Dress To Impress, Even At Home
One of the hardest parts about working at home is maintaining the level of professionalism that clients expect to see in their attorney. Working at home, and the inherent casual environment that it creates, opens the doors for you to loosen your office policies on dress code, which can snowball into much larger issues. A good tip is to always dress as though you would be going into a traditional law office. This keeps you in the professional mindset and also shows your clients that you mean business.
Maintain the Appearance Of A Law Office
Though you’re at home, it should be very clear to clients that they are in a serious law office capable of representing them properly. Make sure that the room doesn’t smell weird, there’s beverages and snacks available to your clients, and there are no stains on any of the carpets/furniture. Essentially, uphold the same standards for your at-home office as you would have for an office within a larger firm.
Do Your Technical Work First
It’s no secret that your brain functions better in the morning when you’re rejuvenized from a good night’s rest, but did you know that your brain is actually more effective at creative tasks when it’s tired? The morning presents a perfect opportunity to get technical, work-intensive tasks out of the way, but as your brain tires throughout the day, it’s more creative tendencies come out. This means that the last task on your to-do list for the day should be the most ‘creative’ one, whereas the first few tasks of the day should be more operational.
Be Diligent Saving Receipts For Business Expenses
The hardest part of working from home in my opinion, is the tax code that comes along with mixing business and personal use. If you are seeking business tax breaks from the government, make absolutely sure that every expense truly is a business expense. Many people assume that simply because you use something for business throughout the day, that it can be written off entirely. The SEC has been cracking down on this form of ‘tax evasion’ recently, and typically, you want to avoid audits at all costs. In fact, taxpayers who file a Schedule C IRS form are two to four times more likely to face an audit than other taxpayers. In order to avoid SEC sanctions, make sure that you clearly divide your personal and professional expenses. For example, if you have wifi within your home office, but you use it 30% of the time for personal use, you should only file for a tax break on 70% of the charges stemming from your internet connectivity
Keep Track Of Your Time
When you’re working from home, it’s extremely easy to get distracted by everyday situations that will inherently come up throughout the day. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative for you to diligently keep track of your time worked.
Get Out Of The Office
This is an absolute necessity if you plan on keeping your insanity. When you’re working from home, it can become very easy to not leave your home-office throughout the day. To avoid this, you could make an outdoor task a part of your daily routine. Walking to get your morning coffee, or taking your dog on a lengthy walk will not only help wake you up in the morning, but it will also help improve your overall brain functions as well. If you’re too busy to make it outside in the morning, take a lunch-break as an excuse to stretch your legs and get outside.
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