Hiring for a home-based office can be a tricky business, and needs to be dealt with effectively.
SupportBiz presents some tips to help you hire staff for your home-based business.
Meet out of home.
It is a good idea to conduct the interviews for staff for your home-based business outside your home. You could do this in a public place like a restaurant or a cafe. Since you do not know who will respond to your advertisement for staff, it is always better to stay safe and not divulge your home address to everyone. Always try to meet potential candidates on neutral ground.
If you find a candidate who suits your needs perfectly, it is advisable to have an open discussion with them about their conditions of employment. Inform them that they will be working in a home-based office, and find out what they feel about that. Be honest with them, and give them a complete picture of what they can expect if they join your business. Ask them if they have ever worked in a home-based business before, and let them voice their concerns, if any.
Offer proper facilities.
Once you have chosen a suitable candidate for your home-based business, ensure that you provide good facilities to them. Offer them a comfortable work desk and computer system, and any other equipment that they might need. Make sure that they have access to a clean bathroom, which is not cluttered with your personal belongings. They should also have access to clean drinking water, a first-aid kit and tea/coffee at least twice a day. Lighting should be good, and the work area should be neat and tidy.
Make sure that you offer a professional work space to your employee/s. Give them some amount of privacy while working and for receiving their personal phone calls. Ensure that they are comfortable while working, and do not feel like they are constantly under your surveillance.
Offer certain perks.
Being a small, home-based business, you might not be able to offer your employees a salary package and work atmosphere to match those of a corporate, but can surely offer them certain perks. You might not have a formal dress code for work, in which case you should communicate the same to your employees. Offer them generous vacation times, and flexible timings, if possible.
Build a meeting space.
It is a good idea to build a separate meeting space in your home-based office. This could be a separate room in your house, or a part of it. Have a large table where you can lay out relevant files, documents and press kits. You could use this area for discussing important matters or for brainstorming.
Work on creating an office vibe.
Do your best to create an office-like atmosphere in the work area, and build an office vibe. Allow your colleagues to interact with other entrepreneurs or colleagues from other businesses of yours, and exchange updates. Go out periodically for lunch/dinner. This will help your employees feel like they are working in a proper office, and also boost their morale.
Set up boundaries.
Establish suitable boundaries for both your employee/s, and your family and friends. Let your near and dear ones know that your home-based office space is off limits for them during work hours. Similarly, let your employee/s know of any code of conduct they should follow around your family and friends.
Factor in humour.
Working in the close atmosphere of a home-based office can be suffocating for some people. To avoid this situation, ensure that you factor in large doses of humour in your everyday work life. Keep the atmosphere at work formal, but light and enjoyable, in a way that is not stifling to the employee/s.
Offer a separate entrance/exit.
If possible, build a separate entrance/exit way to your home-based office space for your employees. It is a good idea that they not enter or exit through your main door, thus avoiding interference with the routine activities of your family.