How we perceive ourselves is often how our clients end up perceiving us. If we’re slow to respond, too light hearted in our emails, and so on, then we’ll probably get tagged as ‘unprofessional,' and once that happens, it’s hard to come back. If you’re serious about being taken seriously, then you need to carve out a home office that is serious and professional. No more winging it from wherever you happen to be: now’s the time to step up.
A Work Only Space
The spare room that doubles up as your office/general storage unit for your family’s belongings? Yeah, that needs to just have one function from now on: your office. You can’t carve out a proper office if you’re constantly being interrupted by people coming in and out of the room. You’ll have to find another solution for those belongings because this room is all yours now. This will allow you to work deeper and better, and for longer, too.
Having the Right Infrastructure
A chair that you stole from the dining room and an old table can not be classed as an office. You need to take the process of setting up your office seriously, comparing offices desks and chairs to find the one that’s the right fit your room and working style. You should also splash the cash to get a computer that is reliable, and also have a fast internet connection and telephone line installed as well. Once you’ve got all the right pieces for your setup in place, you’ll notice that the room begins to feel like an office, and your productive will be given a boost as a result.
If you have an office in your home, it can be tempting just to work whenever you please. While working beyond the usual can be noble, it’s important to get the balance right. If you work late into the night, you might justify to yourself spending an extra hour or two in bed the following morning - but this is when your clients will be working, and if you’re in bed then you won’t be giving the best impression. If you have the money to do so, hire an out-of-hours assistant who can take care of any phone calls or urgent emails that come in.
Your Office Web Presence
Your office is a physical space, but it also needs to exist online, too. Every other business office can be found through Google, and yours should too. Make sure your Google Business page is up to date with your new office phone number and working hours. Your office is now the headquarters for your company and should be ran as such.
A Personal Touch
With all that being said, it’s important that you add a few personal touches to your office. Having photos of your family on your desk does not make you unprofessional. So long as everything is in good taste, having a few items in the office is heartily recommended, especially as they can help you get through those long days.