Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a remote worker, working from home has become a highly popular trend. At an age where digital technology can support the majority of office tasks, working from home can be a cost- and time-saving arrangement that boost your productivity. Indeed, most remote workers are quick to admit they can work for longer periods of time at home without being distracted or disturbed by coworkers. Additionally, because you avoid the hassle of commuting, you can start your day completely stress-free in the comfort of your own home. In other words, there’s a lot to be said about home-based offices.
However, safety is a significant point of concern when you’re based outside an office. Indeed, you need to ensure that your digital work is protected from theft and cybercriminals. Therefore, it’s essential to the success of your enterprise that you include safety protocols to your day-to-day activities. From encrypting business calls to using multi-factor authentication, cybersecurity needs to become second nature to you.
But it would be foolish to assume that cyber threats are the only danger lurking at home. Indeed, maintaining your home working station safe should also include essential protection against unnecessary resource use, such as wasting time or money. How safe is your home office against productivity and income losses?
Your smartphone becomes your best friend
When you work from home, your smartphone becomes your main point of interaction. Not only is it a tool to reach out and call potential clients and partners, but it also is a virtual pocket computer. As such, it’s not uncommon for people to buy the latest smartphone device as soon as it becomes available. However, many of us are guilty of spending too much on their phones, both in terms of money and time. While it’s understandable that you need a reliable device, you could spend less money on your smartphone by settling for an older model. It doesn’t have to affect your day-to-day work. But something as simple as keeping your working iPhone rather than buying the latest model could save you up to $1,000 – and sometimes even more depending on models. Additionally, you can also curb your data use with smart tweaks and save a lot of money in the process. In short, you don’t need to go overboard when it comes to your smartphone.
Block YouTube videos while working
It all started innocently with a quick search online, and suddenly, you’re not quite sure where the last two hours have gone or why you’re watching cats videos. Oops. Unfortunately, as powerful as the Internet can be, it is also a source of distractions that can hinder your productivity. If you’re worried you can’t discipline yourself, you need to block your access to sites that encourage procrastination when you should be working. You’ll find some helpful app such as Cold Turkey, can let you block your typical digital distractions during the day. You can schedule automated blocks, which means you’re less likely to lose yourself in the next video of a cat playing because YouTube is out of bounds between 9am and 5pm — or whenever you need to work at your desk. Some of the worst time-wasting sites tend to be social media platforms, e-commerce shops, and hobby blogs, so keep those at bay.
Learn to ignore display ads
Even though you may block some sites during your working hours, it doesn’t mean you can’t be tempted into spending money. Remarketing ads, especially, can be dangerous for this. Display ads tend to follow you on your most visited websites to show you items you might be interested in purchasing. You may not have considered buying that pair of shoes you checked online last night, but the remarketing campaign can convince you otherwise. Because we spend a lot of our working hours online – researching, checking information, or reading new materials –, we’re more likely to come across one of those ads and commit to a purchase.
Don’t post your work on social media
When you’re an independent professional, you can’t afford to ignore your social media presence. Therefore, it would be unfair to claim that the time you spend on Twitter, or LinkedIn is unrelated to your career. More and more freelancers and entrepreneurs build a prominent social media presence where they can showcase their work and expertise. However, you need to be careful about what you choose to post. Indeed, if you’re posting photos of an event or your work, you need to make sure that you’re not accidentally revealing confidential information that could be used against you. Indeed, even if you’re not sharing your passwords, showing your work could make it easy for others to “steal” your idea and sell the same service for less.
Don’t leave the metre ticking
Leaving your laptop or computer on standby when you’re not working comes at a high cost. Indeed, standby appliances consume energy – as much as £80 a year. While it may not seem like a lot, it’s ultimately wasted money that serves no other purpose than covering unnecessary expenses. It’s a good idea to check your home office for energy waste, as a lot of professionals who work from home could save a lot of money on their energy bills. Something as simple as checking your insulation could help you to ditch the electric heater you keep under the desk in desk. Electric heaters are notorious energy vampires!
Your cosy environment disturbs your productivity
Working from home means you’re in charge of your workplace decor. While it’s a fantastic advantage for individuals who want to personalise the work area, it can also be a source of problems. Indeed, your home office needs to serve a primary purpose, aka support your productivity. While it can be tempting to create a stylish space, be careful not to let your decor distract you from your tasks. The introduction of a coffee machine, vibrant decorative items, or elegant indoor garden can look nice on an Instagram #HomeOffice photo, but it can disrupt your concentration when you’re trying to work.
Creating a home-based office that helps you make the most of your resources in terms of time and money without wasting any of them can be tricky. It’s not uncommon for home-based professionals to focus on digital safety and fail to consider the many other ways in which their home office could affect their lifestyle.