How to Work Smart When You Work at Home

By Christina Hoffmann Spira, REALTOR® Magazine

As an independent contractor, you’re accustomed to a career that affords flexibility. So working from home some or all of the time may feel quite natural to you. Or, maybe not.

The Work at Home Balancing Act (New York: Avon Books Inc.; $12) will help determine your compatibility for this work style and offer you coping strategies for the challenges you may not have foreseen: handling the kids, wrangling the pets, establishing discipline, getting your spouse’s help with chores.

The author, Sandy Anderson, left a nine-to-five job to be a work-at-home entrepreneur—in real estate sales. So she sometimes gears the book to corporate types who for the first time are entertaining the idea of telecommuting.

With that in mind, skip the chapter on isolation. If you’re selling, you have plenty of contact with people. But take note of Chapter 9, “Organizing Your Time and Work Space.” She stresses the importance of finding a comfortable, utilitarian spot for your home office. It should have access to adequate lighting and phone jacks. And if you have young kids, don’t forget to child proof it or simply lock it up when you’re not around.

In addition, she cites helpful Consumer Reports information on home office ergonomics: Place your 14- to 15-inch computer monitor at least 16 inches from you; set your 17-inch monitor at least 20 inches from your face.

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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