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Not the 9 to 5: How to embrace working from home
The vast majority of successful small businesses have one thing in common: the lack of overheads. In fact, of the top 20 most lucrative small companies, over 80% operate either from ‘home’ or in a mobile capacity. This includes mobile hairdressers and gardeners; as well as marketing professionals, web developers and financial experts.
A better work / life balance is something more and more people are craving, and many employers already allow, or indeed actively encourage a ‘working from home’ day. So, with remote working becoming the norm, there is an increasing concern for those who may not be suited to solitary working.
As someone who has built up Los Social from home, I am more than familiar with the traps you can fall into and how to develop a working pattern that encourages efficiency and plays to your strengths. Here are some of my top tips for getting the most out of remote working:
- - Create a ‘home office’ which you can use as a base for more formal work. I have a beautiful desk set up on our landing space, with a comfy but stylish chair, and some stationary and ornaments that reflect my business. It’s inviting and suits our home, but also allows me to switch into work mode when I settle there. Don’t get me wrong, if I’m catching up on emails or being more creative I’ll often pitch up on the sofa, but a dedicated environment helps me to focus.
- - Get out of the house. I’ll admit, there have been a couple of days where I’ve barely left the house. These haven’t been my most productive. Grab a coffee, go for a walk, exercise, make a delicious lunch: and when you need a distraction take your laptop to a coffee shop and make use of the energy shift (and free wifi). I can often get more done in one hour in a cafe, than in a day at home.
- - Make a to-do list. I use Trello and it basically runs my life! I have a list for each working day, which I file in my ‘stick a fork in me’ folder when I’m done - a big tick on my virtual list! I’d definitely recommend this app, as it can help structure your day or week, and you can create folders for each project. The sense of accomplishment when you fulfil a task gives you a boost when no one else is around.
- - Treat yourself. If like me, you have experience of past managers checking your every move while out of the office, you’ll perhaps still hold yourself accountable for every minute. Now think realistically about how much you are actually achieving away from the distractions of co-workers and unnecessary meetings, and take a moment for you. Shut your laptop, put your phone down. Read a few pages of your book, with (in my case) an iced latte.
- - And lastly, connect with like-minded people. There are so many co-working spaces now and an abundance of online groups and communities. These are great places to ask questions, create relationships and gain reassurance. I have a few mates who are in a similar position to me and every now and then we’ll meet up to talk shop. That fills a little hole left empty now I don’t have co-workers, and enables me to get my fix and then crack on
If you’re in the Leigh-on-sea area and fancy a coffee and chat about your small business, get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org