Today, thanks to the Internet and advanced mobile technology, people from various countries are able to make a good living working from home. In fact, more and more individuals come to realize that the best way to achieve and maintain good work-life balance is to find a home-based job that is fulfilling enough and gives you the chance to become financially independent.
If your final decision is to pursue a work-at-home career, then congratulations! You are going to embark on a life-changing trip. If you are wondering what follows next, here are some tips that will show you how to prepare and hack your way to success.
One of the most important aspects of starting a WAH career is choosing the right equipments needed to work from home. Some of the must have work from home equipments of a productive home office include:
Since you will be spending most of your days working, it is important to have a comfortable chair and desk that leaves enough room for your legs. Using the table in the living room and sitting on the sofa while working all day can potentially harm you back. Be careful about your health. When you suffer back pains if will affect your work performance.
Ergonomic furniture does not mean that you have to purchase a Herman Miller ergonomic chair. You can purchase any chair that have adjustable arm-rest, height adjustable knob and keeps your back straight.
Laptop or desktop computer
Basically, it is the type of job that defines what technical equipment you will need. For starters, your old computer should be good enough as long as it doesn’t give technical faults frequently. As your monthly income starts growing through a series of successfully completed work projects, you will be able to afford a new desktop computer and further equipment. Any computer with Windows OS can make a good fit, provided it is fast. It is advisable that your computer/laptop has at least 2 GB RAM and 250 GB HDD to store important data and download work-related software.
As a blogger, I prefer working on laptops since it is portable and require little space. However, most telecommute companies prefer desktop computers. If you do not own a computer, it is always advisable to purchase a desktop computer. As you start earning a handsome income, you can always buy a laptop computer later.
A pair of headphones and microphone
Most of the work-at-home jobs don’t require expensive technical equipment. However, when it comes to providing services that involve long hours talking over Skype and Google Hangouts, or listening to audio and video recordings, a pair of headphones with microphone is strongly recommendable. If you are planning to put on the hat of a transcriptionist, captioner, or call center agent, you will have to invest in headphones that offer high quality sound.
High speed internet
Whether a social media analyst, virtual assistant, or blog post writer, high-speed cable internet is always a must. If the connection is slow, you should consider changing the provider.
Active PayPal account
Most of the companies offering WAH jobs as well as trustworthy freelance websites deal with payments via PayPal. So it is very important to register an account with the most trusted online paying system worldwide. In all likelihood, you will have to wait some business days until your account is reviewed and activated to operate with payments.
In the digital era everyone has at least one email account. However, some companies apply special policy regarding emails, which means you may be asked to register to a specific email provider. Some companies prefer Gmail while others use Yahoo, Microsoft or other service providers to communicate with their employees.
Although you might enjoy surfing the web using Opera, your new employer might insist that all workers use Google Chrome for work. That shouldn’t be a problem as most of the web browsers are free to download.
Instant message software
There are many services that allow communication via messages such as Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Google talk and Skype. Fortunately, these are all free. Some companies, however, may require you to download specific message mobile application.
There are several simple and immensely practical services that allows everyone to share and synchronize files and folders. Some of the services include Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, iCloud, and Google Drive that allows users to keep large amount of data safe and well-protected. This is a good solution to keep private files and important information safe, in case you are facing frequent system crashes. Storing files in one drive offers further benefits. You can access your data anytime from any smartphone, tablet, and computer device, provided they are connected to the Internet.
Other important software programs
Thankfully, most of the programs and applications suitable for both personal and business purposes are free to download. Pirated versions of paid softwares are available on the internet as well.
When pursuing a work-from-home career, it is highly recommended that you never use any pirated softwares and instead spend some bucks to purchase the licensed copy. Some of the necessary softwares include:
- Operating system – Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7. It is not necessary to be higher.
- Working firewall, antivirus and spyware software to protect your data.
- Specific programs such as Microsoft Office, WinZip, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Photoshop, Picture Viewer, Teamviewer, Focus Booster, Screen Recorder, audio playback and video playback programs.
To avoid misunderstanding and leaving clients dissatisfied with the results, keep your technical devices and software up-to-date. Whether designing eye-catching logos on Photoshop, or writing insightful posts on MS Word, always use legitimate software.
Naturally, after working for a while, you will get a clear picture of what other equipment you can use to enhance your work efficiency – a separate phone line, scanner, printer, copy machine, grammar check software, etc.
As a remote IT worker, technology can be your most powerful ally to success. Holding on to old computer devices is not a bad thing. However, if your computer is giving you a hard time because of technical issues, maybe it is time you replace it with a more powerful and fast one. It doesn’t have to be expensive, though. No one prefers frequent system crashes during work time as it can damage your work as well as your reputation.
Which of these tools do you recommend the most? Do share your thoughts and ideas as it will help other people build a successful work-from-home career.