Saira Majid shares her Tips for Working from Home
This morning I counted my blessings. I am so lucky to run a business from home, to be my own boss and have freedom and flexibility. So I wanted to share with you some tips for working from home.
I am not unique, when I look at my clients there are many others like me who enjoy the benefits of running a business, whilst working from home and when I talk to them they would not want it any other way. Don’t get me wrong, life is not just roses and working from home can have its own challenges eg. distractions of the washing up and laundry or the door bell ringing. But once you find a bit of discipline , it’s a cost effective way to run your business.
In fact it is estimated that there are around 10 million people in the UK who are now working from home.
So if you are a small business, here are my tips for working from home :
- Have a set space at home where you work , so you know when you are “at the the office”, it’s a simple psychology. This regular place should not be your bed or the sofa with the TV on !
- Try to disconnect from the never ending house chores that need to be done.
- Try to have set times in the day when you work, and learn to be kind to yourself and have breaks, go for walks or get out in the garden and have a lunch break. You don’t have to work 9-5pm, but know your routine, I work 10-2,30 (during school hour) then 8pm-9.30pm (after kids go to bed). In the early days , I was well known for staying up late and working into the night. Often I would send emails after midnight and get replies from clients at that time too ! I try not to do that anymore, probably because I am older and I get tired, but also because it’s not good for your health. I will now only stay up if I have a pressing deadline.
- You don’t have to have all your meetings at home, especially with new clients or suppliers , think about using a local coffee shop or hotel coffee lounge. There are other options like hiring meeting rooms, or Business lounges .
- Meet other Humans. Do not become a recluse who only knows people “virtually” Find like minded people. I have friends who work from home and run businesses. We network both virtually on social media and meet up from time to time. Its important to have people in your network who support you, more psychology.
- Invest in good office equipment: internet service should not be the cheapest, decent office chair, reliable computer etc.
- Have a to do list, so that you stay focused, track and review your progress.
- Make sure your friends and family know you are “at work”, and learn to say no to phone calls and people dropping over for coffee.
- Be as professional as you can, you do not have to be a slob and work in your PJ’s ( ha ha .. psychology again !) – if you take your business seriously, people around you and clients will also take you seriously. I don’t wear a business suit but at the same time , I am not ashamed to answer the door !
- If you work from home and have a room that is exclusively used for the business HMRC allow you to offset some of the costs of running your home against your business e.g. electricity and heating. If you need more advice about this and how to claim “Use Of Home”, come and talk to me. One of my clients runs a catering business and she spent over £17,000 on a fantastic kitchen. However this kitchen was also part of her family home. I helped her to do a detailed Time and Motion study and we worked out a way to calculate the “business Use” of the kitchen.
- Once in a while pick your laptop up, and go “out” to work. I do it all the time, and I love the coffee culture in Starbucks and Costa , it’s a welcome change of environment. Look at uk-jelly.org.uk , its a good idea for homeworkers to work in an office, for free.
- Switch off you phone and turn off that laptop at the end of the day, this way, you know you have finished work for the day.
- try to enjoy the flexibility of working from home and every once in a while clear your diary and have fun !!
- Count your Blessings every day.
I hope you enjoyed reading these tips for working from home. I will be back soon with more posts to help you run your business.