Working From Home – The Basics
Working from home and avoiding the expense and time taken by daily commuting to work is many people’s idea of a dream career. It can be – but that depends on the type of person you are and the amount of thought you have put into the opportunity. It can be a very rewarding experience and result in high levels of efficiency if you plan ahead and think about the different challenges working from home poses. Really the only type of work that cannot effectively take place at home is work that requires a high degree of supervision.
One of the many benefits of working from home is that you have independence and a greater degree of control over the hours you work and it is possible to structure your hours around family and other commitments. This should mean more time to spend with your family. You also can avoid becoming embroiled in office politics and the distraction that this may be.
Even some jobs that rely on office-based systems and procedures can be done from home, as long as the employer is willing to establish remote office connections via the internet. Likewise if it is necessary to have face-to-face client contact, appointments can be made either in the home office or you may use that time out of home to take in some other socialising activity.
Working from home requires a high level of organisation. It is necessary to have an established area set up for yourself so that when you access that space you immediately know it is time for a work mode of thinking and operating. The basic equipment that will be needed is primarily a computer, along with a comfortable desk and chair. A fast internet connection, as well as email access will usually be necessary. A mobile phone or a dedicated phone line should be sufficient to keep you connected. Some types of employment may require you to have Fax facilities, a pager or an answering machine
If you have a separate room that you can establish as on office, that is even better. Shelves and filing cabinets may be necessary to de-clutter your work environment and enable you to think clearly about the tasks you need to perform. You may be able to claim office equipment and other costs, such as utilities for your home office which can be a significant tax advantage.
Establish set hours for your designated work. A solid routine will enable you to complete the work you need to get through and will ensure that you maintain a healthy attitude towards your work. For instance, aiming to be ready at your desk by a specific time, for example, 9am, will give you a feeling of regulation and control over the day ahead. Dressing comfortably, but as though you were going to an office may be helpful and give you a sense of a usual week day, as opposed to wearing your weekend casual dress.
It is imperative that you are a person who is able to be self-motivated. Working from home usually means that you are not part of a bustling office environment with lots of social interaction. To avoid isolation it is important that you schedule time for coffee breaks and other interaction with friends, even if you cannot do so with colleagues. Even though you work from home you can still have lunch dates during your usual break.
You may still have to organise child care especially if your work requires you to be at your desk for set periods of time. Trying to work, while at the same time jumping up and down to attend to the needs of small children, may not be productive. Either home-based care or other facilities for young children may be needed. If a carer comes into your home, lunch times and other breaks can still be spent with your child. If you have school-aged children, then often you may be able to work only the hours they are away from home, especially if you are highly organised and use time efficiently. The greater flexibility in your working hours that is a result of working from home means more opportunities to structure your family’s leisure hours for the maximum enjoyment of family time together.
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Write a book at home
Creating books is one idea that will help you earn income at home. You need to treat the process as a professional one though, and ensure that the book you write is saleable. Lulu Self-Publishing is one on-line resource for authors. Lulu assists you to make your book actually look like a book, which is what buyers want when they pay for your book. Lulu is a new model in publishing – called open publishing. Writers are able to profitably sell more content to more readers than ever before. It is free to publish with Lulu, and it is possible to create not just ebooks, but also hardcover books, photo books and calendars. Authors keep all the rights to their works and, when a book is sold, they keep eighty per cent of the profit they set.
The creation of special reports and ebooks that customers can directly download to their computers can be an interesting and profitable pasttime. Digital downloads can be easily and quickly created as long as you first have an idea about what to write that may be interesting and useful for others to read. The next step in the process is to turn the document into a PDF file. Following that a service like e-junkie.com can assist you to sell the document on the internet. There is minimal cost involved in creating these digital downloads, and e-junkie has a flat monthly subscription fee which covers your full use of the service for the month. When selling downloads for you, the writer, the service automates and secures the digital delivery of files and codes.
Many people enjoy listening in order to learn – so you may wish to supplement your book, ebook or report with an audio product such as an CD or MP3 file. The audio may be sold as accessible online, as an MP3 podcast, or as a traditional packaged set of CD’s. Audioacrobat is a useful tool for assisting with audio products, even for people who are not necessarily technology-minded. You may record a speech, class or an interview with an expert, and then turn that into an audio product. However, ensure you have the permission of the speaker before attempting to do this.
If you have a special skill or talent for something, then you may be able to create impressive multi-media seminars or classes that can be downloaded by anyone in the world, at any time, night or day. Using the internet to teach people about many different subjects is probably even more valuable than writing reports – so establish your own classes as a lucrative internet-based business. You may also choose to teach through an online school, where your skills will be appreciated and utilised without leaving the comfort of your home.
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Easy ways to income from your home
Couldn’t we all do with a bit more income? It might be time to look at harnessing the power of your biggest asset to bring in some more cash rather than spending more time burning the midnight oil at work. I have put together some good ideas that don’t need much effort on your part to add little more bling to the piggy bank.
Get your home in front of the camera. Video production companies, ad agencies and online magazines are always on the hunt for new interiors to shoot ads or take photos in. There are two main styles of home advertisers generally seek – the very modern and the retro. If your home has original features from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s or even 80’s, advertisers often love to use them for certain shoots – there was a reason that you didn’t get rid of that shagpile carpet! It helps if your home has access to off street parking and a wide front door to make the crews job easier. Also be prepared for a few scrapes or knocks to walls from equipment being transported.
If you live in the inner city, you’ll know how much of a pain trying to park your car can be. Parking houses can be very expensive or booked out, so commuters will relish the chance to park in a residential driveway for a small fee. You might even be able to fit two or more cars in your driveway. There are a host of online applications that make matching a driver and house owner a simple task so why not give it go.
Welcoming travellers can also be quite lucrative for the right homeowner. Budget travellers are always on the lookout for clean and cheap accommodation in good locations and adding the offer to make a simple breakfast can increase your chances of getting recommended. Airbnb is the go to website for pairing travellers with beds, just be sure to check the legalities of providing accommodation in your suburb or building as some councils do not allow such services currently.
Another option is to host a foreign student. English language colleges are always on the hunt for host families and you can choose to simply provide a room or offer meals also. The key is to have a good idea of the personality and interests of the student before agreeing to host them to make sure they will be a good fit into your household.