The Must Do’s for Working at Home
1. Do invest in a high quality desk, chair and filing cabinet. If you can’t afford new, check thrift and second-hand shops in your area.
2. Do find the quietest place in your house to set up your office. A corner in the den or bedroom may have to suffice if your home does not have an extra room.
3. Do keep your personal finances and records separate from your business space. This may qualify you for a home office tax write-off.
4. Do organize all files in folders and label them accordingly. Put all paperwork in the appropriate file at the end of each day.
5. Do keep your desktop clear so you have plenty of room to work without items falling to the floor.
6. Do open your mail on a daily basis and immediately discard all junk mail and circulars. If recycling is available in your area, consider keeping a basket by your desk that you can empty into the bin on a weekly basis.
7. Do shred any client information before discarding. This shows respect for their personal information as well as safeguarding against theft.
8. Do use a computer to track your business expenses, pay bills and manage your budget. Be sure to back up your files on a hard disk at regular intervals. Change your password frequently.
9. Do keep all of your schedule information in one place. This is an invaluable habit no matter what kind of business you have. Not all people are good candidates for a PDA, but whatever type of scheduling system you choose one and only one should be used.
10. Do consider hiring someone to help routine chores. This will allow you to concentrate on work without getting side-tracked by household tasks.
If you keep these tips in mind, you will soon form good work habits and your home office will be a productive investment.