CHAPTER 2/ The Straits Times, Saturday June 7, 2008

Tay Suan Chiang and Janice Tai het 10 tips from the experts on how to keep things in check when working from home and the necessary equipment for a home office.

  1. KEEP FIXED HOURS.

It is easy to get carried away when work beckons, but limit it to certain hours or you may find yourself working till 3am each night. If you work on weekends, be sure to give yourself a day off during the week.

2.  START WORK ON TIME.

Sleeping in beats getting up for work, but work still has to be done. To be productive, make it a habit to start work on time, as if you would in a coporate office.

3.  GET KIDS OUT OF THE WAY

When deadlines loom and you have on time to keep on eye on the kids, arrange for them to spend the day at a family member’s home. This way, there is peace at home and you can focus on work instead of running after them.

4.  GET DRESSED

No, we don’t mean putting onn your work attire when you’re home. To get yourself in a work mode change out of your pyjamas into comfortable casuals.

5.  DEMARCATE YOUR WORK AND HOME SPACE

Don’t leave your files and paperwork all over the home. These should remain in the work are.

6.  STAY IN TOUCH.

Those who work from home may find themselves alone most of the day. Stay updated with what’s happening in the outside world by taking time to meet friends and ex-colleagues for lunch.

7.  MEET CLIENTS OUTSIDE

A good way to keep home and work separate is to meet clients outside the home -either at their offices or at a coffee outlet.

8.  KEEP THE HOME TIDDY

If you have to entertain clients at your home office, remember to tidy up the rest of your home before they arrive. Yout home is a reflection of your work style.A neat home will show that you have things under control. To appear more profesional. keep the meeting area out of bounds to children and pets.

9.  GET A BUSINESS ADDRESS

If you are uncomfortable with letting clients know where you live, rent a PO BOX, or post -office box, from SingPost, which cost from 107 dollars annually. All mail will be directed there.

10.  PICK A SUITABLE MOBILE PHONE PLAN

If you use the mobile phone often, choose a plan that gives the best value. For instance, one that offers more free talktime may be more suitable than another which offers more free text message as one of its features.

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