Friday, January 13, 2012

Professionalism when working from home

One of the great advantages of working from home is that you can begin your workday in your pajamas while slurping your cereal if that makes you happy. Many days, I get up out of bed and sit down for a couple hours of work before breakfast and before I get dressed. This doesn’t mean that I don’t maintain professionalism on the job. Clients would never guess that I dress so casually.

If you’re going to work from home, it’s important that you present yourself with the same level of professionalism as those who go out into the corporate world to work. If you don’t see clients or customers, don’t worry about your appearance, but here are some of the ways you can present yourself and your business professionally:

  • Always answer your business phone in a professional manner. State the name of your business when you answer it. This will make it clear that you take your business seriously and that you approach your work in a professional manner. Express a desire to help the caller. If you can’t talk at the moment, tell the person when you will call them back, but don’t give an unprofessional excuse, such as “The dog is chewing my slipper,” as a reason to end a business call. 

  • If one of the reasons you are working at home is to save on child care, you may want to rethink this. Watching children is a full time job. You won’t be able to do that and attend to your business in a professional manner, too.

    If you can’t afford to hire someone to look after your children full time, choose specific hours for your business when you will take calls and hire a sitter for your children during those times. For example, you could take calls from clients during the mornings only. Let your clients know how you are setting up your business, and they will get used to your schedule. They will be happy to have your undivided attention during the times you specify, provided you get the work done for them efficiently at all times. 

  • The need to keep regular hours doesn’t apply just to those who have children. It’s easy for people who work from home to be lenient about keeping regular working hours. After all, the freedom to do what you want may be your reason for becoming your own boss. Your clients and customers may become frustrated when they have difficulty figuring out when you are open and when you aren’t. You may run into problems if a client needs something from you in a hurry and can’t get in touch with you. You can avoid this problem by keeping your business “seemingly” open at all times. Keep your cell phone with you during business hours. Answer it in a professional manner, and your clients need not know that you are at the zoo with your kids.

  • If you are in a business where you need to go meet with clients, you’ll want to dress accordingly. Just because you work at home doesn’t mean you don’t need to dress as appropriately as your brick and mortar friends when they go to work. Your appearance makes an impression and a statement about your professionalism. 

  • When working from home, it’s always important to present yourself and your business professionally. You’ll soon find that it will make a difference in how confident your clients and customers feel about giving you their business.

1 comment:

  1. It must be very rewarding and benifitial to work from home. I really enjoyed this article, and this is something I wish to do in my future.