Mint Your Own Business: Tips for Working From Home

We imagine lots of people’s working life looks a lot different this week given what is happening across the world. We closed our offices last Thursday (our team is working from home) in an effort to ensure the wellbeing of our team and our clients - as well as help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We know that many of our clients and suppliers have already done the same. 

Luckily most businesses are set up to have team members work from home anyway but people may not be used to doing this for such a long period of time.  Allison and I work from home almost every day already so are used to this and thought it would be a good time to share some tips on doing this:

1. Routine 

Make sure you keep a routine. Get up in the morning, have a shower and then set down to work - avoid rolling out of bed and onto your sofa in your PJs with your laptop! Set out a daily schedule, allocating time for breaks etc like you would at work. Make sure you set a time to start and finish work too.

These points are important to ensure your working and home life do not become too intertwined. If you don’t set a boundary between home and work life, this is likely to result in demotivation and inefficiency. 

2. Use your commute time wisely 

Many people will now be gaining and hour or two a day as they will no longer have to  
travel to work. Don’t fill this time with more work! 

Think about using the time to read that business book that sits on your bedside table or those emails that you have set aside to read but are not ‘important’ enough to fit into your normal day. 

You could also use this time to do other things like exercise! You may not be able to go to the gym for a while but get onto YouTube or Instagram - the fitness influencers of the world have already started posting loads of ‘home’ workouts. Endorphins may come in handy over the coming weeks as our lives are restricted. 

3. Set up a proper working space at home

As in point 1 avoid the desire to work from your sofa in your PJs! This won’t be good for your mental health and motivation in the long run. This will also help you with your general routine as during non work time you can be away from this space. 

You don’t need to go and set up a full home office but set yourself up at a table with a proper chair. I actually purchased myself a standing desk adaptor (something I can put on top of my dining table to turn it into a standing desk) and this made such a difference to my life. If you want a proper computer chair - ask your employer if you can take that home, we have allowed team members to do this.

4. Schedule video calls not just voice calls 

This is a good tip for external and internal calls. You might be stuck in a house with the same faces for a few weeks so why not have some video calls rather than simple voice calls. Firstly this means you need to ensure you get dressed (at least from the top half) but it might just make a nice change to see someone different. I think this is especially important with internal calls as it keeps everyone interacting and communicating over this time. 

If you don’t have the facilities to do this take a look at Zoom

5. Don’t check the news constantly 

This one applies to the current situation - we recommend that you don’t constantly check the news for changes in information. The WHO have released information on how to protect mental health and this is a key point. It is important we are all ensuring our mental health as well as physical health is protected over the weeks to come. 

6. Spend some time looking at your accounts and finances

We couldn’t write a blog and not suggest you think about your accounts. Business owners may find they have some more time on their hands so this might provide the time to get up to date and improve your accounting practices. On top of this it is clear some of our businesses may struggle for a while so having up to date information available at all times is going to be really important so you can make decisions quickly (should you need to). Over the next few weeks our Mint Your Own Business blog will focus on tips for getting the most out of Xero so that you have access to all of the information you need.