Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tips for promoting the "Work at Home" Idea in today's business world

"A matter of trust."
In today’s economy everything is shifting and changing. Perhaps due to the cost of fuel and commuting and insurance premiums that companies are paying, the idea of work from home jobs and telecommuting positions may become more established. Each of us has a social responsibility to gain the trust of employers and produce great quality work with timely delivery and little or no communication gaps.
It all comes down to a matter of trust. In one article I read about employers and their thoughts on employees working from home it stated, "many bosses think home working is a euphemism for slacking off." I do not know about you, but this is far from the truth for me with my own experience since I started working from home. The workplace is evolving and just like most employees who have to constantly evolve with the ever-updating work place, so must employers with a more flexible work schedule in order to promote more productivity, but we can help prove the benefits by gaining their trust.
If you are interested in working from home or have been working from home and want to up “your game,” follow these tips.
1.) Professionalism is Key: How professional do you appear when answering your phone or when you have a face-to-face Skype meeting with the company you are working on a project for. I work on Odesk, so first thing in the morning; I have my hair done and makeup on. I do not want to look like slop on the cam and it makes me feel more productive and prepared for work.
2.) Efficiency: Answering emails and phone calls in a quick and efficient manner can help provide employers with an assurance that the employees or independent contractors who are working from home are not falling behind or that there is not a disconnect or lack of communication. Upon accepting work establish an agreed time line for projects and expectations of companies that are seeking your services to prioritize your work and figure out how to deliver on time and early if possible. Use "Smart schedule" your day in order to create the best efficiency for prioritizing your work. Remember the say, “the early bird gets the worm?”
3.) Social Networking: When you have any downtime, you must use social networks to showcase your online work profile and link it to as many business professionals who work at home or who work out of their home. This provides a professional network and expands your exposure to many different networks. Try social sites such as MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook.
4.) Prove competency with online certifications: If you work from home, you know you are qualified, but potential employers may be a little bit skeptical. The best way to prove that you are well qualified in your field is to take online certifications and qualification tests. Some testers do charge a fee to take these tests, but it is well worth the investment and the expense can be used as a write-off for income tax filings. Websites that provide employment certification online are Brainbench and Expert Rating.
5.) Updating your website: If you have a personal website and/or blog that highlights your services and skills, keep it up-dated. Make sure all links are working. Test your website on a regular basis to assure that all the links are up to date and working and the content is updated. Some reasons that non-updated websites dissuade traffic are returning visitors will not come back to your site and search engines will not index you as often.
6.) Twitter: Twitter is a free social networking site that keeps everyone connected by answering one simple question, “What are you doing?” Twitter like everyone else and show that you are just as up-to-date with technology and are not afraid to try new things.
7.) Explore Different Occupations: Maybe when you first started working from home, you started out doing data entry jobs, but then you realized that you had a knack for photography and had taken zillions of pictures over a matter of ten years. Well, if you have any downtime, organize those pictures and start seeking out making money from home on stock photo websites.. There are many different out there and you can compare stock photo sites to figure out what site would work for you and the types of photos you have. So you do not have to stick to the type of job you originally decided to work from home, but you can expand, excel and update your skills. Think of the services that companies need and highlight and showcase your own skills. Do not short-change yourself in the work at home market, make sure you highlight and show all different types of work that you do.
8.) Keep accurate records: When you working from home, always spend at least 1 hour per week to organize receipts, organize invoices or payments and make sure you have everything in order. To prepare tax and business related finances at the end of the year or even at tax time, is almost always so ‘close for comfort’ as far as keeping records straight and correct and do not forget the lost receipts that you can never get back. Yes, most of us get an accountant and I even recommend getting a professional to do your federal tax filings at the end of the year, but they charge by the hour and why pay them to organize and compile your information and spend endless amounts of money that takes away from your earnings if you could have taken just a little time to do it throughout the year.
9.) Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize… I can’t say it enough. Prioritize, organize, and keep a calendar. Deliver work and keep every in a smooth running order to not fall behind or take on jobs that you cannot deliver. When you have agreed upon a job work on it diligently until it is finished and delivered. Encourage meetings with employers and keep communication lines open to them about projects that you have delivered.
10.) Build trust: Prove through prioritizing work schedule, acting in an efficient and professional manner and providing great quality work to employers that working from home is a great benefit for any employer in need of a talented pool of dedicated workers.

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