Setting Home Office Rules

Operating a business out of your home has its advantages and disadvantages.

Along with the convenience comes the friends who don't understand why you can't just drop everything. There are ways that you can manage some of the distractions that come with working at home.

The first is to lay down a set of rules, and then stick to them.

Here are some rules to consider.

No Personal Phone Calls

One of the best things you can do is to install a telephone line that is solely for business purposes.

Then, do not answer your home phone or personal cell phone during your working hours.

Do not give out your office phone number to your friends and politely explain that you don't have time to take personal calls during work, but you'll call them back as soon as you have a moment.

Lunch Hour

Have a lunch hour, but not three or four hours.

Many who work at home find that friends don't understand why they won't have lunch with them every day.

It's frustrating, but just tell them that your lunch hour is between 12 and 1, so you really don't have time to meet at a restaurant.

8-Hour Work Days

Another common work at home problem is that many work until midnight. Why not? The office is right there.

While there will be plenty of times that you'll have to put in more than a 40-hour work week, working non-stop is not the best for your family or for you.

Make a set work schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Again, there will be a lot of times that you will need to work late, but having a schedule gives your family some idea of when they can count on having you around.

By implementing a few ground rules, you'll likely find that the benefits of a home office far outweigh the negatives.