Amid concerns of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is a small ray of positivity if you work from home as a freelancer or consultant, as so many of our clients do. Also if you are a business owner it is unlikely that you won't be set up in some way to manage some of your workload away from the office.
Whilst there is talk of social distancing and quarantine - as Boris Johnson suggested yesterday that the majority of us are likely to experience the virus over the coming months - it makes sense to raise our game in terms of home-working and being prepared to be flexible in the way we work.
Our top tips for home-working effectively are these:
Find a quiet place to work away from distractions
Set up a comfortable place where you will be able to sit for extended periods of time
Make sure your computer and equipment is all at the right height for your eye-line - think ergonomics!
Get acquainted with Zoom or Skype or even Facetime to replace meetings for the time being
Make sure you take time to talk to colleagues and other home-workers by phone, don't be isolated
Take advantage of online learning, webinars and forums for ideas and inspiration - many of these are free and will allow you to keep ahead of advances in your sector
Take breaks from your work - being at home means you can combine domestic chores with work, there's nothing wrong with that as long as you are disciplined
If you don't currently have systems in place for home-working it is important that you keep records of what you are working on and when, especially if you need to be accountable for your time
Turn your social media off - unless you are a digital marketer!
When your working day is over, turn everything off and make sure you enjoy some down-time, it is very tempting to return to your desk after hours
Check you have the right insurances for working at home and that your equipment is all covered
Talk to us about use of home as office for additional tax allowances if this is likely to be a long-term thing
Make sure you invest in decent broadband - get the best you can afford for the fastest connections
Consider cloud working - it's amazing to have everything on your office computer automatically and seamlessly available on your laptop and smartphone
Consider investing in a cloud-based client portal for secure and easy exchange of documents
Of course if you are a seasoned freelancer or consultant you will be home-working savvy but for those of us who are considering the next few months and the challenges we might be facing, it's a good time to make sure we are well set up and have what we need to be 'business as usual'.
Talk to us if there's anything we can help with.