If you have skills, for example writing, web design, graphic design or photo editing skills, you may be interested in the idea of working from home. For many people, working at home via the web is a way that they can use their skills no matter where they are in the world to still make money.
For others, it is a way to make an income when they are forced to stay at home a lot of the time due to things like childcare commitments. But, whether you work for a company on a full time basis and have the option to work from home, or are setting yourself up as a work at home freelance contractor (such as a virtual assistant or copywriter), what do you actually need to get started?
If you plan to work from home in any kind of capacity that involves online communication (and let's face it, very few don't), you will need a good internet connection and a computer that is capable of making the most of it. In some cases, even the cheapest desktop computer, which you can buy from services like Gumtree, will be sufficient for you to set up your work from home operations. You need a fast internet service, which can cost quite a lot per month (but can be rolled in with your TV and phone service, so you can get some good deals), and a device, whether it is a PC or a Mac, which will let you communicate via the kind of services your clients will want to use, which will be platforms like Skype and Google Hangouts.
As well as having the right IT infrastructure for your work at home endeavours, you will also need to think about your own comfort. In a regular office, you would be expected to fill out forms to say your workstation was just right for you and you would also be equipped with items like chairs that have been designed for all day work use. At home, there are no such rules and there is nobody to tell you if you are putting yourself at risk by the chairs and desks you work at. Read up on office ergonomics, and invest in a desk and chair you can use at home that are designed for all day computer use. Not only will they prevent bodily stress, and stop you getting pains in your legs and back, but they will also make sure you don't develop longer lasting health problems like RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome.
With the right tools and layout, a home office can be the most perfect workplace imaginable, as it allows you to get the job done with no commute and can also allow you to watch your kids while you work. Without the right equipment and environment however, working from home can be inefficient and frustrating. Set up your workplace right and you will find working from home can make a huge difference to your life!