Whether we’re working from home, in the field or at the office, we tend to establish routines that help us work more efficiently. When get used to our duties and work responsibilities overtime and we become more efficient in performing them. Even if we aren’t in the same line of work, there are usually time-saving tips and best practices that are useful to everyone.
There are also work from home ideas that work only for those who regularly work from home. If you only work occasionally from home, it may not be as beneficial to you. These are usually the type that requires investment in equipment and space.
Here are a few work from home ideas that work in my experience:
Sound dampened work space – for someone living in a noisy neighborhood or apartment, reduced noise levels are critical. It’s not just for taking calls; quieter surroundings reduce distraction and stress. It also avoids any potential embarrassing questions from your client about what’s happening in the background.
A separate room with its own door is a good start. Sealing the windows, installing rugs or carpets, putting up heavy curtains and bringing in cushioned furniture reduces the noise levels significantly. If you need a more professional solution, your local hardware store should carry some sound proofing materials. Get a reliable installer to do the job.
A file server on your home network – when you’re working from home, especially if you’re doing IT heavy projects, backup storage and computers are critical. You should have one ready for any eventuality. There are reasonably priced cloud back-up solutions nowadays, but the security and peace of mind of having your own NAS server is priceless.
An NAS or Network-Attached Storage is a separate computer that’s primary function is to act as an always “on” storage. It’s basically your own cloud storage solution at home. It makes it easier to share data with other devices on your network. You can choose to build your own open-source NAS box or buy a preconfigured solution from a reputable vendor.
Uninterruptible power system & Home Power Generators – this is extremely useful to anyone doing mission critical work on their computers like customer support, server monitoring, and order processing. The type of work you do will dictate the capacity of the UPS and generator you should use.
A standard UPS box that can power your laptop while you change to a spare battery should be fine for most users. Desktop computers will need something that can power them up while you switch to your back up power source.
Backup generators are crucial to home based workers living in less developed areas. The generator you choose should be able to provide you with enough power to cover the power requirements of your operation’s critical components.
Redundant Internet Connection – A second internet connection at your work location is ideal, but a backup work area will also work. Whatever way you choose, having a back-up connection will ensure that you’re consistently able to complete jobs for your clients.
If you want to make switching between connections seamless, you can install a connection manager for your software. Some network appliances can support 2 connections at the same time and routes traffic automatically to the active connection if the other goes down.
You’ll notice that most of the suggestions I gave here have to do with maintaining your capability to work at home. In my experience, once you’ve setup your workspace, the next step is to ensure that you’re consistently able to do your work.
Let’s face it. A majority of startups hire remote workers because it is convenient for them. They do not typically spend money on costly back-up solutions for their operations. Being able to tell your client that you already have these solutions in place increases your value to them and further enhances your on-line credibility.