14 Tools To Effectively Work From Home
October 17, 2015
October 17, 2015
More and more professionals are jumping onto the freelancing bandwagon and quitting their 9 to 5 jobs to kick-start their freelance career. To facilitate this transition, an increasing number of tools are available that will help you launch your dream career, control your work hours, and spend valuable time with family while making a good income.
If you choose to work from home, you need some isolated space, which can feel like a professional workspace. Of course, you do not want to mix work and personal lives and end up ruining both. The need for a separate & peaceful workspace cannot be denied. Creating your work space is as easy as cordoning off a part of your desk for work. This is especially useful if you don’t have enough room for setting up a home office. Whether it’s a nook above the kitchen or a spare room above the garage, you want a space that will fit in well as your home office, where you can receive clients or have video conferencing in Skype. The best part about having your own home office is that it will keep you disciplined and kicking.
Of course, you do not want to make major investments when setting up your workspace at home, but you still need a few essentials that would make a crucial component of your home office. Get an ergonomically designed set of desk and chair to set up an office-like environment, where you are comfortable working. When you have chosen to work remotely, it should be comfortable enough to sit for longer hours, so your investment should be in the right kind of furniture to ensure your body is relaxed & happy!
It may help to invest in a wireless mouse and keyboard to keep your space clutter free and make your work days much more comfortable.
Quality Internet service
This is one critically important work from home tool that you cannot ignore at any cost. After all, your entire freelancing business depends on how quickly and efficiently you are able to connect with clients and customers. When shopping for an Internet connection, look for one that guarantees assured bandwidth, speed, uptime, download, quick response time, and a static IP address. You do not want your business to suffer due to poor network connectivity.
Yes, you are working from home. But that does not mean you should choose your home phone for communicating with clients. You need a dedicated business phone line so that when a prospect or client calls in, your lines are open and can easily connect with you. Keeping a client waiting over phone could mean losing a client forever.
A separate phone will work as a rational choice for your business and ensure that you can answer calls immediately when a client calls in. it is a mobile-crazy world, but a true desk phone is what you need for office work, with guaranteed call quality. Having a smartphone will ensure that you stay on top of what’s going on even when you are on the go, helping you respond to client calls and queries quickly. Pick a smartphone that handles email seamlessly. When you wish to start a freelancing career and aren’t sure how to go about it, on-demand marketplaces, such as Peer Hustle, can come to your rescue. With a smartphone, you can easily set up a professional profile there and get set to connecting with clients from all over the globe anywhere anytime.
Web Conferencing Tools
These days we have virtual meeting places, including Skype or Gmail’s inbuilt video chat messenger, to communicate freely over the Internet. If you don’t have a web cam, Google Talk or AIM can come in handy. You can work as a team using group chat tools to stay in touch and collaborate seamlessly with your co-workers in a virtual space. Web conferencing solutions are some of the key freelancing tools you cannot ignore for a successful business.
True, a powerful desktop machine is what you need for a home office, but you also need an equally robust mobile machine that can replace desktop when you are away on the road. This will ensure you can work anywhere anytime when you aren’t present at your work space.
Working from home means you need to invest in a power backup system, so that you keep working even when there is an outage. Some projects are urgent and cannot wait for power restoration in your area. It is critically important to invest in a good line conditioning UPS so you can protect your digital equipment from power spikes and work seamlessly even when there is no electricity supply in your region due to reasons beyond control. This investment will ensure that a power outage doesn’t wipe out your productivity.
Dim lighting cannot compare to bright light when working on a PC. Your eyes tend to get tired easily under dim lights. Installing bright lighting is a great investment for your work from home business, so your eyes are treated well. Great lighting work as a stress buster for your eyes and help keep you focused, raising your concentration level. With ambient lighting, you can work more productively and get your work done more efficiently.
A scanner that can take care of scanning, copying, printing, and faxing, is a handy tool for your home office. The printer may be long dead, but the machine can come to your rescue if you need to sign and submit a document immediately to a client. Isn’t it more convenient than visiting a local printing shop? It does not make sense to lose your valuable time going to the shop to get the job done. Invest in your own laser printer that can do the job well and efficiently connect via WiFi and print directly from your smartphone.
If you want to keep your workspace clutter free, you may want to invest in a handheld digital scanner that scans all kinds of small and large papers and stores them digitally, where they are easily accessible.
As a work from home professional, you need to be smart enough to use collaboration tools, which can come in handy when a client wants to share documents, slide shows, or spreadsheets. These tools allow you to make changes in real time to any document as and when required. What’s more, you can access the documents stored in such applications wherever you go. DropBox and Google Drive are the most widely used document sharing tools used worldwide that make you more productive and efficient.
Customer Relationship Management
When you are working remotely as a freelancing professional, a reliable CRM tool will come in handy to store all of your database contacts, accounts, and documents. The best thing about a CRM system is that it integrates all communications, contacts, schedules, sales efforts, and project progress. Some of the more robust CRM applications come complete with compelling features, such as lead and opportunity tracking, which can play a big role in taking your freelancing career to the next level.
As a freelance professional, you are online most of the time. In fact, you work remotely for clients from different parts of the globe. You cannot take the risk of losing all of your valuable work to a system breakdown or failure. Imagine a situation in which your desktop crashes and you are left with a blank computer! Sends shivers down the spine, right?
So why wait for such a terrible moment to strike and lose your data. Invest in an offsite and onsite backup system that can keep your data safe and secure all the time and quickly restore your desktop in the event of a failure. Offsite backup systems are designed to back up your data in times of a catastrophe or natural calamity.
Available through an online service provider, these seamless systems will backup your entire computer, saving thousands of crucial documents, files, videos, and pictures online. By investing in an offline backup system, you will thank yourself in the future when the inevitable happens.
Productivity Monitoring Software
Of course, you want to keep a tab on your progress. It would help to invest in a productivity tracking solution to monitor daily work activity and run analytics on data. It was never so easy to keep a tab on your progress as with some innovative online applications available today. An efficient project management software can help boost efficiency while ensuring you are right on track.
Screen Sharing Software
As freelancing industry evolves, an increasing number of businesses are interested to harness the power of this remote workforce and enjoy cost benefits. Since you plan to work from home, you cannot ignore a screen sharing software system that allows you to share screen with prospects and clients. These tools ensure easy collaboration and are quite handy when working remotely.
Working remotely is a dream for many professionals, and with the right work from home tools, you can give your freelancing career the heads up.