During lockdown, employees across the UK took a long, hard look at their careers, with many deciding to change direction or set up shop on their own. For some, lockdown offered the perfect time to set up their own business from home. However, switching from working in an office to working from your living room can make it difficult to stay focused.
Add in the increased distractions from children or never-ending household jobs, home working can put a dent in your productivity. According to some recent figures, 5.3 million UK micro-businesses are going through all the same home working challenges every day.
So, to help home-working micro-businesses across the UK, Business Energy have put together five top tips to help you stay on track.
- Make your own schedule but stick to the hours you set out
If you’ve set up your own business, your working hours don’t need to be 9-5. But don’t let time run away from you either. Set a schedule and stick to it. If you’re a morning person, start your working day earlier. Alternatively, you could work in blocks of three hours, taking regular 30 minute breaks. Just know when it is time to shut off and switch to home mode.
A study by Wildgoose found that 44% of remote workers work longer hours than office workers. It’s understandable for longer hours to be more frequent for small business owners with passion. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t end up burning the candle at both ends.
- Get some early morning fresh air and schedule breaks
If you’re struggling to get a spring in your step on those early mornings, clear your head and set yourself up for the day with a short walk. This time is great to think about your goals for the day and unpack the previous day.
You’ll also want to schedule some short breaks throughout the day to stretch, get a drink, or take a breather. In fact, Advanced Neurotherapy has found that spending time outdoors increases brain function and concentration.
- Plan out your workflow
Write a to-do list at the start of each day so you know what your key focuses are. Not only is it a great way to monitor your productivity, it’ll also make it easier to prioritise your work. Make sure your list is achievable within the working day and know when it is time to ‘clock-off’.
- Set time aside for professional development
Even as a business owner, it’s important to still set time aside for personal development – especially considering the days and weeks can fly by when you’re busy. Whether that be taking a course in selling to clients, or learning how to file your taxes, doing this will break up your day-to-day.
LinkedIn Learning offers some excellent courses to help advance your skills. You can get your first month free and sharpen your skills on a variety of business, creative and technology topics.
- Make sure you have a good work station
Best case scenario, you’ll have a room where you can set up a proper home office, but if this isn’t an option, at least make sure you have dedicated space for a desk. You need to isolate yourself from homeplace distractions to help you stay productive.
Buy a chair with good lumbar support, and invest in some top-notch equipment to help you run your business as efficiently as possible.
Regardless of how you choose to work, it is important to establish a routine. It may take a couple of weeks to find out what works for you.