Must-Know Tips for Working from Home

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Working from home has many great perks, but these same perks can become a hindrance without a little advance planning.  Setting your own hours, working within hollering distance of your family, and within walking distance to your fridge are all great benefits of working from home.  How can you enjoy these advantages without letting your productivity suffer?  Here are a few tips:

1) Set a Schedule.  This tip works both ways.  If you are too lax with yourself, you may succumb to the temptation to sleep in a few too many times and find that you are not completing enough tasks within the day.  On the other hand, if you allow yourself to get drawn into working any and all hours of the day, you may soon find that you actually have less time for your family or leisure activities than you did before making the switch to working from home.

2) Designate a Specific Place for Work.  If possible, designating a separate room for your home office is best. Especially if you live with others, this allows you to close the door to outside distractions and stay more focused on the tasks at hand. Take some time to organize your work space, a clear filing system and uncluttered workspace will make you much more efficient.  Also, some good quality items are essential for any office, home or otherwise.  For example, invest in a good quality office chair.  You will likely be spending a lot of time there, and investing in the right chair can prevent back issues and reduce fatigue.

3) Set Some Boundaries.  When you work from home, some people will not respect your work-time in the same way as they would if you were working at the office.  Young children understandably may find it hard to understand why Daddy is not instantly available to find the lost teddy bear or to play a game of hide-and-seek.  But, even adult family members or friends may feel that they can drop by anytime or call for a personal chat.  Do not hesitate to tell them know politely that you are working at the moment, but would be happy to get-together at another time.  One work-at-homer, suggested keeping it fun for the kids.  Create signs for your door, such as a red light for stop and a green light for go, to let the kids know when it is fine to interrupt Daddy and when he cannot be disturbed.

4) Get Out of the House.  It’s not just the office gossip that you miss out on when working remotely.  Building relationships, bouncing ideas off colleagues, getting to know the nuances of a new client all benefit from some facetime.  Join your colleagues for an occasional lunch or meet with a client face-to-face to discuss a new project.  This can help you to network more effectively, and the variety will likely keep you more motivated and productive.

5) Make Sure You Have the Necessary Insurance.  Some home-based business owners erroneously feel that they are covered under their home insurance policy.  However, while your homeowner’s policy protects your home and the risks related to normal activities in and around the home, it excludes coverage for buildings that are used in whole or in part for business purposes. Therefore, if you begin operating a business from you home, it’s important to inform your insurance company.

Business insurance will provide you with contents coverage, in case of loss or damage to business-related equipment either in the home or if it is taken outside the home, such as to a client’s office. Your business insurance will also protect you against liability risks. For example, if a client meets you at your home, trips on the stairs and breaks his leg or is otherwise injured, without appropriate business liability insurance you could end up paying for his medical and other costs from your own pocket. In many cases, you can simply purchase an inexpensive endorsement to your home insurance policy that will provide you with the necessary protection for your home-based business.

Protect your home-based business so that you can go on enjoying the benefits and freedom that it affords.  Talk to us today about your business insurance needs. We’re here to help.

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