Posts Tagged “Working from Home”

In a tech-hungry world such as the one we live in today, internet speed is everyone’s priority.

There is an increasing demand for fast and reliable broadband, and while this is convenient for the home, it is almost imperative for a smooth-running business as part of your office technology.

When you are dealing with business broadband, speed is not the only factor that is important when it comes to your connection to the Internet. If you want your business to be running efficiently online, super-fast business broadband is definitely something you should be considering.

Increasing productivity
When your business broadband is working at a high speed, it increases the efficiency of your business as files will download quicker and emails can be sent faster. This means employees will have the time to get more done instead of wasting time waiting for browsers and files to load. As the notion of cloud storage and back up becomes more popular, having the right internet speed necessary to access information easily is a sure-fire way to keep employees productive.

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Untitled design (20)Personal assistants have always been thought of as the backbone of the office, and until recently the idea of having your PA working from home was unthinkable. Technology and flexible working arrangements now make being a PA possible from home and many women have decided to go it alone, working for one or more companies on their own terms.

Research

Your first task will be to research the idea, and find out whether you think it’s feasible for you to work from home – will you be able to get childcare sorted, for example? Although being a VA does take the commuting and stress out of getting to work, you still have to be available for the times you’re being paid for so it’s really not a job you can do if you still have little ones at home.

Get your skills up to date if you’ve been out of the office for a while, so that you know how to use things like Skype, content management systems, social media, scheduling apps and anything else you think you might need to do a PA job in or out of an office.

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Working from home has many advantages, the lack of commute, flexible hours and freedom. It’s often been thought of as a low paid option but in fact there are ways to make a lot of money while working at home, especially if you have specialist skills.

Here are a few ideas that you might not have thought of, and the amount of money you can expect to earn from them*

  1. Voiceover Artist – £70 per hour

This is one you might not have thought of, but with the boom in videos, how-tos and help guides on social media, voice overs are more in demand than ever and if you are able to set up with a home studio and send electronic files, you could make a lot of money.

  1. Designing Infographics – £45 per hour

If you have a talent for designing entertaining infographics, it’s very sought after. Infographics are everywhere and again, loved by social media, so practice your skills and you could command a very good hourly rate for your services.

  1. Finance writing – £38 per hour

If you’re experienced in the world of finance and love to write about all things money-related, you could turn this into a career as a finance writer. You could be asked to do anything from market commentary and analysis to blog posts and annual reports, and if you have a knack for explaining complicated financial concepts in easy-to-read language, you’ll be in demand.

  1. Drafting Contracts – £35 per hour

Use your legal background to help businesses turn a deal into a contract. You’ll have to be super-confident of your contract law knowledge but if you’ve been a lawyer in that area, and left to look after the kids, it’s the obvious route into freelance work. Just brush up your current legal knowledge and you’re good to start.

  1. Recruitment – £33 per hour

Recruitment is a time-consuming task and so many firms prefer to hand it over to someone else. Freelance recruiters take over the challenges of attracting, selecting and then appointing the best candidates for posts. Ideal if you have demonstrable experience in a recruitment agency.

  1. Financial forecasting – £27 per hour

This is definitely a specialist skill, which involves looking over a firm’s internal accounting and sales data to predict their performance over the coming year (or another period) along with analysing external economic trends. Definitely one for the financially gifted but if you have a background in finance it’s an option you might want to consider.

  1. Electronic engineers – £26 per hour

If you’re a techie with programming experience, you can help companies and developers to plan the layout of new software and operating systems for phones, tablets and laptops, on a freelance basis.

  1. Translation – £25 per hour

With an ever-increasing global market, translation skills are becoming very sought after by businesses. If you’re fluent in another language and enjoy translating, the top money spinner is Spanish to English.

  1. CV writing – £24 per hour

Things are moving again in the employment market and so with more jobs being advertised, people are moving around a lot more and the perfect CV is a must. Helping job seekers spruce up their CV is a lucrative way to earn money from home.

*figures to the nearest pound, sourced from Elance-o-Desk in 2014.

WIN #LoveMyWorkspaceAre you a direct seller? Do you love your workspace? Enter our fabulous competition on Pinterest or Instagram for a chance to win a Premium 3 month Job advert (worth £130) on Work for Mums to help you build your team!

We would love to see your workspace! Maybe you work from a home office, use a laptop or work remotely; however you work, we’d love to see.

How to enter

  • Take a photo of your workspace. This can include your work area at home, working on the go at a play centre or cafe, your stand set up with products to sell at an event, or your products set up at a home party. You can even take a selfie with your workspace in the background if you like!
  • Share your photo with us. Head over to your Pinterest or Instagram account and upload your photo.
  • Tag us and use our competition hashtag. You can tag us @WorkforMums but most importantly use our competition hashtag #LoveMyWorkspace so we can see your pics!

You can follow us below to see entries:
www.pinterest.com/workformums
www.instagram.com/workformums

We’ll announce the winner at the end of August. The prize is a Premium 3 Month Job Advert WORTH £130! on www.workformums.co.uk which will really boost your team and business, especially in September when many parents will be looking for flexible work from home opportunities.

Good luck! We can’t wait to see your #LoveMyWorkspace entries.

Competition Terms & Conditions

 

It’s a given that as parent we feel an enormous amount of guilt. Are we doing a good enough job? Will our child ever forget we missed a sports day? Are we too strict, or too laid back?

But what about work?

We feel guilty about going out to work, we feel guilty when we stay at home; but what about when we do both?

There are numerous studies and articles written about the benefits (and pitfalls – just to make us feel extra guilty about our life choices) of being a stay at home mum or a working mum, but when you’re a mum working from home, you are both of these things. Does this mean double the guilt? We’re not quite a working mum in the respect that we leave the house in the morning and return later in the day, but then we’re not quite a stay at home mum either because we’re often having to work when the children are around.

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Guest post – Sandra Swan Coaching

I’ve enjoyed building a successful business from home whilst being a wife, and Mum to two boys aged six and seven. It’s meant that I’ve been able to offer flexibility to my clients, and be there for my family when they need me.

I wanted to share the things I’ve done to achieve a great work/life balance so that if you’re struggling, you might find these tips help:

1) Set clear boundaries for myself
Deciding what hours I work on my business is one of the benefits of being my own boss. If you’re an early morning person you might like to start at 7am and finish by 3pm for instance. Of course, you have the flexibility to change your hours if the need arises, and you will find that in the peaks you’ll work longer. That’s ok, as long as whenever possible you keep within your chosen parameters. I’ve found it takes a degree of discipline not to get into the habit of working all hours

2) Set clear boundaries for my family
I have two rooms at home that are dedicated to my work. One where I see clients and the other is my office. My family respects that the ‘coaching room’ is where I see clients and they don’t go in there. I know there will be a time when my boys are a little older and want to have their own space apart from their bedroom and I will need to be flexible about this space. When that time comes, I will ask that rules be abided by, and if they use the room to hang out with their friends etc, I will expect them to respect its purpose and leave it as they find it.

3) Set expectations right at the beginning of my working relationships
If you don’t want customers calling you at 10pm of an evening, either get a separate phone line for business calls and leave them to go to voicemail, or screen all numbers you don’t recognize, or answer and explain you don’t work past 7pm (or whatever time you’ve chosen). Offer to phone them back at a convenient time. If you take a call at 10pm from a potential customer, you will educate them from the outset that you are happy to take calls at that time of night throughout your relationship with them.

4) Dedicate a space /room
I’ve found that having a room in the house where my work happens means I can more easily switch off.
On a practical note, if my kids are anything to go by, if you leave your important paperwork lying about, it’s likely to turn into a paper airplane sooner than you can shout ‘stop, that’s an important document!’

5) Look after my wellbeing
Looking after my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is my number one top priority. If you were a car, you would expect to break down if you put diesel in your unleaded engine; if you didn’t get a regular service, and if you continually ran on empty. Your all round health is important because you are your business. Things I have chosen to do to do take care of myself include:

  • See a qualified nutritionist – find out what foods energise you, and which make you sluggish
  • Seek out a personal trainer/ yoga/pilates teacher – design a sustainable exercise programme, that will fit in around your lifestyle.
  • Book regular lunch breaks – as well as creating time to top up your tank, it’s a great way to create space for new ideas to emerge.
  • Schedule time out – do whatever floats your boat and makes it all worthwhile.
  • Ask for help!

Asking for help has been one of my biggest challenges, and one of my keys to success! There is no doubt that trying to do it all on your own is simply impossible. It’s taken me years to get comfortable asking for help, but when I have it has reaped significant rewards.

When we had our first child, my husband negotiated flexible hours with his employer so that he could help out at home, and be there for the boys if I wasn’t. His help has been invaluable. It has been just as important that I feel supported in my business decisions. This is not my husband’s forte, so I invest in regular business coaching. I have chosen group coaching, so I feel part of a community of like-minded people. We meet weekly for inspiration, motivation and a healthy dose of TLC. If I’m having a bad time, this gathering always helps me feel better, and if I’m having a good time, we celebrate what’s going well.

Author Bio

Sandra Swan coaches midlife professionals to enjoy more fulfilling work, helping them make career changes, or supporting them to successfully run a small business. In 2000 after being

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For many parents, working from home is an ideal choice as you can have flexibility with your working hours, don’t have to worry about holiday childcare arrangements and of course save lots of money on renting office space.

There are many options for working from home, here are just a few ideas.

Home Working Options

  • Make Things To Sell – if you love crafting items such as jewellery, cushions, clothes, bags and other gifts and keepsakes, set up an online shop on a blog or Facebook and sell the items you have made.  There are many websites which enable you to sell your wares for free.
  • Complete Online Surveys – there are many online companies that require people to participate in surveys and questions
  • Become a Mystery Shopper – there are more online companies now needed mystery online shoppers
  • Become A Direct Seller – many direct selling business can be run online through use of blogging and social media.  Make sure that any company you join are members of the Direct Selling Association www.dsa.org
  • Sell Your Photographs – if you have a flair for photography you could consider selling them online for use as stock photos.  Don’t forget once they are sold they will be in the public domain and can be used on a variety of websites and blogs
  • Online Virtual Assistant – if you have office and secretarial experience utilise it by starting a business as a VA
  • Typing Services – offer to type up student dissertations etc.
  • Ebay Business – start selling all your second hand items on eBay and offer to do the same for friends for a small fee
  • Childminding – contact your local authority to find out what’s involved as there are legal requirements

Always carry out thorough research before committing to any type of opportunity, especially if there is financial investment involved.  You will also need to ensure you are fully aware of your legal responsibilities of becoming self employed.

Useful Home Working Links

The Guardian: 50 Side Businesses To Set Up From home www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/sep/04/50-side-businesses-from-home

The Word At Home Woman: 99 Work At Home Career Ideas For Women www.theworkathomewoman.com/99-work-at-home-ideas-women/

The Open University: Home Working www.open.ac.uk/careers/home-working.php

It can be a real challenge to get things done when you run your business from home.  You often find that you flit from one task to another (quick blog here, put on a wash load, check e-mail, vacuum the lounge etc.) and not really feeling like you have achieved very much.  To achieve more (and save your sanity)  it is really important to manage your time effectively.  Getting to the end of the day and realising you have half a dozen tasks either incomplete or half done is very frustrating.

Managing Your Time When You Work From Home

  • Make lists. If you have an iPhone or iTouch there is a great app called ‘Evernote’ which is free. You can seperate your home and work tasks and tick them off as you go.  Alternatively get your notepad out and get writing; then keep it somewhere you can see it often to keep a handle on your objectives
  • Don’t waste time social networking.  Plan your computer time for optimum results and treat yourself to Facebook/Twitter time if you complete your task within your allocated time
  • Be realistic about working from home.  Don’t forget ‘me time’ too, if you get invited for coffee with a friend go along! It will refresh you and maybe give you some inspiration
  • Back to lists; always keep a pen and paper handy so you can work on the go.  That 5 minutes sat in the car at school pick up time, or when the little ones are occupied for 5 minutes is precious, so make the most of it.  You could plan what you are going to do tomorrow, start writing your latest blog or note down some ideas for networking/advertising
  • Get a weekly routine.  If you tend to be the one doing many of the household chores, write a routine of what you want to be doing on each day of the week.  This will help you plan your work time more effectively
  • If you are struggling with your workload, consider employing a Virtual Assistant (VA) as a temporary measure.  A VA can help you to write content for your website, manage your newsletter campaigns and even help you with social media too

So, first thing in the morning plan your day.  Be realistic about what you can/want/need to achieve and stick to it!

Feel free to comment below with any time management tips that you use – Suzannah x

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When you work from home it can be a challenge to motivate yourself to achieve your goals.  WFM Guest Article written by Christine Jolley has some excellent tips to help you to keep motivated in your business.

1. Remind Yourself Why You Started Your Own Business For Yourself In The First Place

The honeymoon phase does end when you start your own business and when that does happen it helps to remind yourself why you took the big plunge in the first place.  What made you fall in love with your company or your business?  Make a list; look at those first launch pictures for your business or do anything to remind you why you joined to rekindle the ‘romance’ and excitement again.

2. Space Can Be A Good Thing

If you’re frustrated and just not feeling it right now with your business, give it space.  Go get a massage, exercise, make a cup of tea, go for a walk, take a bubble bath or do anything that will help nourish YOU again.  When you’re feeling happy and calm and relaxed; then start again.   Giving your business that ‘space’ will do wonders for your motivation, productivity and mental health.  Don’t work on your business when you aren’t feeling good.

3. Just Show Up

Sometimes the motivation doesn’t come until you’re already doing it.  Even if you don’t feel like it, show up and go through the motions.  Chances are that enthusiasm will be following closely round the corner.

4. Set Goals

Set mini and long-term goals for yourself and treat yourself when you reach them.  If you have something to look forward to that you REALLY want, it will help light that ole fire again.

5. Create Daily To-Do Lists

If you’re not feeling motivated having the strict routine of a schedule can seem overwhelming.  Start slow and create a to-do list.  Make the list small initially and have a ‘if time’ list as well.  Your main list is a must do and the ‘if time’ list is just bonus points if you get to them.  Stick to the list and don’t allow yourself to get distracted.  Be sure to do something towards your goal list every day if you can and always include down time for yourself.

6. Read Success Stories

Read inspiring books of people who have conquered the unimaginable, make friends with the people who have really done well in your company and ask them how they did it or even watch inspirational videos on YouTube.  We often think that we’re the only ones who are struggling at times but you may have no idea what journey the person sitting next to you has been through to get where they’re at.

7. Embrace Your Feelings

There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs when you have your own business.  It’s easy to embrace the good times but how we deal with the bad times is what defines us.  Embrace the failures and all the crappy horrible feelings that usually come with it.    Is the vision for your life and the desire to achieve this greater than any difficult feelings you may have to deal with?  Sure it’s hard to face our own self-doubts and our own fears but embrace it and don’t let all the icky feelings stop you.  Don’t let anything stop you and that includes yourself.

8. Look For Ways To Simplify

Are you making things harder than they could be?  Always look for ways to simplify the processes you do.  We can get bogged down and lose our motivation when we are always treading against the water.  Simplicity always is best and will always thrive especially when times are tough.

9. Help Someone Else

Even if you are feeling unmotivated, take the time to inspire or help someone else.  Do something amazing for your team to get them fired up and going.  If you don’t have a team it can even be a random act of kindness for a stranger like buying a sandwich for someone whose homeless or buying some extra canned goods to leave in your apartment building for your neighbours or even smile at someone who walks past.  When you give you receive far more in return.

10. If You Think It, It Will Come

Change your thoughts; your body, your business and your life will follow.  Be aware of negativity.   If your struggling to be positive, tape positive affirmations like ‘I am motivated in my business’, ‘I am a money magnet’, ‘Party bookings come easily’ or others you like on your mirrors and around your house.  Try a vision board for your business.  Go through magazines and put collages of pictures of things you envision your business to be.  If you train your brain to believe these thoughts, it will change everything.

Find out more about Christine and the Scentsy work from home business opportunity by visiting: ldnwicklesscandles.com

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When you work from home it can be quite liberating to not have to get dressed in a particular way for your ‘work’

Whether you have abandoned a suit or uniform from your previous employed role, when you work from home there are no regulations or restrictions on what to wear – a real bonus right?

There are of course some advantages to not having to get dressed up for work, whether it be cost saving (tailored suits, dry cleaning..) and from the comfort aspect (who wants to sit in a suit all day anyway), but this doesn’t mean there are hundreds of home workers slopping around in their PJ’s until noon!  Most people who work from home will agree that it is important to still maintain a level of personal care and appearance as if you were actually going to a work place.   This can have a real affect on your professional mindset too.  By dressing for ‘work’ your whole mindset is different and this will really show to those who you are speaking with on the telephone or corresponding with.

There is also the confidence aspect; we all feel better when we are looking good don’t we?

It’s a good idea to see yourself and your work area from the perspective of other people – what would your peers think if they could see you in your home office/work area?

Food for thought…would love to hear what your work from home attire is? Comment below – Suzannah x