Below we've identified thirteen decisions you should make to set up a comprehensive home office business system that's tailored to your unique preferences and work demands. There's no one right answer, but most people run into trouble if they haven't addressed the issue each of the following questions raises. So this will help you decide:
1. How many hours will you work each day and each week? If the nature of your work is such that you cannot set a precise figure, define clearly how you will decide on the amount of time you'll spend working from week to week or day to day.
2. Which hours of the day will you work? Unless your work demands it, there is no reason to limit yourself to typical hours. You can work at hours better suited to your circumstances.
3. How many breaks do you plan to take each day and when will you take them? Some people like to break for five minutes each hour. Others prefer taking longer breaks after working for several hours. Still others break when they come to a stopping point in their work.
4. When will you do household chores? Some people like to take a break for household chores and find that the change of pace allows them to come back to the office refreshed and ready to work. Others find that if they stop to do a household chore, the next thing they know the whole morning has slipped away.
5. When will you eat lunch and will you snack while working? Having the kitchen only steps away often becomes a problem for people who work at home. Consciously deciding how you will handle this should make it easier to keep your weight and concentration in bounds.
6. When and how will you dress? Some people find that to work effectively they need to get dressed as if they were going to the office. Others relish the freedom to stay in a robe all day.
7. Will you watch TV during daytime hours? If so, how much and when? Some people find it's easy to get hooked on game shows or soap operas. In fact, some people claim they work best while watching TV. Others can't work well with the television on but get hooked nonetheless. Even if you wouldn't be caught dead watching a soap, the variety available on daytime TV today can lure you with movies, sports, and news.
8. Under what circumstances will you take off a day, afternoon, or a morning? Sick leave and days off take on a new perspective when you work at home. If you're self-employed, establish your own leave policies, consistent with the nature of your business. If you're employed at home, you'll be on your own to coordinate your work with the established leave policies.
9. When do you decide to get someone to help you with your work? Many work-at-homers try to do everything themselves. Some can, but others end up saving money by spending it to hire help.
10. If you have children, when will you be available to them? Most people find they cannot allow children to have unlimited access to them during working periods. So you will need to make age-appropriate arrangements for their care and set boundaries regarding when you will and won't be available to them.
11. What information do you need to keep track of? Usually, in-house office procedures include policies for records you need to keep. Working at home, however, you will probably have to establish your own record-keeping procedures.
12. How will you manage your money? If you're self-employed you will need to establish a system for managing the financial aspects of your business. Even if you're working at home on a salary, you'll have to arrange a procedure for managing your home-office tax records.
13. What interruptions are you willing to allow? There will be phone calls. There may be people coming to the door to repair things, sell things, or make deliveries. Neighbors may want to visit. It's easier to have a policy than simply to respond to each interruption as it occurs.
Jeff Casmer is an internet marketing consultant with career sales over $25,000,000. His "Top Ranked" Earn Money at Home Directory gives you all the information you need to start and prosper with your own Internet Home Based Business.