Building a Customer Service Friendly Home Office
Whether teleworking or starting a business at home, set up an environment that’s conducive for working while considering your customers’ needs.
50% of employees in the US telecommute and startups are on the rise. Unlike Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who built Apple from a garage, you would want to be a little bit pickier than that, especially when customers come visiting.
So, building a home office isn’t just about setting up equipment and you’re ready to roll. Read on about our recommendations for a home office that will keep you and your business going for a long time.
- Get comfortable furniture not just for yourself but for customers during meetings. When entertaining guests, you would want them comfortable as much as possible. Holding meetings at home could go for hours so cozy chairs are a must. It’s home but it doesn’t mean you don’t bother with others’ comforts.
- Get serious and smart about security. Customers need to be assured that the business they give you is secure. In some cases, customers ask for security plans to confirm that they are in good hands. In this day where customer data and data in general are sensitive issues, guarantee proper handling of your customers’ business with a security system that keeps their minds at ease. Digital data is a given, but when equipment is stolen at your premises, you have installed software security for naught.
Some physical security system vendors lock you in for a period without providing an opportunity to test whether their equipment works. But customers are getting smarter and tech savvy with a call for “no contract wireless security system.” Vendors like SimpliSafe offer a no annual contract and a security system that can be controlled and managed on your smart phone. It features an easy-to-install hardware (minus the cables!), expert monitoring and police dispatch, on premise monitoring, and multiple channel alert. Its times like these that you need value for the money that you are willing to part with, and physical security is no exception. After all, other than protecting you and your family, it also protects your customers and the business they bring to the table.
- Good lighting is always good, aesthetically and on a functional aspect. Whether natural or artificial light, it is always one of the key things that enable a good working environment. Sunlight at certain times is good for the health, so why not be healthy while working!
- Ergonomic layout of your work area. Arrange furniture and pathway in an ergonomic way, where ease of movement is considered. With this, not only does it make your home office comfortable but helps you move about in the most productive way. For example, moving filing cabinets near your desk so documents are easy to reach or having your telephone at arm’s length to answer calls quickly.
- Computers, servers, desks, networking gears, chairs—these are stuff that you see in the office. How do you keep the environment efficient but comfy at the same time? Building a home office isn’t just an operations strategy but also allows for work-life balance. However, turning your home into a corporate office might put unnecessary stress on you. Balance the atmosphere with how you see yourself in a comfortable place. Create personal space such as a reading nook by the window or arrange an area where your family can see you in action. Sometimes, a good view helps move the brain cells faster.
More than the Equipment
When someone thinks of a home office, one would automatically think about all the equipment they need to purchase. Cables, computers, servers, telephones and what not are the usual considerations. But a home office is effective not because of those elements alone. Startups begin at home, some customer service operations are done at home, persuading customers and negotiating with suppliers are just some of the tasks that you prepare for when building a home office. It’s not just about the equipment, but about you, the people around you and your customers as well.
Who knows, you might even clinch the biggest deal of a lifetime at the comforts of your home office.