Tips on running a business from home
The number of people working from home has soared over the last decade, with more and more ditching the traditional 9 to 5 in the office in preference of working flexibly from their spare rooms instead.
Over the last 10 years the number has increased by a fifth, reaching a record 1.5 million. The biggest growth in the trend has been seen among women with 157,000 more working from home in 2015 than in 2005.
A lot of this will be down to the growth of bloggers and vloggers, who have been transforming their hobby into a job over the last few years – updating YouTube channels and websites from the comfort of their bedrooms.
If you are planning on joining this ever-growing number, whatever the role, here are a few tips to help you do so:
Create a designated working area
It may seem like a good idea to work from your bed or the sofa, but you will quickly realise that you are far less productive here. You need a designated working area, somewhere you can shut yourself away with everything you need for a successful day at work. The best thing to do is transform your spare room (if you are lucky enough to have one) into an office.
Set yourself working hours
When working from home it can be easy to turn that five-minute snooze into an extra hour in bed, followed by a leisurely breakfast and a few hours of Netflix. Before you know it, it's the afternoon, you're still in your pyjamas and haven’t even turned on your computer yet! As a result, you end up working from 5pm in the evening straight through until 11pm at night, which will only result in the same thing happening the next day and the day after that.
So, you need to set yourself working hours in the same way you would if you went to work for a company. These hours may need to be more flexible if you have children, but they will give you a guide to work to.
Organisation is key
You need to keep on top of your organisational skills because you will have a lot of things to do, when working for yourself, that would otherwise be done for you in an office. You need to tell the tax man and do self-assessments, for example, which will be incredibly hard work if you don’t stay organised throughout the year.
Store stock in a storage unit
If your business is selling products, you need somewhere to store them. When you are starting out you may have enough space in your home, but as you grow this will start to takeover and clutter the space. The result will be stress and disorganisation, which can only be detrimental to your business. What you need is storage space outside of the home. Investing in a storage unit will provide you with somewhere safe and secure to store all you need – with access whenever you need it.
Make time for yourself... and your loved ones
Separating your home time and work time can be difficult when it all happens in the same place – as a result you can end up working long in to the evening and over weekends, as well as during the week days. Make sure you step away from your work (which setting work hours will help you do) and take time for yourself and your loved ones. One way to ensure you do this is by switching off your phone outside of working hours and ignoring emails until you are back in the ‘office’.