There is a lot to love about working from home, however ensuring your home is ready for you to work from requires certain considerations. It’s not quite as simple as just shortening your commute to the time it takes to walk across your landing from bedroom to office.
Here’s how you go about turning your home into a comfortable and productive working environment.
Decide where in your home you’re going to work from. Depending on the kind of work you do, your requirements will be different. Some people choose a spare bedroom, others an unused garage or outbuilding, others still may take over the dining room. Wherever you end up setting up your home office, you need to be comfortable, so make sure you have plenty of space around you.
Then you’ll need to set about turning it into a working environment. Remember, if you intend to spend your working day there, it makes sense to invest in good quality office furniture. A sturdy desk, a reliable and modern computer, and a comfortable chair that properly supports your posture are important investments. You will also likely need a printer and a landline telephone within reaching distance.
Insurance for the self-employed can be a tricky issue to understand, but there is help out there for you if you need it. It’s not always a given that you will need extra insurance to work from home, if you have existing home insurance you may be covered at a part of your current policy. You should always check, however, because home coverage often won’t extend quite far enough to cover your business needs.
Even if you are covered as a part of your existing policy, you should always make sure you have contacted your insurance company and made them aware that you’re working from home. If you do need extra cover, it normally falls under one of three classifications – clerical, i.e office work; business with visitors, i.e a beautician or dog groomer; and other business use, such as making and selling crafts.
All businesses require connectivity to function, and your home working environment is no different. It’s important that you have a reliable and consistent internet connection, that’s capable of handling the amount of data you’ll be using. Most broadband packages don’t have a data cap any longer, but some do – so it’s important to check to make sure you won’t be liable to surcharges for exceeding your limits.
Many internet providers have dedicated business packages available, which it would be wise for you to consider. These don’t differ from normal domestic packages in terms of speed, your internet likely won’t get faster. How they differ is in terms of support during an outage – customers with business packages are often prioritised in the event of an outage or other interruption to your service.
Many people are becoming more reliant on their mobile phones as opposed to landlines. The issue with this when you work from home is that your mobile is constantly going to be on charge if it’s your primary way of being reached. A landline will also offer better voice quality, which will help you communicate more effectively. It’s also likely you’ll need a landline to be able to get an internet connection.
It might be worth considering getting a dedicated landline for your home office. If you need to have access to the phone to be able to communicate with colleagues or customers, it doesn’t make sense for you to tie up your home phone line with all that traffic. It will also help you to better define your work/life balance, as you can simply set your phone to voicemail when your day’s work is done, rather than have your home phone ringing constantly.