Enhancing business productivity at home can be difficult, especially as you won’t generally have the level of hardware, software, and resources typically found in an office environment. If you normally work in an office and know you will have to work at home for a short period of time, then plan ahead, and ensure you have the right tools and options available to you while away from your primary place of work. If, however, you work at home full-time
, then you need to learn to be more productive with the resources available to you, and turn your one-man operation into something much more efficient.
1. Outsourcing Firstly, don’t be afraid to delegate. Just because you may be working from home, doesn’t mean you can’t get things done by other people. Consider outsourcing aspects of your work as a way of enhancing your overall productivity – some examples of which are below:
- oDesk: This find-a-freelancer type website has become increasingly popular over the past few years, as more and more people are realising they can outsource tedious tasks for a fraction of the cost typically associated with going to an agency directly.
- Fiverr: A website in which people advertise to do almost anything for $5 – this can be an extremely useful way to get some small tasks completed for next to no money. Need a quick jingle created, or a poster advertising your brand? You can probably get it on Fiverr.
2. Toolsets Working in an office you can get accustomed to using the tools that are seen as standard in most workplaces; including simplistic ones such as Microsoft Outlook. Although you may not be able to afford an exchange server or an expensive mail database, there are some great free alternatives available such as Gmail – allowing you to use a combination of a large mailbox, with integration into the other Google products such as Google Docs.
Avoid spending money on expensive software that you may only use sporadically, as there will usually be a free alternative that does the task in a much more cost effective manner.
3. Connectivity With the rise in smart phones and the ability to be connected to the internet, there is no reason you can’t be switched on to your business no matter where you are. Checking the internet and your emails has become standard protocol for people out of the office (including a home office), but there is also no reason why you can’t be available by phone when away from your primary location.
VoIP systems allow for the flexibility to be connected to your phone system no matter where you are (providing there is an internet connection), and this be the perfect solution to ensure you don’t miss an important call when away from the main point of call.
Similarly, if you are working with some freelancers as part of a team, then you can ensure you are constantly connected through the use of mobile applications. oDesk provide a useful mobile application for monitoring the progress of your outsourced team, and Basecamp (the project management tool) have recently launched a mobile-friendly version of their website.
The above was a guest post by business VoIP specialist PackNet. If the nature of your business means you (or your employees) often have to work from home, then the flexibility that a VoIP system offers may be the perfect solution to your telecoms requirements.