The Change Direction Blog is about the joys, and practical impacts, of working from home online. It is about online businesses and techniques for internet marketing, traffic building. It is also about what it is like to work from home, working with family around, and all the practicial issues that arise on a day to day basis for someone working from home. Plus, an ex pat view of an English guy living in Palawan, a tropical paradise in the Philippines.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Working at Home. What Do You Manage? (5)

When you work at home online, another of your "management" responsibilities is the computing side. I have worked on some large projects, all of which had lots of computing technical staff there to help out, implement and advise. But you are working at home, are probably pretty much alone when it comes to the work itself, and may not have the funding to call in an "expert" every time you have a problem with your computer hardware or software.

Fortunately not much usually goes wrong with the hardware these days. But software, that can be difficult sometimes if you are not that way inclined. With technical developments and internet marketing changes coming thick and fast, I think all of us working from home really need to keep up to date with what our computers can do and how.

I have worked at home mostly over the past decade, and I must say I have had no major computer breakdowns. When it comes to software installation, and implementing new systems, I do try to learn as much as I can, almost entirely online. Whether you like them or not, computers are your main tool and probably always will be. So, for anyone working at home alone, as I do, it is best to persevere and try to understand the software and do as much as you can on your own. Otherwise, your costs will always be that much higher, depending on what computer expertise costs in your part of the world.

Mostly, though, software packages are quite user friendly. However, that is not always the case, especially in a newly developing specialist area, such as RSS. Now there it probably will help for a while if you can get stuck into some code. But when it comes to website development, for example, I believe it really is best to do it yourself, and make use of some of the wonderful software packages and services out there to develop your own website. I use Front Page to build websites, and I'm very much an amateur, as you will see if you visit the site. However, at least I have complete control, and don't have to spend my day checking somebody elses work or explaining to them what I want. Anyway, when it comes to my own home based business, I would rather manage myself, so I am the computer manager. I suspect you will be too.

I think it's a good idea to try to learn something new every day. As part of your time management, it's good to allow some time each day to pick up some new techniques, learn something new about some of the software you have, or investigate software you've not purchased yet. Most people will not do that, so by learning more and more, you're putting yourself and your home business into a stronger position.


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