Being a work at home professional requires that you have both technical skills and the physical tools to get the job done. Unlike working onsite, where supplies and equipment are provided for you, when working from home it’s almost guaranteed that you will be totally responsible for obtaining most of the resources that you need.
Here’s a list of just some of the resources that you should expect to have if you work from home:
Having internet access is no longer optional if you work from home- it’s a must. The ability to access e-mail, documents, articles, news online, and company servers is a requirement for practically every business and it’s employees, especially those who work from home.
You’ll need a dependable and universal software program to create your documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, and more. Microsoft Office is the most widely used business software package and is a highly recommended investment. However, if cost is an issue, there are plenty of freeware business programs you can access online, just beware of potential viruses and incompatibility issues.
A dedicated phone and fax line
Next to having internet access, owning a phone and fax line dedicated solely to your home business is the next most important tool you can own. Features that you may be required to have includet: disabled three-way calling and unlimited long distance if you are working for a customerservice company, and electronic fax capability, which allows you to send and receive fax messages directly through your computer.
Social Networking Accounts
Social networking is a great way to promote your skills and services to employers and clients. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter allow you to display your work, thoughts, and attract new business. Many employers like to see their workers previously engaged in these sites before hiring them to guarantee that they are actively engaged and familiar with how to use them to effectively. Just make sure you keep it professional.
A professional email account
Having an email address is standard for almost everyone these days, but having a professional email address is a necessity for any work at home professional. You can’t expect to be taken very seriously with email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If possible, it’s always best to own an email address hosted on your own domain.
Access to instant messaging and chat
The ability to remain in constant contact with your employers and clients is critical when working from home. Changes and problems can arise at any time, so having an instant message account is a great way to make yourself available throughout your work day (and night). Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and Google Talk are all good platforms and they’re free!
A website or blog
In today’s world of ever-increasing technology and the need for instant access, having a website or blog is the new equivalent of a paper resume. Establishing yourself on the internet is a great way for potential clients and employers to find you and connect with you. And contrary to popular belief, creating a website doesn’t have to cost you a thing or require extensive knowledge of html or other coding languages. Free sites like Blogger.com and WordPress.com are great places to get started online for free and are loaded with tutorials and public forums where you can find valuable information to any questions you might have.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is a great place to start in ensuring that you have the tools that you need to succeed in your home based career. Did I miss any tools? Do you have any recommendations or programs that you absolutely love? Feel free to submit them!