Over the past few years, more and more business owners have come to realize the benefits of working from home rather than from a traditional brick and mortar location.
Running your business from home allows you to have a better work-life balance as well as reducing costly overhead costs such as providing office space for your employees. However, transitioning from an office to working from home isn’t that easy at first. There are going to be changes in the way that you conduct business. Therefore, here are five ways to working from home that may change the way your company operates.
One of the best benefits of working within a commercial building is that you have monitored security. This includes not only the protection of your business e-files but also the protection of your physical products and other assets. The first change to your business when working from home is security itself. You will no longer have the peace of mind that your assets are being protected throughout the day and night. You will also be placing your e-files, which contain bank and client information at risk. Therefore, it is paramount that this step of protecting your assets is taken first. You may seek the services of an IT support company in order to protect and fix any issues regarding your documents as well as seeking the advice of security experts in your field to gain clarity on what to do to better protect yourself.
Within a commercial building, most companies have the option of having large mail baskets for mail services to pick up. However, this might not be possible within your residential space. Thus, you will begin to notice how working from home might make shipping a little more complicated and difficult. A great way to overcome this problem is to make sure that you formalize a plan that both works for your location as well as limits delays in your shipping process. You may find that simply speaking to the personnel working at the post office can do wonders for your situation. They might allow you to use one of their commercial baskets to store your items until they are ready to be shipped or even send out a truck every once in a while to your home. The worst thing they can say is, “No.”
Working from home can certainly be a great thing, both for your mental health as well as your company. However, there are certain things that will no doubt suffer from this move. One of these includes your networking. In business, networking is incredibly important to moving forward. Networking allows you to find deals with suppliers or simply to learn from those who’ve been successful in your field fo work. The good news is that although your networking might suffer a bit, it can still be saved. Through the use of online forums and groups, you are still able to put yourself out there and meet people with similar interests or needs.
A noticeable thing you will see when you convert your business from a commercial location to a residential location is the need to separate how you speak to clients. You no longer have that commercial phone where your clients can call in at any time without others, such as your family picking up by mistake. So, what can you do about this issue? The best approach is to purchase a separate line specifically for your business. Often phone companies already have this option and can issue you a separate number to an already existing account.
Your business is important for you, but so are the relationships you have with your family and neighbors. In a traditional workspace, people understand boundaries. Nobody comes into your office unless they see that you’re free, and even then, they might ask you through email for a meeting. The reality is that this completely crumbles when you begin to run your business from home. Neighbors and family usually can’t see when you’re not on the phone with clients or when you’re not concentrating on an important project. The goal here then is to begin to create boundaries with them, as awkward as it may be. You may set your personal phone to a voicemail message that indicates the times you are free. For family, you may also utilize this function as well as post signs outside your office regarding your availability. This may be difficult at first, but with practice and habit, you will have a better standard of boundaries.
There’s no doubt about it, running a business can be a daunting experience and even more so when you decide to run it from your home. Therefore, it is highly recommended that business leaders adhere to this list of tips in order to ensure that the transition from commercial to residential doesn’t affect their business too much.
Gloria Jenkins is a writer and consultant from Texas. She has worked extensively with technology companies and now works to help companies reduce discrimination in the workplace.