Useful Tools & Services For At Home Workers

by WorkFromHome on December 28, 2011

Across the country, many people are discovering the world of working from home. There are a wide range of work at home careers, from customer service agents, to graphic designers, writers and small business owners. These workers enjoy the comfort of working from their home offices, the freedom to write their own paycheck and own their own time. There are many tools on the market designed to make working from home simpler.

Online Time Sheets

One of the main problems that at home workers experience is how to effectively track their time. There are online time tracking programs that will keep track of hours worked, clients served and projects completed. Most of these programs are free. You can also download them to your computer and print them for better record-keeping. Tracking time is an essential function of any at home worker. It can be easy to waste time on distractions that subtract from your profits. Time tracking software is one of the must-have tools for any work from home office.

Online Stopwatch

A must-have for writers and professionals who bill on an hourly basis, an online stopwatch is a helpful tool for your work at home toolkit. An online stopwatch will allow you to track exactly how much time you are devoting to each project and help you to avoid distraction. Set the stopwatch with an alarm that will signal when it is time to start and stop working.

Many at home workers get distracted by checking email, responding to new clients and surfing the web. For the at home worker who is in charge of his working time, these activities can cost big time in lost profits. An online stopwatch will keep you on track and allow you to see exactly how much time you are spending on each project.

Skype

This video sharing software is a necessity for many people who telecommute or work at home from a larger company. Skype allows you to instantly connect face-to-face with your coworkers, clients and customers. Many companies that hire at-home customer service agents require their workers to install this video-sharing software to their computers to interact with customers face to face.

In fact, one car rental giant hire at home workers to service customers that walk into their offices. The virtual customer service agent is no longer an anonymous voice over the phone. Skype and other video conferencing services are the wave of the future and are a great addition to your work from home toolbox.

Background Noise Programs

One of the main complaints that at home workers make is that their home offices are too quiet. When clients call, it is obvious that they are working from home because the there is none of the typical office background noise. In some cases, there are children playing, dogs barking and televisions blaring in the background. This is unprofessional and can cost you a position with your work from home firm. The solution? A CD or computer file that fills in the silence with the typical office sounds.

An office sounds program will give callers the impression you are in the middle of a crowded office. Activate your program when a call comes in, and your caller will hear typing on keyboards, phones ringing, fax machines and ambient office noise. These programs will greatly help your sales and boost your reputation as a professional at home worker.

Co-working Offices

Many work at home business owners conduct their sales from their kitchen table. While this is a great cost-saving measure, it can be an impediment to new business. Many small business owners are not comfortable bringing new clients into their homes, and meeting at coffee shops can be noisy and distracting. A co-working office is a temporary office space that can be used as needed. Rent space by the day or hour, and project a professional image to new clients and customers. Enjoy a prestigious address, a dedicated receptionist and conference room capabilities. There are co-working offices in almost every major city, and you can usually rent one quickly and easily. An office away from home is a great addition to your work at home toolbox.

Online Fax Service

If you don’t want to invest in a fax machine, an online fax program will work wonders for your work at home business or job. Send and receive faxes directly from your computer. Print out only the faxes you need, saving on printing and ink costs. With an online fax service, you can check your faxes from any computer, giving you the added convenience of being in touch even when you are away from your office.

Working from home can be rewarding, fun and profitable. By having the right tools at your disposal, you will save time, money and headaches. Add these essential tools to your work at home toolbox and make your work life easier.

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