Staying professional while working at home

Staying professional while working at home

When you’re a work-at-home, stay-at-home parent, being professional can be one of your biggest challenges. While you may try to do most of your work during naptime or after the kids go to bed, you still must deal with people in the regular business world on regular business times. This means that inevitably you will have to make that important phone call with a two-year-old screaming “I want to talk!” in the background.

You may slip and tell a client, “I had the report ready on time, but was sidetracked by a poo explosion” or slip into baby talk in an e-mail.  While some people will understand, not all will be as forgiving. For the sake of your career, it’s important to take additional measures to ensure professionalism.Dedicate a kid-free space in your home. This is the place you keep your business-related documents to keep them free from smudges and spills. It’s a place you can make phone calls in quiet and concentrate as you send e-mails. A corner in an extra-large bathroom or a hall closet may be all the extra space you have, but it will be enough to keep an air of professionalism.

Set a schedule and stick to it.  It may be hard to get your kids to nap or go to bed at a certain time of day and stick to it, but that time could be crucial to your business. When your children outgrow the nap phase, keep that time as quiet time and have them watch a movie or play quietly in their rooms. Let your clients know that these are the best times to call you and stick to those times for conducting business whenever possible.