If you are able to work from home, here are 10 top tips to help you work smarter.
1. Create a distinct work space. Whether you can afford to turn the spare room into a bespoke office or all you have is a desk, create a distinct workspace so that you can forget about the dishes and the washing pile and enter work mode in your workspace. Running a business from home requires total self-motivation so give yourself the best start with a distinct working location.
2. Get organised. Organise your files, both computer and paper files, so that everything is easy to find. Your time is too precious to be spent looking for documents. Colour code if you find it helpful and have everything you need to hand in your workspace. Who doesn’t like to shop for funky, matching stationery?
3. Invest in a separate land or mobile line. It is so much easier to put on your best business voice if you have a distinct line which you know only receives business calls or orders or appointments. It also means that you can ban any small people at home from answering the business phone while CBeebies is blasting in the background.
4. Schedule client or conference calls at appropriate times. Never schedule a client call if you know the kids are about to have a meltdown or the dog is due to go out for a walk. This is when a distinct space in the house for working comes into its own.
5. Don’t forget that looking professional is still important for your mindset. You might work from home but it never acceptable to answer the door to a client or film a Facebook Live in your jammies!
6. Create a network to whom you can outsource. When you hit those peaks in your business, make sure you have a network in place to whom you can outsource whether that is admin, accounting, manufacturing or social media creation tasks. Likewise, if you are your business and you get ill or need a break, it is ok to outsource, no one will know it is not you for that time.
Similarly, if there are areas in which you do not excel, outsourcing is often a cheaper option than spending hours trying to do it yourself. A client last year said it took her 5 hours to write a blog post so she was so behind with writing about all her fabulous products. Imagine what you could be working on in your business if you paid someone else to write the blog posts, freeing up your time to work smarter where your skill set is most suited.
7. Don’t shy away from the fact that you run your business from home. Give your potential clients the rundown of why it benefits them like low overheads and a more personal service.
8. Have the attitude that you work from home, not at home. It is important to disconnect from your business to have regular downtime. It is certainly much harder to do that when you can access your workspace at all times so try to set a time limit after which you will not answer the phone, read the emails or check your Twitter feed: you are not available 24 hours a day just because you haven’t left the building.
9. Sometimes you have to change up the workspace. Some days, working from home is not the right place or there are just too many distractions at home. You just need a change of location to kick start the creative juices again. Source a local coffee shop or even the local library, somewhere with good wifi that just isn’t your home working space for a day.
10. Build a business network. Isolation can be a negative side effect of working from home so it important that you are able to network with like-minded individuals to chat about the highs and lows of working from home and to have a tribe to bounce ideas off. Getting out and networking also takes the focus off your internal business workings and allows you to see what else is going on in the world of work.
Engagement for Business uses the knowledge gained over the past 10 years in launching and running a successful business to help and coach other business owners in their own businesses. Sometimes, we all need a helping hand to reinvigorate our passion and drive; sometimes, we all hit a wall; sometimes, you need a sounding board to help you refocus your time and energy; sometimes, you need someone to redirect the roadmap of your business to get you back on a course to engage and excel! Don’t be afraid to reach out for a helping hand, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.