIn Profile
If you plan to work in a professional capacity of any sort, a LinkedIn profile is essential. Not only is LinkedIn a great place to search for jobs, but it’s now one of the primary ways that employers can find YOU. Spend a few hours fine-tuning your profile, updating your experience and connecting with friends and colleagues you already know.
Working from home offers great flexibility, but sometimes clients or employers will still expect you to be available when you need to be with family. That’s where a smartphone can go a long way in helping you be productive. You can answer e-mail and perform many simple administrative tasks while you are on the go. Make use of that time when you sit at your child’s dance or soccer practice!
Make sure you’ve got a reliable printer/scanner/copier at home. You’ll spend a lot of time scanning in documents to email clients or customers, printing invoices for mailing, and more.
By preparing yourself with the right work environment and equipment, you’ll be ready to take on any work from home challenge!
Image via Flickr.com Fernanda Mancini