Given the myriad of benefits there are to working from home, it’s no wonder that so many people are choosing to make it a part of their working life. Whether it’s through running their own business or just telecommuting to an existing job, research has shown that 45% of employees now work from home.
While there is relatively little change needed if you’re working from home in a job for a company, there are a few additions needed if you are running your own business. While working at home may be increasingly popular, there is always the risk that a from-home only business will look unprofessional. There’s something about a big office building and reception staff that says “competent” in a way you working from a small office with your dog at your feet doesn’t – even if you’re truly spectacular at what you do. Sometimes, appearances matter.
If you’re serious about making your home your office, then a few things might need to change to overcome these perceptions. Luckily, they’re relatively simple, so tick them off and then it’s business as usual.
A Professional Phone Number
When you advertise your services, having a standard phone number such as those offered by VoiceOnyx can radiate a big business enterprise to potential customers. It helps if you connect this number to a business-only second line, which you can answer in your best telephone voice.
It helps if you have a dedicated office in your home. Many people who work from home find that it helps them to separate their home life from their work life, but there are other benefits to consider too. It gives you a soundproof space, so there’s no worrying about a client overhearing the sound of the washing machine in the background. It also provides a good setting for any Skype conferencing you might have to do; far more professional to have an office behind you than your living room.
A Business Address
If a client or supplier wants to send you something, it is instantly more professional to be able to give out a business-sounding address than your obviously residential address. There are forwarding services that can make this happen, though you may have to wait a few extra days for your mail. If that’s not feasible, then at least make sure you give your address as:
This looks far more professional and deliberate than just the number of your house beneath your own name.
Hold Music (Or A Mute Button)
If you have to go and do something while on a business call, life without hold music or a mute button is going to become uncomfortable very quickly. Your potential client is going to be forced to listen to the sound of you crashing around trying to locate something, as well as your footsteps and the noise of you picking the phone back up. It’s not the most professional of situations. The best way to fix this is by making sure you have hold music or can, at the very least, mute the other end of the call while you do what you need to do.
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