Protecting Your Privacy When Working At Home

Operating a business from home does not mean that your life is an open book for the world to read. You will have to set specific boundaries between your work life and your private life in order to insure that your family is not interrupted by your work. You will need to establish specific working hours for your home business and at the end of the day go home. If you let your business consume every waking moment of the day, you will quickly burn out as well as causing an interruption to your family’s life. If you can afford at the start of your business, have a separate phone line installed that is strictly for business. Use an answering machine for after hours calls and unless a client or customer leaves a message that it is an emergency, call them back the next business day. If possible, do not give out your home telephone number as a contact number. You never know if little Johnny or Susie will answer the phone leaving a bad impression on a potential customer. There are many services that will cross boundaries between your work life and your private life and understanding where they meet will help you keep your sanity when working from home. When you first start the business, it may be easy for your spouse to ask you to get things done around the house while they are at work. You will need to remind them gently that you will be working and no, you don’t have time to finish the dishes, or throw a load of laundry in the washing machine and you definitely don’t have time to paint the bathroom. Unless the business requires you to meet with clients and there is no way around it, do not entertain business associates at your home. In fact, clients probably should not even have your home address. Using email and the telephone for client contact is in the best interest for privacy, as you don’t want an irate customer banging on your door while you eat supper with the family. A post office box is not overly expensive and can be used for most shipping and helps protect your family’s privacy. Remember, this is your business and you need to remember that your spouse and children are not employees. You may be working out of a home office, but it is still your family’s home and you need to make sure you have definite boundaries established. Just as you do not want them crossing into your office space while you are working, you need to show the same respect to your family by not allowing work to cross into their private space.

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