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Could you cope with the challenges of working from home?
11/05/2017

Here are 6 tips on how to create an effective and enjoyable working environment at home:

Does the idea of working from home sound attractive? If you are someone who thrives on a busy, buzzing, working environment with lots of people around you, then working from home is probably not a good idea. It can be lonely working alone without the opportunity for a chat with a work colleague or someone to encourage you to get away from the desk and take a lunch break. 

On the other hand, setting up an office in your home can be the best career move you ever make. No daily commute, more independence, no distractions from colleagues and more flexibility with your working hours. Follow my 6 tips on how to make it work for you:

1.      Children and work: Although it is not intentional, children can be disruptive in a working environment. You may tell them that you are working and should not be interrupted but they will probably find that difficult to understand if you are just in the next room. If you have children who are not going to be at school, arrange reliable childcare.  This may not always be possible so set ground rules such as you must not be interrupted when on the telephone, otherwise you may end up like Prof Robert E Kelly!

2.      Your work space: Find a room or a quiet corner for your office and make it look professional with a desk, chair and shelving for books, files etc. A separate room is ideal as you can then close the door at the end of the day and forget about work until the following morning. Whatever you do, don’t try to work sat on the sofa or in bed.

3.      Get dressed every day: It may be tempting to stay in your pyjamas but if you are dressed for work then you will be more productive. Of course, you do not need to put on formal office wear but even a pair of jeans and a t shirt says you are serious about starting your working day.

4.      Take a break: When you work alone, it is easy to forget the time and to spend hours in front of the computer without a break, especially if there is no interaction with another human being. Every couple of hours get up from your desk, get a glass of water or a hot drink and a snack and walk around. I often go and sit in the garden for 10 minutes to get some fresh air and to give my brain and eyes a rest.Try this app called 30/30 which is like a virtual alarm clock. You can set it to remind you to take a break, then return to the task you were working on and then repeat the cycle: work/break, work/break.

5.      Get outside!  Now you are not having to commute to the office each day, it is tempting to feel smug when you look outside and it is raining or blowing a gale.However, fresh air is essential and popping out for just half an hour will revive you and break the solitude of working alone. Furthermore, oxygen brings greater clarity to the brain, which needs twenty percent of our body’s oxygen to function. When you breathe fresh air you can automatically think better as compared to when you remain inside a room for a longer period of time.  

6.      Don’t get distracted: When you work from home you do not have someone looking over your shoulder and keeping an eye on your productivity. This is liberating, but it can be tempting to let your mind wander and before you know it, an hour or two has gone and you have not done any work. You no longer need to ‘clock watch’ but it is a good idea to limit how often you check your social media accounts otherwise you will find you are wasting time on these instead of working. Whatever you do, don’t try to watch television while you work or you will find it hard to concentrate and it will take you longer to complete a task. If you like to work with background noise, put some music on to break the silence.

Working from home is liberating, fun, flexible and very rewarding so make the most of it.

9 things you only know when you work from home – a light-hearted blog from The Telegraph

P.S. If you are starting up your business, do take a look at the Business Wales websitewhich has lots of useful information on setting up a business and business planning. If you would like further help, contact Melanie Phipps who is a Business Wales Adviser on 01656 868500 or email melanie.phipps@businesswales.org.uk

This blog by MarketingDonut has some useful tips on how to get new customers when you work for yourself.

Need help with your admin email marketing or organising your office space? Do get in touch with me Email: lesley@tycaeofficeservices.co.ukTel: 01873 740140 

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"Lesley is our voice on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. In addition, Lesley also creates and produces our monthly newsletter which is emailed to 1000 plus contacts. Working with Lesley enables us to concentrate on running a busy restaurant and spend quality time as a family. It is reassuring to know that the work Lesley does for us is professional, engaging and appreciated by our customers and social media followers."

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