Guest article by Courtney Rosenfeld, Gig Spark
Are you getting ready to take a new remote position or start your own business working from home? If so, congratulations, you’re right on track to manage your professional career in the 21st century. However, you should know that, despite convenience, working from home does have some drawbacks.
One of the potential downsides of working from home is that you have to make investments towards a productive workspace. Here are some tips on how to do just that without blowing your first month’s worth of paychecks.
Upgrade your technology.
Although it sounds counterproductive, and you may be tempted to use your current computers to get to work, that’s one of the worst things you can do. Spend the money on upgrading your technology. This will ensure that your systems can handle everything you throw at it, and it will reduce downtime as well as frustration. You can shop sites like QVC for great deals on electronics, and there are many laptops available on the market today that are equally as effective as a desktop tower.
If you do not have the space to run a business from home (or if your spouse is taking up the office because they are working at home thanks to the pandemic) you can easily find a cozy and comfortable place to work at The Back Office Studio. A coworking space gives you access to high-speed internet and networking opportunities. Different plans mean you have financial flexibility and options for more or less space when you need it.
Identify your needs.
To be at peak productivity, you need to know exactly what you need. Other than a computer and a great internet connection, working from home may also require anything from special software to a printer or other office equipment. One way to save money on supplies is to sign up for subscriptions, such as a recurring printing plan. HP Instant Ink is one example, and you can print up to 300 pages per month for less than $10.
Save on your phone service.
If you’re running a business, you need to have a dedicated line. You can opt for a virtual telephone number that connects to your Skype account (with plans starting at a few dollars per month) or, depending on your cell phone provider, may be able to connect an old phone you have laying around in a junk drawer to unlimited service for around $10 per month.
Take vacation time.
While you likely are mostly interested in saving money, you’ll wind up making more if you simply take time off. Even if you do not have paid vacation time, BioSpace explains that stepping away from work for a long weekend is a great way to recharge. A few days away will give you the energy and enthusiasm to tackle your next project, which is crucial when you work for yourself. Remember, failure to provide top-notch service 100% of the time means you lose clients.
Take advantage of free online training.
When you run a business or work from yourself, you should never stop learning. One great way to save money on the things you need to know is to take advantage of free online courses. Companies like Alison offer an extensive listing of free certificate programs and training classes that can help you take your business to the next level. The best part is that you can complete these types of programs from the comfort of home so you do not have to interrupt your work or family schedule.
Working from home takes discipline. And it does require an investment of time and money to get set up to lead yourself productively. But when money is in short supply, the above tips can help you set up your workspace without going into debt.
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