Not only do we love the name of Laura’s business, but we’ve been following her page on Instagram for a while now and love the content she pops out on there.
Take a read of the blog she’s written for our #25dayflexup about how she makes ‘working from home’ work for her.
I’m a freelance publicist and from Monday to Friday, you can find me working from my kitchen table. Before we moved from London up to Leicestershire, I worked 3 days a week based at a gallery whilst juggling my publicity business and my young daughter. After the move, and when my daughter started school, I went freelance full time, but not on full time hours. I work 9am to 3pm most days so that I can still be available for school pick-ups and after school activities.
I’m more efficient and motivated working from my home then when I was based in an office. Here are my rules for how I make working from home work for me:
Have a routine. This is vital not only for you but also for your clients and colleagues. After I drop my daughter off at school, I head home and straight into the kitchen where before we left for school, I have cleared away the breakfast detritus and put my laptop and notebook out. When I walk through the door I can get into ‘work mode’ and not first have to clear away things or put washing out. I’m focused for the next hour on catching up with emails and looking through my ‘to do’ list which I write the evening before.
Get your tech ready. Make sure that you access to decent broadband and phone signal. When we moved there wasn’t any superfast broadband and it made me less efficient. I changed phone suppliers as one provider had better signal than the one I was using. Sign up to Skype as well.
Get a ‘work chair. ’ I work from my kitchen table and not from a study because my kitchen is the warmest room in the house during the winter and the coldest in the summer. I was using a normal kitchen table IKEA chair until I started getting really bad backache. It didn’t occur to me (I know I know) that I wasn’t getting the correct lumber support for working at a computer. Last year, I treated myself to a proper, swingy, cushioned chair. It’s amazing and when I sit down, it helps get me focused on the workday ahead.
Set out clear working hours – I work for myself but I tell my clients that they can reach me between 9am to 3pm.
Give yourself a break. I use an app to record the hours that I work per client. I also have tea breaks during the day and try and get away from the laptop for 30 minutes for lunch. It really does make a difference.
Tell people that you work from home – it is amazing how many calls I used to get from family and friends who didn’t really understand that although I was at home, I wasn’t available for a long chat or a quick cuppa. I used to screen calls and I still ignore ‘group chats’ whilst I’m working. It’s harsh but otherwise I would end up working longer hours to make up time. Which wasn’t what I wanted.
Use social media – there are so many brilliant accounts that offer advice for staying motivated when working from home. It can get lonely at times and I do miss the camaraderie of the office.
Get out – every Wednesday morning I take myself to a local café, garden centre or National Trust property to have breakfast. I don’t take my laptop, but I have my phone so that I can answer any urgent emails. Instead I take my notebook and run through the week so far. This is also my brainstorming time for new projects or posts for my blog. Sometimes I meet with a friend as well, I find that the time is never wasted and I often do my best work on a Wednesday afternoon as a result.
Put the laptop and notebook away each day. I endeavor to do this, I’m not perfect but I do find removing it from the kitchen allows me to switch off and focus on our home life.
Write a quick list at the end of each day to highlight everything you need to do the next morning. Without regular progress meetings (that I used to have when office based), it is easy to get bogged down with the minutiae of certain tasks and thus is a good way to keep on track.
Working from home does have many benefits but it is important to also get a balance between work life and home life. This has taken me years and I’m still a work in progress!