If you answer the phone in a corporate office with co-workers talking in the background, it’s fine. If you answer the phone in your home office with the dog barking, the baby screaming and the doorbell ringing, your professionalism takes a nosedive.

There are a few simple things you can do to maintain your professionalism:

  • Check your voice mail message to make sure you are the only voice on it and that your message is clear. There shouldn’t be any background noises.
  • Use a separate business line or your cell phone for your business. Some of my clients forward their business lines to their cell phones most of the time to avoid missing calls.
  • Make sure that the only people who answer your business phone are associated with your business. I’ve found that toddlers and teenagers are the worst receptionists!
  • If your kids, dog, neighbors and anyone else in or near your home office is making noise when your phone rings, let your voice mail take the call. No one wants to miss an important call from a client but coming across as unprofessional may not be worth answering the phone and jeopardizing the good impression your client has of you. 

Working from home has its fair share of challenges. Having to convince others that although you don’t rent outside space you can still be professional, shouldn’t be one of them. 

Have a question about working from home? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!

About the Author(s)

Lisa Kanarek

Lisa is founder of Working Naked, a website that helps small business learn various aspects of working from home through “how-to” articles, videos and product reviews. She is the author of five books and has been a guest on Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, and Public Radio’s Marketplace. workingnaked.com | Facebook | @workingnaked | More from Lisa     ...

Founder, Working Naked
Working Professionally From Home