Top 10 Tips for Working from Home

PAH Accounting LogoDetailed below are my top tips for working from home. These are based on the experiences that I have had when running my sole trader accountancy practice.

  1. Clear out a room and create some space to work from. It is almost impossible to work in a normal living space. Have a reasonable sized desk and keep it tidy! If it is difficult to find a separate room consider insulating a garden shed and using that or creating a separating off an area within a larger room.

  2. Ensure that work is done when children are at school or have gone to bed. They do need constant attention and can be a distraction to performing productive work. The same goes for dogs and other animals, get the walks etc. out of the way to avoid disturbances. Closing the door can be a big help!

  3. Take regular breaks. Treat yourself as if you were in normal employment. Get away from the computer and make a cuppa once in a while, and have a normal lunch hour. It helps to stretch the legs and you will feel the benefit of it.

  4. Get out of the office. It can get lonely working from home all the time. Try to go to a networking or similar meeting at least once a week. That way you can meet people in a similar situation.

  5. Get a separate telephone line to your home one. Even if you use a virtual number and redirect it to your mobile. It can look very unprofessional for a phone to be answered as if it were a home one, or worse if it is answered by your child!

  6. Diarise your week. Create a plan for all the work you have to do. Ensure client work is included as well as time for administration and marketing.

  7. Use outsourced services, such as bookkeepers, call answering or virtual assistants. These will help ease the administration burden and keep you in charge of your business without the need for employees.

  8. Ensure you have the right equipment and software licences to work from home. It is not uncommon for home workers to use Home licenses for business purposes. Try to keep work and home computers separate, if only to help prevent viruses etc.

  9. Stick to a normal routine, have a shower and breakfast as if you were going out to work.

  10. Don’t stop working, even on an unproductive day. whilst it may be hard, force yourself to get some work done, even if it is some of the menial tasks you have on the to do list.

This article has been kindly contributed by Phil Hendy of PAH Accounting

Your comments are invited on this post. Please use the box below.

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10 thoughts on “Top 10 Tips for Working from Home

  1. This is a great top 10 list for home workers, point 5 is especially important in order to portray a professional image.

    As well as a virtual receptionist answering your phone, it is definately worth considering how your home address will look on your business cards/stationary/email signatures and affect your customers impression of your business.

    Virtual Offices are the perfect, cost effective way of giving your home business a professional corporate makeover.

    Have a look at http://www.thevirtualofficecompany.co.uk for more information on VO’s

  2. Number 1, do not work from the lounge. Hmm… either that or my bedroom which I share with my 7 year old brother! Haha, must be nice to have a proper working environment.

  3. This is a really good article Phil with some great guidelines for working at home. Creating a working environment and being able to separate work from home life is crucial, however, I am not quite so strict when it comes to routine. One reason many people become self-employed is to break away from the mundane 9-5. I like to take advantage of being able to work for myself and the flexibility of working from home. Most days I work from 9/9.30 but sometimes it is earlier so I can take advantage of a hot sunny day. I have my own office but do enjoy taking my laptop out to work in other areas. Client confidentiality is crucial so this is completed at home but writing I find can be done from the comfort of a favourite coffee shop, park or other creative/inspiring environment.

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