Organize Your Home Office And Get More Work Done – tips for organizing and running an efficient home office, form Lisa Kanarek of Everything’s Organized
To have a productive home office, be sure that it is in fact an office–not a corner of the kitchen, an end of the bedroom, or a section of the living room. That’s the advice of Lisa Kanarek, founder of Everything’s Organized, a Dallas-based consulting firm specializing in office organization.
“Treat a home office the same way you would a corporate office. Find the right space and set it up for business,” advises Kanarek, author of Organizing Your Home Office for Success: Expert Strategies That Can Work For You (Blakely Press, $14.95).
“Unless you can block off your work, you are going to have to gather up everything at the end of the day or things will be scattered and lost,” she says. ‘You need a permanent home for your office so the mail comes to one place and correspondence leaves from one place. Otherwise, things get scattered, because it’s so easy to leave things all over the house.
“Of course, if you’re working on a special project, sometimes it’s easier to leave the home office and spread everything out on the kitchen table, but don’t do it on a regular basis.”
Kanarek offers other suggestions:
Invest in the best computer equipment you can afford. And don’t scrimp on the printer. Even if your computer is top-of-the-line, it’s not likely to improve the client’s impression of your work if the final version looks like it was done on a cheap printer, she says. “Most clients see what comes out of the home office, not the home office itself.”
Have a dedicated business telephone line. It’s not professional to have your spouse, children, or household visitors answer a business phone.
Get a good voice-mail system or a high-quality answering machine. Have a concise and clear message, and tell people how to bypass it to leave a message. If you have a World Wide Web site, reference it. Also, ask callers to tell you the best times to return calls.
Don’t use call waiting. This feature forces you to make judgments constantly about who is more important, the person on the line or the person calling.
More tips are available at Kanarek’s Web site, www.everythingsorganized com.
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