Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Common Office Requirements for the Work at Home Professional

Have you been searching for a work-at-home opportunity? If you have, there's little doubt that you've run across companies that require independent contractors to have a home office. When reading about these requirements, you may wonder exactly why they’re in place. Here are five common home office conditions that independent contractors may find set forth by work-at-home companies:

Home office view 1

1.Dedicated Office

Work-at-home companies want you to dedicate yourself to their agency. For many companies, this means that their independent contractors are required to have a home office. But why? You are more likely to concentrate on the work at hand if you aren’t sitting with your laptop in front of the television. You may also find that your home office must include a door that you can shut. This is so that, if you are on the phone, your clients and customers aren’t listening to your toddler screaming in your ear.


It’s a fact that cell phones and VOIPs aren’t secure. You also run the risk of dropping calls, unstable connections, and poor signal strength that causes your voice to cut in and out. Because of these reasons, any work-at-home company that provides services over the phone will require that you have a dedicated landline, often with no features. Depending on the company that you work for, you may need to include unlimited long distance calling on your phone line.

3.Secure Cabinets

Even though you are working from the comfort of your own home, you may be dealing with sensitive documents. You will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of this information. In order to do this, you’ll need a locking file cabinet, or set of cabinets, in your home office. You may not consider this to be an important piece of office furniture but think about this: If you’ve ever placed an order for something over the phone, you may have been speaking with someone working from home. Would you want your credit card information lying about in a stranger’s home?


It’s the very rare company that doesn’t require independent contractors to have a reliable computer at home. Your computer must be running on the company’s desired operating system, have a high-speed connection, and have anti-virus software installed. Should you get a virus on your computer, and you are using the company’s software, you very well may infect their entire system. If you’re working at home, make sure that you are running anti-virus and anti-spyware software at least once a week.

5.Fax Machine

Recall: HP Fax Machines
If you don’t have an all-in-one printer, it’s time to get one. The company that you choose to work for will let you know if they require a fax machine and an all-in-one is the most convenient way to add one to your home office. Not every company will require a fax machine; be sure to find out if this is a condition of your contract before you run out and buy new office equipment.

Is it realistic to think that your new employer will stop by your house to inspect your home office? No. It is realistic, however, to assume that you could lose your contract if you have screaming kids and barking dogs in the background, a spotty internet connection, or an unsecure phone. Whether you follow the tips above is up to you; we suggest that you do.

Sara Randall is a writer for furniture blogs, who also has first-hand experience with home office design. If you are remodeling your office and need new furniture ideas, check out for their European styles.


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