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Holiday working

Stay in touch with your home business while on vacation

A sunny outlook

If you are about to pack your bags and head for the mountains/beach/jungle, you will want to know that you can leave home without leaving the home business stranded. Follow these three top tips and rest easy during your holiday break:

Activate an email return message that tells people you are away and refers to when you will be back in business. This can be done through Outlook that offers an AutoReply feature called the Out of the Office Assistant which runs on the server so your computer does not have to be running to process the automatic replies.

Hire a receptionist who can take your calls and send on your messages via email/text or other routes. This service is available from a number of 'virtual office' providers but I like the sound of the 'Holiday Receptionist' service from Armchair Answercall which costs just 10.00 per day, for up to 2-weeks, with payment in advance.

Work whilst you are away. This is the option that is preferred by most home business owners I know who enjoy what they do so much that they don't see it as a miserable chore to check emails and project updates each day. There are some great gadgets and software tools that enable you to keep in touch.

Homeworking hotspots

For those people, like me, who search out hotels or accommodation that have a Business centre or internet access, check on our site for a new section about to be launched - Enterprise Nation Travel - that will profile global homeworking hotspots. These will be locations that are particularly welcoming of travellers who bring their business with them and have the amenities to cope!

Admittedly, time spent working whilst on holiday has to be carefully managed with family and travelling companions. I am, however, currently in touch with a business contact who has been on a Greek island for 2 weeks and has checked his emails, without fail, each morning at 7 (before the family rises) and again at 6pm (whilst everyone is distracted with evening preparations). He will return refreshed, yet on top of his work-load and, undoubtedly, with a tan deeper than mine.

What next?

Did you know that working from home can boost productivity in your business? Emma Jones explains how to work smarter and live better.

More Outlook tips can be found here. To get the most out of Outlook, however, sign up for Small Business+ for free help and resources.

Sign into Microsoft Small Business+ for free web-based training and software support.

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