Business Manners

Working From Home. If you don't have a spare room, set aside a quiet corner for your office.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Make space. If you don't have a spare room, set aside a quiet corner for your office. You'll be able to focus better, and business visitors won't have to navigate strewn toys and discarded underwear.

Dress the part. Even if you're not meeting people face-to-face, mooching around in pants and a vest is unprofessional. Shave/take the curlers out of your hair, and then make the call.

Set working hours. The phrase nine-to-five may cause a cold sweat, but it helps to halt the drift towards brewing tea, watching Trisha and repeatedly vacuuming the same patch of carpet.

Do not disturb. You've escaped the office hubbub, but that won't guarantee peace. Clients won't be impressed if their call is interrupted by the neighbours popping in or the kids experiencing a sugar-high.

Give yourself a break. Plan a dip in the pool or stroll around the park as a reward for work. The change of scenery will boost your productivity.

Stay connected. If you're regularly out of the office, keep up to date with the industry and make an extra effort to stay on the radar of key contacts. Going out on coffee meetings will keep you in touch and ease cabin fever.

Don't disappear. Instant messaging and remote network access mean you have no excuse for going awol. Make sure colleagues and contacts can reach you, and don't answer the phone with a 'yo!' if they do.

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