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How to work from home and win

18 March 2020

Are you one of those people who used to say: “I wish I could work from home” and now that you are (or soon will be) it’s a bit of a shock? Having survived two years of working from my dining room back when I first launched my company, I thought I’d share some tips to help get you through.

Have a routine. Set yourself a start time and stick with it. You might laugh, but I got dressed to a standard I’d call ‘meeting-presentable’ every single day. It makes you feel better and you’ll see it in the quality of your work.

Buy what you need to work efficiently. Check what you can claim back and keep receipts.

Pick up the phone to your team and your clients. Emails are good for information sharing, but not relationships, coming up with ideas or getting buy-in. If want you someone to know something by all means email, but if you want someone to feel something, e.g. ‘I am in great hands here’, then a phone call or video-conference is almost always best.

Exercise every day and outside whenever you can. Trust me, cabin fever is real and sitting down all day is bad as well. Break up your day with a walk or a jog and you’ll function better for it.

Make exciting (healthy) lunches. Yes, you need to plan ahead, but you might as well make use of your kitchen and save yourself some cash.

Be your own boss. Freedom without self-discipline breeds failure. You need to work out how to best do what you need to do because no one else is there to do it. For example, I prefer to write in the morning, and I motivate myself by setting hard deadlines and taking an early mark if I’m done.

Budget for the next six months. These are unpredictable times and some of us will face a reduced income, or worse. Work out what you need versus what you have. Focus now on bridging that gap by earning and saving what you can.

Set yourself a new challenge. If you’re an A-type personality or have wanderlust you are going to need a coping strategy to get through this year. I am going to learn Italian in 15-minute chunks so that when we finally get to reschedule our family trip I will benefit from it. I’m also teaching our kids how to cook.

Please share other tips if you have them.

Good luck!
– Anne Wickham

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