Must-Have Tools for Home Office Telework Preppers

Creature Comforts, Soloing, Technology, Telework & Virtual Officing, The Road Warrior, Work/Life Balance
March 23rd, 2020 No Comments »

The novel coronavirus might seem to many end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it preppers to be the event they’ve been (ahem) prepping for. For the rest of us who are white-collar nomads jettisoned from the corporate office and told to telework from a home office, we’re not as concerned about duct tape, multi-purpose tools, and freeze-dried food as we are the creature comforts of a well-equipped home office.

That’s not to say at least two weeks of food (and toilet paper?) remain at the top of many experts’ lists as we seemingly head toward a national lock-down. But as long as Internet service remains operational, we must find a way to be productive from this new workplace.

So if you were a home-based telework prepper, what would you need to get your work done?


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The Great Outdoors: Setting Up Your Home Office Outside

Creature Comforts, Set-up / Design & Organization, SOHO Workstyles, Work/Life Balance
August 8th, 2018 No Comments »

Think you have what it takes to take your home office outdoors? With millions of people working from home, moving the workplace a few steps beyond the home’s four walls is enticing indeed. Done wisely and well organized, you may find success at a workspace in the fresh air.

Last time, we explored the science behind working outdoors. This time, we’ll look at how it can be done.

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Just Another Sleep-Challenged Mad Man Pondering Life From Atop a Home Office Throne

Commentary, Work/Life Balance
April 24th, 2013 No Comments »

Like Paper Or Plastic, Scrunch or Fold: What’s Your Preference: Early Bird or Night Owl?

So it’s 8am on a Wednesday morning. I’m sitting on the can reading a recent issue of Rolling Stone – the one with Mad Men’s Jon Hamm on the cover, looking all smooth and retro and stuff. Damn, Josh Eells is a good writer.

The current picture is a sad state, though. No, not Hamm’s uber-cool cover shot. Not really the picture of me taking in the article while taking, well, something else.

Our house is vacant, save Stella and me. And I’m spending a few minutes in solitary after four hours in the home office writing, filing and billing.

The picture I lament is that I’m reading a magazine already a few weeks old (whose cover subject stars in a show I’ve never seen). And this is the first time I’ve cracked the cover to delve inside. I’m sure I have older issues of Rolling Stone and Relix magazine – not to mention books and ezines – piling up on the commode’s tank or the floor beside my desk or my night-table or my inbox – everywhere I might find myself reading, but invariably do not actually read.

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Home Office Round-Up: Tax & Location Independence Day

The Road Warrior, Work/Life Balance
June 30th, 2012 1 Comment »

Can you work from the dinette of an RV? Location independence is the New Way to Work.

Can you work from the dinette of an RV? Location independence is the New Way to Work.

Just heard about a great concept: Location Independence.

Sure, this “Digital Nomadry” is really nothing new. Ever since telework took off in the late 1990s and post 9-11, American workers and employers discovered that work is a thing, NOT a place. Location independence is just giving a catchy name to a The Anywhere Office. It could be a beach house on The Jersey Shore, a cottage in the hills of Northern Ontario, or an RV tooling down the Interstate as part of Home Office Highway.

As the people at Freelance Switch discussed recently, freelancers worldwide have long aspired to take their business with them and hit the road.?But planning and prep work are needed to work remotely.

And a fair amount of tech (including my killer new Verizon MiFi broadband wireless adapter) — and IT understanding.

As Lea Woodward discussed, how will you get access to your bank account? How will you keep in touch with clients? How will you get new business? What about cell phones, time zones, internet access, and office equipment? In her session?Build a Location Independent Business Course, Woodward explores location independent work in X Marks The Spot.?Sounds like the stuff of Tim Ferriss in Four Hour Work Week.

What else is going on in the home office this week…? Read More »

The Real Costs of “Unplugging” from the Home Office, Home-Based Business

Work/Life Balance
June 11th, 2011 No Comments »

I recently wrote about the Death of the Away Message. Communications are so pervasive, so ubiquitous, so tethering, that we never really can disconnect – if that’s what we seek. Someone replied with a gentle suggestion regarding my vacation: “Unplug a little if you can.”

Commentary PictureA kind enough nudge from someone seemingly concerned about my enjoying a little R&R during my vacation.

But to many home officers, micropreneurs and small business owners, a simple, paradoxical equation prevails when presented the prospect of a vacation:

Time Away From the Office = Reductions in Billable Work = Lost Income Potential / Revenues

Multiply that equation by three weeks on the road, and the result can be downright devastating to the bottom line. To paraphrase my friend Jim Blasingame at the Small Business Advocate, “As a small business owner, if you don’t kill, you don’t eat.”

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Work-at-Home Fathers (Day) Unite!

Commentary, Home Office Parenting, SOHO Workstyles, Work/Life Balance
June 10th, 2010 No Comments »

(This post originally ran in 2007)

I read with interest a press release from Monster (the online employment folks) noting how more than two-thirds of dads surveyed “would consider being a stay-at-home parent if money were no object.” To which I replied, “You needed a poll to tell you that?” Whom among us would continue working if we picked the right six numbers for the next PowerBall drawing? I mean, I like work and all, but world travel takes time and something would have to give.

jz and kids In this household, money is an object. Luckily, I’m a stay-at-home dad. But I work from home, which makes me a work-at-home dad. I have been since before our oldest – now 15 years old –?was born. And I dig it. For that reason, I created “Work At Home Father’s Day.” I crafted this Hallmark Moment (without the sappy $3.99 card and 41-cent [they’re 41 cents this week, right?] Freedom stamp) about a decade ago to celebrate and “honor fathers who have chosen to work from home in order to improve their family lives or job satisfaction.” It’s held annually on the Friday before Father’s Day to say “kudos” to dads like us. This year, that’s Friday, June 15. In an effort to embrace all work-at-homers, entrepreneurs and teleworkers alike are welcome to celebrate. Among Monster’s other findings:

  • Some 58% believe their employers should be more considerate of working dads’ needs (to which I reply, “Become a soloist working from home and be the boss.”)
  • Seven in 10 dads with a kid under 5 took paternity leave when offered by their employer (to which I reply, “Me, too – kinda. Since I work from home, the concept of ‘leave’ is open to interpretation.”).
  • The bosses of about 30% of dads with toddlers offer flex schedules and pat-leave benes. And (this next one really shocked me – really)…
  • Just under half (46%) of all working fathers never bring work home during the week, while the same amount bring home work somewhere between 1-4 nights per week. Eight percent bring work home nightly (isn’t that called “homework”?). Frankly, that would be me; since I work from home and have admittedly wacky circadian rhythm, I tend to work odd hours (in the interest of full disclosure and dramatic effect, I’m writing this at around 10:15 on a Monday night).

Finally, 78% of respondents believe bringing home work affects the father-kid relationship. I’d agree there, too. Because I work from home and my kids see what I do, I think they have a great understanding of what “work” means. And because my home is my office, I nix “Take your kid to work day.” That’s like, uh, 100% of the days in this household.

Pets in the Home Office: Lousy Freeloader or Trusted Companion?

Work/Life Balance
April 26th, 2009 1 Comment »

pet-sachshund-slinkie-from-brent-and-marilynn-via-flickr-creative-commonsIf you’re a dog or cat owner, how important is your pet to the social fabric of your home or home office?

Does the animal add anything significant, or is it a requisite accessory to the Urban or Suburban milieu, little more than another piece of home office furniture or some must-have accoutrement?

Is it someone whom you care deeply for, or something you feed, bathe, tend to and drop $100 or so each year in vet visits?

Is it content to lie around – or frolic on demand, or is it high-maintenance?

Is it a companion for your home office, telework or small business experience (not to mention your and your family’s lives), or just a freeloading louse who’d rather be left alone, thank you very much?

Who are these creatures? What do they bring to our party?

Our dog, Riley, died recently. And we lost a loving, energetic companion from our home — and from my home office.

And I gained a perspective on the role he played in my home office… Read More »

Savoring Borrowed Time With My Home Office Companion

Work/Life Balance
April 18th, 2009 6 Comments »

Riley At Ease

I have a dog. Strike that, my kids have dog – a nutty terrier we call a “Terror.” His name is Riley.

That dog barks when someone sneezes, when someone counts numbers in sequence, when a bag full of garbage is pulled from the kitchen can, or when a jar taps the counter too hard. When I play my drums, Riley barks incessantly, ears up, terrier tail perked, his stance defensive.

He’s an idiosyncratic creature. He cowers to the ping of error messages on the PC (I’ve learned to leave the speakers off).? Come home from a day out, and his food will be strewn about the floor. Beard wet, there’ll be drool marks three feet up the front door glass – confirming my suspicion that this freak barks the entire time we’re away, maybe at his nemesis: the squirrel.

He’s just not normal, that dog of theirs.

Then one day, Riley stopped barking at sneezes, and squirrels and the pull of garbage bags. Read More »

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