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Home Sweet Home: Bringing the Office to the Home
by Clayton Preble Fri, 10/19/2012 - 09:54
I think there’s a general consensus that breakfast in bed is one of life’s many pleasures. Coming in a close second is having breakfast delivered to you in bed and then walking down the hall to your office – without having to change out of what you slept in.
Working from home has become increasingly popular in today’s business world. If you do it right, the home office can do wonders for your business.
When making the transition from the traditional office to the home office, more often than not, people tend to focus on collecting the typical office supplies: paper, files, a computer, a printer, phones, etc. There’s no arguing that these are important, but perhaps the most important ingredient to a successful at-home office is discipline and a consistent routine.
Your employer might dictate your schedule, or your customers might. No matter how your schedule is decided, you have to have the discipline to get up and get going – just as you would if you had to go to the office.
If your schedule allows it, be flexible with your workday. I’m an early bird, so the early morning works best for me. For you, it might be later in the day or the evening. The bottom line is: Establish a routine and stick with it.
Sharing The Space
It’s very possible you’re not the only one living in your house. That being said, it will be impossible for you to get any work done if you haven’t established a quiet and efficient environment where you can focus.
Wherever you chose to set up your workspace – be it a spare bedroom, a dining room, or anywhere else – it is essential that you agree with your family or roommates that when you’re working, you’re working. Designate the time segments during which you must work undisturbed so you can stay on top of your responsibilities.
Technology: A Blessing or a Curse?
There’s no doubt that technology can help us accomplish tasks faster than ever. But there’s also no doubt that it can slow us down as well.
In my business, we think of technology as a tool of efficiency. We are constantly seeking out new technology that can make us work smarter and faster and communicate better.
When implementing technology in our business, we must, because of budget, identify and adopt new tools one at a time, thoroughly understanding their roles, fixing and testing them to our needs, and then expanding our use. By using this strategy, my company has been able to grow our business faster and more efficiently while maintaining our bottom line.
It’s All about Power
Without power, however, there is no technology. Power for technology primarily comes from one of two sources – the utility or the battery. The question for any home office environment is to figure out what is essential to have utility power for in order to keep the office open. Your answer should consider one of these two options:
For PCs, phone systems, and printers, an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) will suffice. A UPS device is a small, self-contained battery backup power that acts as both a surge protector and a temporary power source. They are the lowest-cost, as well as the easiest to install. They can potentially provide power for hours depending on your needs.
If your power needs exceed your PC, printer, and phones, you might want to consider a residential generator. Today’s automatic residential generators not only offer very clean power to keep your technology tools running 24/7, they can also provide additional power for the rest of your home keeping you comfortable.
As always, conduct your own research before purchasing.
If you plan accordingly, a home office can help productivity and reignite your work. By remembering to stick to a schedule, establish limits with others, and consider your technology use, you can bring the office home. Once you have your plan in place, you’ll enjoy working in your PJs more than you ever thought possible.
About the author
Clayton Preble is the founder and president of GenSpring Power, Inc., a company formed in 2002 that specializes in home standby generator systems for residential customers. Prior to forming GenSpring Power, he spent more than 30 years in the natural gas industry. He is a Master Service Technician, the highest service level expertise certified by Briggs & Stratton.