How to Portray a Professional Image While Working from Home
A video of Professor Robert Kelly, a political science professor, giving an interview to the BBC recently went viral. In the middle of the very serious interview, Kelly’s children confidently enter the room, followed quickly by his panic-stricken wife trying to quietly but quickly remove the children from the room. The incident was adorable and entertaining, but not exactly professional in the traditional sense and clearly demonstrates some of the challenges of working from home. Whether you are live on air, or sending emails in your pajamas, maintaining a professional image while never leaving the comfort of your own home can be vital to your success.
Have a dedicated office space
It is important to dedicate a spot in your home to your work. If you work from the sofa, or worse even, the bed, the temptation to allow yourself to be distracted is too great. It is important to have an area that allows you to get in the work mindset, which you do not associate with relaxation. It will help you to be productive and draw boundaries between work time and relaxation time. Of course, not everyone has a room they can turn into an office, but a corner in the living room works fine too.
Make your office inviting
If you do have the luxury of turning a whole room into your office, make it an enticing space you want to spend time in. You are much more likely to be productive if you have a nicely decorated, inviting office space, then at a desk crammed into the corner of your house. Luckily, we have plenty of inspiration for decorating your home office. Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t make your work area nice if you don’t have a separate office. Just try to find somewhere a little secluded to aid your concentration.
Make sure your online presence makes a professional impression
Arguably, your online presence is as or even more important than your physical office. Unless your work involves clients coming to your home or having work meetings there, it is unlikely that anyone will ever see it. Your website, on the other hand, is likely to be a potential client’s first point of contact, so it is important to make sure that it makes a good impression. It is worth hiring a professional web designer to really make sure it is customized to your specifications. Another thing to consider is how your email address looks to others. Hotmail doesn’t exactly scream sophisticated professionalism. Consider using a provider like this to make sure your email address reflects your business.
Ditch the pajamas
We know it’s tempting to stay in pajamas all day if you don’t have to go anywhere, but it is well-known that our clothing affects the way we feel – including our productivity. Plus, by having dedicated work clothes, you set an additional boundary between your work-self and private-self, which can be hard to do when you work from home. Not to mention, if you have a video call with a client you will make a professional impression.