- Why is working from home so beneficial to entrepreneurs?
- How to make transitioning to remote work easier?
- What are the best work-from-home tools?
Q: What are the most useful tools for working from home?
A: While the best work from home tools are largely business-specific, comfortable office furniture, a workflow management system, communication applications, and a virtual office are some of the best tools available for any entrepreneur.
The digital transition accelerated by the pandemic is upon us.
More and more individuals are leaving their office jobs to work from home or start their own businesses.
This transition, while not unexpected, is a lot to wrap your head around.
Many entrepreneurs are discovering the benefits of working remotely and hoping to make the move smoothly. Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of work-from-home tools that will make this transition considerably easier.
Not only is running a business from home far cheaper than renting an office space, but the freedom that comes with working remotely is unrivaled. With the right attitude and the best work-from-home tools, running a business from home is a perfect way to determine your niche, grow your business, and increase profit margins.
Thanks to the sheer volume of individuals making this transition, the market for work-from-home tools is booming. As an entrepreneur, you’ll almost certainly find hardware and software beneficial to your situation, no matter how specific.
Below, we’ll explain why the transition to remote working is beneficial, some of the common pitfalls associated with working from home, and how to find the best work-from-home tools that can strengthen your business.
Keep reading to understand why so many people are making the switch to remote work!
- Why is working from home so beneficial to entrepreneurs?
- How to make transitioning to remote work easier
- What are the best work-from-home tools?
- Using the work-from-home tools together
Why is working from home so beneficial to entrepreneurs?
A large part of being an entrepreneur is the desire to work for yourself and the desire to grow your business on your terms.
Working from home gives an entrepreneur this peace of mind. By working remotely, you can focus on expanding your business online without worrying about managing your physical space.
By utilizing the proper work-from-home tools, you can make your home into an office of your own. If you make these decisions with conviction, this utilization and a dedicated work area can remove a good deal of worry from your daily life.
Remote work also allows you to make better use of your time. When you’re working in an office you might be worried about juggling:
- Dealing with distracting coworkers
- Limited scheduling capabilities
- High office rental costs
If you’re an individual that works better in the evening, then the 9-to-5 office hours won’t let you produce your best work, and you might not be able to keep the office open late enough to be conducive.
Working from home allows you to set your schedule, meaning that you can work as late – or early – as you please.
Schedule creation and deciding your hours go a long way. When you’re stuck in an office and working during hours you feel less effective, motivation can be hard to come by.
Working remotely also saves money, which is critical for business growth during an era of record-high inflation.
You don’t have to rent an expensive office during hours that might not even be productive to your business, you save money on gas by not commuting to work, and you’re even able to use your home office as a tax write-off.
Finally, although saving money and keeping odd hours is nice, the biggest benefit of running a business is freedom.
Your business is your business.
With remote working, you don’t have to worry about:
- The real estate giant you’re renting from
- Other businesses that are operating out of the same space
- Injecting money into areas of the business that are not working
Despite the countless benefits linked to working from home, the transition can be difficult. Continue reading to see some of the pitfalls commonly associated with remote work and how to avoid them.
How to make transitioning to remote work easier
While the freedom that comes with working from home is a huge benefit, it can also be overwhelming for some.
Individuals that have been working in an office for the better part of their lives might be prone to more issues than others during this transition as well.
Fortunately, the shift to remote work is largely mental. Work from home tools are not too difficult to figure out – it’s simply a matter of creating routines and sticking with them to increase productivity.
One of the biggest mistakes made by new remote workers is not setting a concrete schedule. Something as simple as Google Calendar can be one of the most effective work-from-home tools.
The idea is to create a routine with your work. If you’re haphazardly trying to complete tasks with no real idea when you started and finished work, it’s far easier to get distracted.
In traditional offices, distractions are usually external forces such as coworkers or unrealistic workloads. In the home office, distractions are generally internal and can still impact the workday.
To combat this, you can use any kind of calendar to force yourself into a routine until it becomes habitual. This will prevent you from wandering off mentally, which is easy to do when you’ve been at the computer for hours without standing up or looking outside.
It’s easy to overdo it in a remote working setting, but it’s also equally easy to underdo it. That is why it is critical to create a workday routine – and stick to it.
Outside of using a calendar to create routines, communication apps are an essential work-from-home productivity tool that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with.
One of the most popular communication platforms, Microsoft Teams is probably the easiest on this list to figure out and is included for Microsoft 365 users.
Teams excels in the communication department, allowing you to easily video call, voice call, or instant message colleagues. The robust chat options and multiple add-ons make it an easy way to discuss projects and contact team members.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits that come with Microsoft products is the convenience of having all of its apps in the same central location.
Used by almost everyone during the pandemic, Zoom is another work-from-home communications tool that all entrepreneurs should familiarize themselves with.
Zoom allows users the option to create large rooms that can connect numerous people to the same call, which comes in handy when you’re trying to hold conferences with or bring together team members that may be in different parts of the world.
Another benefit of Zoom is the sliding scale with which you can pay for services.
Technically, you can use Zoom free of charge, but if you’re building your business, you’ll likely start paying for a subscription. Zoom has multiple different tiers of paid plans, so your Zoom subscription can scale with your business.
Slack claims to have more security than traditional email, while also providing the ability to break chats up by topic, making it a must-have for any remote working entrepreneur juggling various projects.
Paired with the connect feature that allows you to contact individuals from teams outside of your own, Slack is a great tool once you’ve got a grasp on how to use it.
Additionally, Slack has a workflow builder that allows you to automate menial tasks. By automating certain tasks, you’re able to focus on growing your business.
Proper utilization of these apps can potentially replace in-person client meetings in several cases.
Sure, there might be specific instances where you’d like to rent a meeting room, but adopting these applications gives you more flexibility and agility in how you conduct business.
Virtual Office Registration
Finally, registering your business with a virtual office can make your transition to working from home seamless.
Doing so protects your privacy, as your virtual office address will be available to the public rather than your home address. Plus, a virtual office still allows you to receive mail straight to your home without fear of your personal address becoming public.
Outside of the benefits of privacy, registering with a virtual office gives your business a physical address that adds an air of legitimacy to your operations. A big part of being successful in working from home, especially when you’re running a business, is legitimacy.
As with all periods of change, transitioning to remote work requires self-discipline and an understanding of work-from-home tools. If you’re able to come to a decent understanding of all aspects of remote working, then the whole transition will be far smoother.
That said, let’s discuss some of the best work-from-home tools that will make your remote work journey as comfortable as possible.
What are the best work-from-home tools?
When discussing work-from-home tools, it’s important to identify both hardware and software that can make your workday run as seamlessly as possible.
For now, we’ll go through some of the best hardware for remote work, and then we’ll examine some of the software that you should familiarize yourself with.
First, investing in a good desk is something many individuals tend to overlook.
On the surface, this may seem like a negligible aspect of the office, but having a desk that is comfortable to stand or sit at will make your time in front of a screen considerably more bearable.
In addition to a suitable desk, it’s wise to get a comfortable chair as well. Even if you’ve opted for a standing desk, you may still be sitting a lot. As a result, it’s essential to have an ergonomic chair that supports good posture for your overall health.
These investments might seem fruitless or even unnecessary, but creating a well-ordered and aesthetically pleasing home office will allow you to feel relaxed and truly focused during your workday.
For the technical hardware, it truly depends on the kind of remote work you’re doing. Additional monitors can be good work from home tools, but if you’re not doing graphic design or other detail-oriented work, it can be a bit unnecessary.
Once you’ve created a comfortable home office, you’re ready to start familiarizing yourself with the software side of things.
To start, investing in a workflow management system will make remote work more optimal.
There are several different kinds of communication-based and workflow management work from home office tools. While you don’t need to become an expert on all of them, you should pick software that you can understand and utilize to grow your business.
For starters, consider checking out Asana, a communication and workflow management application that makes organizing your to-do lists a breeze.
The majority of your software decisions will depend on the type of business you’re trying to run. For instance, a consulting business will have different software needs compared to an online retailer.
Regardless of what kind of business you’re trying to run, the communication apps listed above, Asana, and the Microsoft Office 365 Suite are all examples of tools every entrepreneur working from home should familiarize themselves with.
Independent of general hardware and software requirements, here are some more work-from-home tools that can help take your remote work to the next level.
Adding a virtual receptionist to your business is never a bad idea. A constant stream of incoming phone calls is a distraction that can be hard to contend with.
On the one hand, constant phone calls mean your business is likely growing.
On the other hand, trying to multitask important calls is a quick way to lose professionalism and potentially rub first-time callers the wrong way.
With a virtual receptionist, you can focus on other aspects of your business while a friendly, professional voice answers the phone.
A bonus of using a virtual receptionist is the ability to work from anywhere. You don’t have to be constantly worrying about whether you’ve missed calls or lost cell service, which in turn makes traveling and working much easier.
This will build legitimacy as potential clients will feel attended to. Plus, it’s much more inexpensive to hire a virtual receptionist compared to a part-time or full-time receptionist.
Last but not least, depending on the kind of entrepreneur you are, a coworking space is a work-from-home tool that can do wonders for your productivity.
If you’re the kind of person who feels isolated working from home, a coworking space could be used as a place to go a few days of the week solely to break up the monotony.
After a while, working from home can get incredibly dull. Spending weeks at a time at home with little to no actual human interaction is terrible for the mind and the body, and sometimes a coworking space is what it takes to recalibrate your brain.
The stress and isolation associated with working from home can be exhausting.
While it sounds counterintuitive, once you’ve created a lasting routine, breaking it up by utilizing a coworking space every so often will put you face-to-face with other professionals in the same boat as you.
Sometimes, being with other individuals dealing with the same remote work stress that you’re dealing with is a positive and can build camaraderie.
Additionally, if you’re struggling to understand some of the various work-from-home tools, on-site staff are available during the day to provide support.
If you’ve utilized a virtual receptionist and a virtual office, then a coworking space becomes far more attractive. A receptionist is answering your phones, the virtual office is forwarding your mail, and a coworking space is giving you the spark of creativity you desire.
Alliance Virtual Offices offers coworking spaces, virtual receptionists, virtual offices, and a whole slew of other work-from-home tools that can help you reach your goals.
Not only does Alliance Virtual Offices offer a virtual office for easy LLC incorporation, but they also provide Live Receptionist services to allow entrepreneurs the freedom to focus on the less menial aspects of running a business.
Additionally, the coworking spaces available via Alliance Virtual Offices can help break up the monotony of remote work and give you a place to refresh and recharge.
These work-from-home tools come in a variety of ways. The trick is to determine which tools are best for your business and familiarize yourself with them until they’re second nature.
Work From Home Tools that Make Remote Life Easy
The transition to remote work can be taxing, but the digital boom is here to stay.
Entrepreneurs are in an exciting position where the ability to make the digital transition is largely a determining factor for the success of their businesses.
Working from home can help entrepreneurs manage their time, finances, and subjective well-being. If you’re looking to transition to remote work, make sure you have an excellent digital communication platform and register with a virtual office.
You can make working from home much better by investing in comfortable and aesthetically pleasing office furniture, adding a workflow management system, and utilizing a virtual receptionist.
Socializing in a professional, more relaxed setting like a coworking space can also instill an extra spark of inspiration often needed when working from home.
Work from home tools are plentiful, and no matter how you’re feeling or what you’re struggling with, there’s always a tool that can fix your problem – it’s just a matter of knowing how to use it.
Similar to traditional business building, knowing how to react is a large part of your business’s success. Keep yourself healthy and focus on building.
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- A pay freeze vs. returning to office: Workers equally hate both options
Work from home tools can make all the difference in your overall work, but sometimes it’s nice to have some extra help.
But remember you can never stop learning about work-from-home tools.
There are simply too many options out there, and the more you learn, the easier that remote work becomes. If handled correctly, the profit margins associated with an entirely remote business that utilizes these various tools blow traditional margins out of the water.
If you’re struggling to get started, if the transition is giving you more trouble than you expected, or if you just can’t figure out how to incorporate your business, contact us.
Where your business is right now doesn’t matter, we’re ready to provide you with the work-from-home tools to make it a success.