Tips for Increasing Home Office Productivity

| February 13, 2012

Operating a home-based business can be more exhausting than commuting to a job. Using a few of the readily available tools and services will increase productivity. Home-based Business

Running a home-based business has its advantages and its drawbacks. It’s something akin to parenting. It’s fulfilling and rewarding, but also very difficult to take time off. No matter how well planned and thought out the home-based operation, it seems like there is always something that needs to be done, no matter what time it is.

The key to a successful home-based business is squeezing maximum productivity in the minimum amount of time allotted. Yes there are 24 hours in a day, but when the office is in the home, 24 hours just doesn’t seem to be enough. Parents in home-based businesses have to share their time with spouses, kids, pets, unexpected visitors and spur of the moment household emergencies.

Some things cannot be avoided, however, there are a few products and services currently available that, depending on the type of home-based business, will help boost productivity. Here are a few tips for the home-based business owner:

Try Voice Recognition Software

One of the most helpful tools for home office workers whose businesses have not quite earned enough to hire administrative staff is voice recognition software. Rather than spending time on the computer hunting and pecking at the keys in an attempt to write a letter or e-mail, voice recognition software allows for the user to dictate into a headset while the software does all of the typing.

Nuance, the manufacturer of Dragon Naturally Speaking software, offers a product that drastically improves productivity. Naturally Speaking offers more than just the ability to dictate letters and memos. You can use it to navigate the Internet and much more.

Hire a Virtual Administrative Assistant

There are several companies and individuals that offer virtual assistance services. The assistant can help with anything from managing appointments and emails to scheduling meetings, answering telephones or even creating databases and performing research.

The amount of work and level of detail all depends on the home-based business’ needs and how much the business owner is willing to spend. There are quite a variety of companies out there, so it pays to research them thoroughly before employing any one of them.

Eliminate Post Office Trips

The United States Postal Service offers services that are helpful to the home/small business. Whether its something as simple as printing postage out postage stamps or creating direct mailings these functions can be managed from any computer at any time. No need to pack up and drive to the post office to send out business mail campaigns. It pays to take a little time to look through the USPS website for time saving services.

Plan Your Cooking

This may not be a business function, but many home-based business owners wear many hats. One of the many hats is the hat of cook/chef.

The name of the game is to be as productive as possible. When cooking, make sure to cook enough for two or three days. Freeze at least a day’s worth. By accumulating meals in the freezer, critical work time will be freed up on days when deadlines seem to converge simultaneously.

The ability to pull out a home cooked meal from the freezer not only relieves guilt, but also frees up valuable time to meet deadlines head on.

Home-based businesses face many challenges and rewards. The key is to take the time to research and find out what works best for your business. In addition to squeezing as much productivity as possible from a workday, saving money when buying office equipment will add to the company’s bottom line.

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Category: Work from Home

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits About Money.

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