Three Essentials for Working from Home 
by Vickie Bouffard Post 

COVID-19 will usher in a new normal. The fact is, more people will continue to work from home. It has its perks! No commuter traffic—at most, you might have to wait in line for the coffee maker in your kitchen in the morning. 

To make the best impressions and reduce your stress while working from home, be sure you have a professional office. That means you should set yourself up with business-grade equipment! It’s not that expensive, and it will create less stress, more productivity, and will give you a polished image. 

How does it look to clients when your internet drops and your Zoom meeting ends abruptly? How does it sound to your callers when your VOIP phone connection is choppy? Consider what happens if your clients hear every other syllable or only receive half the message. You disconnect and call back, hoping it’s better, and it isn’t! You relaunch your video conference app, and you spend time troubling shooting what the issue is, only to have your stress rise because people are waiting for you. Ultimately, you can’t get back online and you missed the rest of the meeting. The opportunity is lost. You missed the magical moment to close! What does that cost you in terms of missed sales? 

When you miss crucial conversations or others can’t understand you, misunderstandings happen. Miscommunication is the root cause of projects going sideways. An example, important details are missed on a project or implementation plan causing costly delays, causing more video conferences to correct the issues and then the dominos fall! The domino effect shatters the implementation timeline for the change management initiative. To avoid these pitfalls, implement these three simple solutions to create a stable, professional, and stress-free work from home environment. 

Here are Three Home Office Essentials: 

1. Get yourself a business internet account! 
If it does go down, you get priority attention from the internet provider. However, it seldom goes offline because it’s a better product than the residential service. Your VOIP phone also offers better sound quality. 

2. Ensure you have a VOIP headset with a microphone. 
Don’t try to use the microphone on your laptop. Laptop microphones can make you sound like you are in a canyon, and that echo effect creates confusion! Invest in a VOIP headset that plugs into the USP port, so you have professional audio quality. If you make a lot of calls, consider purchasing a wired headset, so it doesn’t run out of juice. Wireless is good if it has time to recharge in between calls. 

3. Invest in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). 
Does the power go out often at your house? A UPS comes in all sizes and price points. You can get one with 8 hours of back up battery and enough outlets for your computer, phone, and other essential devices. When the lights go out, your Zoom meeting doesn’t! Stay ahead of the curve. Preserve your professional image and your critical communication by investing in these three home office essentials. Ensure the new normal for your home office is less frustrating and more productive for you and your business.

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