Interior designer RoxAnn Johnson usually loves the solitude her home office provides, except for the days when a new client or unknown vendor visits.
"Although chances are most people who come to your home office are legitimate, at the back of your mind you can't help but feel a little uneasy about being all alone," says Johnson, owner of Spatial Expressions in Orange, California. She prefers to meet with new clients and vendors outside of her home office--preferably at whatever location she'll be redecorating for them--but on occasion they will visit her.
Of course, if you know a client or vendor well, a home-office visit can be a welcomed interruption. But when it's your first meeting, personal safety becomes an issue. Isolated in your home office in what could be an empty neighborhood, you might be vulnerable when visitors come calling.
But before you panic, consider this: "If you're aware and alert, a home office is actually safer than many traditional work environments because you have more control over who comes into your office," says crime prevention specialist Lierre Green, who works as a commercial security coordinator at the Irvine, California police department and regularly conducts presentations on violence in the workplace.
Keep the following tips in mind and you'll likely stay safe in your home office.
Julie Bawden Davis is a full-time freelance writer who has worked from a home office in Orange, California, for 11 years. Her articles regularly appear in a variety of national and regional publications.