16 articles Tag work

Work and Home – Five Ways to Keep Them Separate

How to Separate Home and Work LifePhoto by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

As someone who works from home, I’d be the first to say that there are a lot of pros to the arrangement. I get to work in a familiar environment, Maureen the Pup doesn’t have to be left by herself and I get to dictate my own hours (and eat lunch whenever I want!). However, there are also downsides, and it can be difficult to create separation between home and work life – I say this as I sit here typing on a Sunday afternoon, between cooking dinner and doing loads of laundry!

There are, however, ways to ensure that work and home don’t bleed together – here are a few of them:

Invest in Office Space

This might seem counterproductive if you want the freedom of self-employment, but there are lots of small office spaces where you can work, distraction free, which don’t cost a fortune. Click Offices London guide can help you to find serviced office space in the City, which will fit your budget and help you to look more professional to your clients.

Set Work Hours

I’m very guilty of taking work at a moments notice, which means working at times when I should be with family. Set yourself hours in which you’ll accept work and don’t do anything outside of this. You could even set yourself an out of hours notification for your emails so that clients won’t expect to hear back from you until the next day. It can be daunting, thinking about losing work, but setting parameters like this is good for everyone.

Ditch the Work Phone

For those of us with work phones, consider implementing a ‘no phone’ policy at home. There’s nothing worse than a fun time with the family being spoilt by a call from work about something that could wait till Monday. Of course, there are some exceptions to this but in most cases, the job can wait till you’re on the clock.

Delegate as Much Work as Possible.

If you have others that work with or for you, make sure to assign a reasonable amount of tasks to them, instead of trying to do everything yourself. Give your assistant or team members tasks that are lower on your priority list, but that you can trust them to accomplish. You may also think about assigning tasks or activities that will build and enhance their skills.

Keep Your Social Media Separate

If you’d like to separate your work relationships from your personal ones, it’s a good idea to keep them separate online as well. The easiest way to avoid overlap is to use different social networking sites for different purposes. For example, Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent tools for developing your professional network, whereas Facebook is often better suited to sharing photos and news with your family and close friends. If your business page is linked to your profile, there’s temptation to answer questions doing downtime, but you should try to keep notifications off at weekends, at the very least.

Family Admin: The Background Work In A Successful Household

(Image Source)

Being a parent is often considered a full-time job, and this makes sense when you think about all of the work you have to do. You will have to feed, clean, and help your child to sleep, while also providing them with an early education and plenty of play, eating a huge amount of the time you used to spend on other things. When you’ve got this much on your plate, it can be all too easy to find yourself making mistakes or ignoring crucial work which could have a big impact on your life. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring a range of different admin areas, giving you some easy ways to handle them when you’re trying to keep your family moving in the right direction.

Money

While it might be a subject which people don’t like to think about too much, money is crucial to your family, and is one of the key areas which you need to focus on. Children can be extremely expensive, often costing their parents a small fortune before they reach adulthood. During this time, you’re going to need to be on top of your money, or you could find yourself struggling to give your little ones everything they need. You can find some examples of the areas you need to keep in mind below.

Savings: Saving money when you’re having to spend a lot can be a difficult task, and a lot of people choose to have small comforts instead. Having savings behind you will make it easier to afford the big things in your child’s life, like getting their first car or paying for college. There are loads of tools on the market which are designed to help with this, from bank accounts which can manage your saving for you, to financial experts who can be on hand to help you to make the tough choices which come with your money.

Debt: It’s likely that you’ll get into some sort of debt as a parent, whether this is the occasional credit card spending or something much larger, like a mortgage. When you borrow the wrong kind of money, though, it can often be a challenge to pay what you owe, and a lot of people struggle with this. A debt relief order can help your family to get out of debt. In most cases, though, it’s best to work hard to avoid this position, putting time and effort into the background work to avoid debt.

Taxes & Bills: As the last part of this to consider, it’s time to think about the tax and bills you pay. A lot of people struggle to cover these parts of their lives when they have kids, and even doing the work to get them paid can be a challenge. It’s well worth looking for help if you’re struggling with this, though you should be putting enough time into working on it to avoid this. If you need help to get started, there are countless blogs around the web which are in place to cover this sort of work.

Education

Giving your child the best possible education your home town can offer is crucial to their success in the future. Even if they don’t like going to school, being in a good one will make it far easier for them to get good grades, though you will have to be on top of a lot of admin work to make this possible. Schools are becoming increasingly competitive, and will often open applications long before your child would be old enough to enroll. This makes it worth doing plenty of research to figure out the process you’ll have to go through at least a year before they start. There are a lot of Facebook groups which are filled with knowledgeable parents who have gone through the same process in the past.

Medical

Along with enrolling your child in a good school, it also makes sense to make sure that they have access to a quality doctor. A lot of people ignore this factor when they are thinking about their children, assuming that they will be healthy for years to come. Of course, though, it’s impossible to tell what might be around the corner, and the help of an experienced health expert could be invaluable. You can research your local doctors, but will also have to fill out a bit of paperwork to make sure that they are ready for your child. In a lot of cases, it will be worth having the little one see a professional like this on a regular basis until they have developed enough for you to be confident.

Moving Home

A lot of families have to move home during their first few years together. As your unit grows, your old home will lack the space and resources you need to function properly, and this will put a strain on everyone. When you decide to move, a lot of the work you’ve done in the past will be reset. For example, if you’ve signed your child up with local medical professionals, but move to a different town, you’re going to have to go through this process again to avoid having to go back to the old place every time the kids need help. There are organisations out there which are happy to help with this, though it will also be worth taking steps to make it easier for yourself. Making a to-do list will be very helpful, giving you the chance to forget about your mountain of jobs to focus on one at a time.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to start taking your family admin work more seriously. A lot of people struggle with this, finding it hard to know what needs to be done when they are trying to build a successful household. This sort of work is becoming more and more crucial in the modern world, and a lot of people are finding themselves having to put time into it.

Are You Being Treated Poorly At Work?

Unfortunately, this is a situation that many people find themselves in every day. What’s more, it doesn’t really look as though it is an experience which is in any way abating at all, and in fact it is only going to continue to be a problem as long as the culture doesn’t change. In the meantime, the best thing we can do is to try and ensure that we know what to do as individuals when we are at the hands of mistreatment at work. Part of the problem is not knowing how to respond, because there are just so many kinds of mistreatment that you can’t easily give advice for all situations. However, there are some general rules which are worth following, and which could help you to get out of that situation much more smoothly and easily.

Source – CCO Licence

Report It

The most important thing you can do is to make sure that you report the experience. Whether it happens once or many times, you need to make sure that it is known that it happened. This is something which can be extremely difficult in itself and even, depending on the situation at hand, frightening to do. But if you keep quiet, then it is much less likely that the situation will be resolved, and that the perpetrator will be punished in any way. You need to make sure that you are reporting your mistreatment to the right people, of course, which will depend on the nature of it. Look around for the specifics of your situation and who to go to to report it. This is a vital thing which you can’t overlook.

Claim Compensation

On many occasions, you will be able to claim compensation for what occurs, and that is something that you will definitely want to consider in order to ensure that you are getting what you deserve from the whole scenario. Let’s say that you have been injured, for instance. In that case, you are well within your rights to go to lawyers like Hupy & Abraham and see if you can get some kind of compensation for the experience, and in all likelihood you will be able to. This is not about the money, so much as it is about receiving some kind of apology for what happened at the hands of somebody else. It’s really important that you get what you deserve as best and as soon as you possibly can.

Source – CCO Licence

Encourage Openness

Finally, remember that each individual can do something to make the workplace a little better by being open and honest, and confronting one another about poor behaviour. This is something that you should make a part of your daily interactions with people as best as you can, and if you do that you will find that it really does lead to a considerable change in atmosphere. That in itself will probably mean that fewer people suffer, so it is certainly worth it for that reason.

Five Ways You Could Update the Employee-of-the-Month Awards

Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

Employee motivation is very important when it comes to managing and operating any sort of business. No firm or company has ever succeeded without having its employees coming together and working towards a single aim as a team. A lot of psychologists and scientists have conducted research and have tried to find out what exactly motivates employees at the workplace. There are different theories which can be applied to businesses today. Effectiveness and efficiency are only attained if the right staff with the right skill set is employed. One way to boost employee morale is to give employees rewards based on their performance and achievements. Employees can be rewarded with “Employee of the Month” awards. Recognition of staff has proven to increase their productivity by fifty percent and hence the overall performance of the business by twenty percent. Here are five ways you could update and freshen up the employee-of-the-month awards:

1) Customer Service Award

Firms can give their valuable employees awards for providing quality service to customers. There are different ways to measure which employee delivers what to his or her customers. Customers can give feedback and reviews and are often requested to state the name of the staff member that they dealt with. For example, in restaurants, customers are given feedback cards to leave comments on. The name of the waiter has to be mentioned so that the managers can keep a check on his or her performance. Companies often come up with a variety of names for such awards. Employees might be given beautiful crystal awards which have all the details mentioned on them, such as the name of the employee, the date the award was given on, and the reason it was given. Visit edco.com to have a look at the perfect crystal awards you could hand over to your valuable employees.

2) The Light of the Office Award

It is very common of companies to give awards to their employees on the basis of their achievements. All the awards are related to work. This can be a little stressful at times as employees may start to compete with each other in order to get the award. Managers can incorporate awards for achievements other than work. For example, “The Light of the Office Award” can be given to those who are always smiling even under stressful circumstances. Such awards can make the overall workplace environment happier.

3) Choose the Right Type of Award

Appreciating employees for their work and contributions to the overall performance of the business is very important. With this, the way you present the award also matters. Posting the employee of the year award to the employee’s home will not help the employee achieve any sense of achievement. The owners must hand the awards to employees personally on formal ceremonies. Choosing the appropriate award is very important. There are three main types which include glass awards, crystal awards, and large cup trophies. Read Benefits of High-End Corporate Awards to find out which one out of these is appropriate for when.

4) Recognition Plaques

Employees can also be awarded engraved plaques in order to honor them for reaching specific targets and for producing quality results. Recognition plaques can serve as instruments of positive reinforcement. Employees will gradually be conditioned to work at their full potential as they would start to expect different types of awards for their performance and achievements.

5) Instant Recognition and Lapel Pins

It is very important to understand who deserves what at work. Awards would mean nothing if they are not provided instantly. Measuring employee performance is very important and businesses often have teams who are constantly monitoring employee performance. Well, deserving employees can be awarded lapel pins. So the “Employee of the Month” award can be worn daily to work in the form of a badge. Lapel pins can help motivate employees a lot as they will enable workers to feel proud of themselves.

The workplace is changing and work for employees has started to mean much more than just a means of earning money. Employees want a healthy environment in their workplace. Demotivated employees harm an organization, therefore, it is very important to motivate them. Giving them awards is merely one way to do it.

8 Tips for a Smooth Departure on Maternity Leave

Author: Ines Marinho

Everything related to pregnancy can be a challenge to woman, especially if it is the first born. All is new and a bit of a scary world. The woman’s life changes completely, and every detail must be thought and planed.

As human beings, we all have flaws and no one is made of iron, so for that reason, here is a guide to help all the future mommies to prepare for the maternity leave.

From six to three months before the due date, there are a few steps that should be considered in your work.

  1. Telling your boss or work responsible

It is not new that pregnant women like to keep it a secret before the first trimester. After this period of time, it is good to start to tell people at your work, mainly your boss, that you are expecting a baby. This leaves you more time to prepare an effective plan for your leave and doesn’t leave your boss in panic to find alternatives for your absence.

Showing in your working place that you care about how the responsibilities will be spread and how much you want all to go smooth and handled professional will be a plus to your career attitude. Asking your supervisor what the main concerns about your time are, since you will be away from the working place, is also a good suggestion to make clear you are involved in finding solutions.

  1. Finding a day care

It is not soon to start finding a kindergarten or day care to your kid. Usually, some living areas have the day care centers full and guaranteeing your baby’s place is a must!

By taking the time to find the best day care during this trimester, you can spend the whole maternity leave focused only on your newborn.

Two months before the due date

  1. Creating a timeline for departure

Reunite with your boss and create a plan of how and when things need to be accomplished. Check together if an action plan can be created so things go smoothly during your leave. It is certain to have a more positive outcome when you have a plan for what will happen before, during and later upon your return.

  1. Relying on documents

Create notes and guideline documents to outline the systems you use and all of your daily tasks. This will be a major help for whoever will come to replace you within the next months. Guidance is always a plus and keeping track of how things are done during your leave.

One month before the due date

  1. Meeting the people who are taking your place

Meeting the people who are taking your responsibilities it is important in a way that they will take care of your job. Guide them, train them and advise them so the best results are achieved. Supervise them while they take tasks on their own, so they feel confident in the future to take all the work.

  1. Open the possibility of your replacement contacting you while you are home

Take the time to plan how can your replacement people contact you during your leave. Also, discuss what kind of issue would be important enough for someone to contact you while you are out.

If there are still meetings or events you would still like to be involved in while you are on the maternity leave, you should previously discuss the matter. Maybe there is the chance you can participate by phone, video conference or some other ways.

You can also ask your boss or work responsible if taking your child to work is an option. Some workplaces are adapting to having mother’s and even father’s bringing their babies to work. Do you know that even baseball teams high ranked in the odds to win the World Series, like the Red Sox and the White Sox, allow athletes to bring their children to work? Of course, you should see if your child is cooperative and if he or she doesn’t get startled by your workplace – it also depends what is your occupation. Anyway, give it a thought if you think it is a possibility.

Right before the maternity leave

  1. Take action towards your absence

Set up a clear stated ‘out of the office’ answer for your emails and business voicemail. On these, clarify who they can contact instead of you and when is expected for you to be back. In case of you needing to access your work while you are away, create and learn about the company’s remote login process.

  1. Thank people

While you are away, your boss and co-workers will take an important part related to your absence. It is important to acknowledge their flexibility and show them some appreciation. For everyone involved, showing gratitude is something that has no price, so just do it.

After, you can take all of your time without worries and focusing 100 percent on your baby and yourself.

The Benefits of Co-Working

co-workingNow that both girls are at school, I’ve been thinking a lot about my working arrangements. I love being freelance because of the freedom and flexibility it gives me, but I do miss some of the elements of working in an office. I recently went to a Christmas party thrown by a friend I do some freelance work for and I remembered how much I used to love this time of year, when I worked. It sounds mad, but I always felt more festive when I worked with other people, so I’ve been thinking about looking into co-working spaces.

If you’re not aware, co-working is basically where you rent space in a flexible office where you get all the perks of working in a larger space (i.e. not one end of my living room couch…) without having to rent a whole building.

The benefits of co-working are innumerable – as well as having company during the day, with other professional, focused people, you also have networking opportunities around you, which I doubt you get at home. Many co-working spaces also have conference rooms which you’re allowed to use, making any business meetings you might want to take look SO much more professional.

Something that appeals to me is the fact that in a dedicated office space, I’d have far fewer distractions and would also be able to set proper office hours. If I turn up at nine and leave at five, like most normal working people, it would be a lot easier for me to focus during work hours and disconnect when it’s home time.

Many different co-working options exist, like in these offices to rent Liverpool – just a basic membership will offer free tea and coffee, cleaning, high speed internet, a postal service and the opportunity to use a prestigious business address, rather than your home address. I’ll be honest, the thought of high-speed internet access is enough to make it appeal to me!

I’ll be honest, as much as I like my own company and relish the opportunity to have me-time, I’m also a little bit prone to isolating myself and that’s not always a good thing. Sure, being able to come home after dropping the girls off and work in my slippers with Maureen the Pup next to me might sound great, but it makes it a lot harder to get into a professional mindset and isolation also isn’t great for me when I’m feeling down.

There are SO many benefits to co-working and it’s definitely something I’m going to look further into in the new year. Are you a co-working fan? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Starting Your Own Business as a Stay at Home Mum

Being a stay at home mum can seem like a full-time job. Sometimes, though, you want or need a paying job alongside minding your own children. Luckily, you don’t have to give up being a stay at home mum to have a job.

Instead, you could always try starting your own business as a stay at home mum. You’d be surprised how many options you have when you are trying to choose what business model is best for you. Here, we will look at just 7 options to help you get inspired.

1. Child Care Service

If you don’t mind watching more children than just your own during the day, you could always start a child care service. After all, you already have things that a child around the age of yours or younger would need such as toys or sippy cups so you won’t incur too many starting costs.

You can make a lot of money off of this idea because there are plenty of mums and dads that have to work during the day. With this business model, you aren’t dependent on people making purchases on a whim, you’re serving a necessity.

2. Etsy Store

For those mums who love to craft or sew, something like an Etsy store might be the best option for you. Here, you can sew clothes or craft anything you can think of and sell it to interested persons.

Running a shop is like a running a business. Therefore, branding your Etsy shop is important. Logo, header image, product photography, social media presence, SEO are all important parts of your Etsy marketing strategy. Moreover, when creating your handmade goods, you will want to make sure to add a tag with your own logo or classic printed ribbon to the items you make. This way, they are marked as uniquely yours. This also helps to cut down on someone buying your items to simply resell them as their own handmade items later.

3. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is exactly the same as any other assistant. You would do things like handle phone calls, scheduling, or anything that a standard assistant would do. The major difference is that you do it from a distance. Instead of being at your client’s side all day, you would be in near constant contact with them via phone or the internet and you would take care of the tasks they set out for you.

4. Financial Planning

If you have a knack for numbers, you could also start a business in which you help others work a budget and live the best they can within their means. You’d be surprised at how many families would appreciate a little help planning their finances.

A great idea would be to learn to help others budget for college. After all, this is one of the biggest financial decisions a family has to make and they might see some help planning as a wise investment.

5. Teach Music

For those mums who are interested in music, you could always consider being a teacher for private lessons for the instrument of your choice. Not only is this a great way to make some extra money, you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of it too!

In addition, teaching music will help you to keep your own skills sharp. This is because you will be teaching the basics and the theory behind an instrument to someone else, forcing you to practice these rudimentary skills once again.

6. Pet Boarding

Much like child minding, if you love animals, you could always consider animal boarding as a stay at home business. With this business, you would take in other people’s pets and watch them while the owners are away.

You might want to have some restrictions on the animals you’ll take in, though. For instance, you could only take in trained pets. After all, you don’t want to accidentally allow an aggressive animal into your home when you have children around.

7. Freelance Writing

For those mums with writing as a passion, you could always write from home. This is a job with a lot of open opportunities. Whether you want to dedicate your time to writing novels or articles, there is a market for it.

It might take time with freelance writing, as with the other business ideas on this list, to build up a client base. If you’re patient, though, you will find these business ideas can become quite lucrative.

How to Always Be Prepared for a Job Loss

Most of us will lose a job at some stage in our life. It can be a stressful time, particularly if you have a family to provide for.

Even if you’re in the twilight of your career, think your job is secure and you’re excelling in every way, you could still find yourself being made redundant due to external factors.

Unless you own or run the company, some things are just out of your control. Because of this, it’s wise to be prepared.

By applying the following 11 tips you will survive losing your job and be in a good position to find the next one.

1) Assess Your Finances

First thing’s first, you need to assess your overall financial situation. How much are you being paid, how much are you spending now, and how much do you require to cover the essentials? Do you have any assets or a mortgage? And how many people depend on you? What about savings and investments?

If you are in debt and/or spending most of your wages or salary (living pay check to pay check), you will be hit hard if you lose your job.

2) Have a Budget

Once you’ve assessed your finances you are now in the position to create a budget (if you don’t use one already). This will allow you to stay informed about your finances moving forward. Should you lose your job you’ll know exactly where you can tighten spending.

3) Build an Emergency Fund

The time to build an emergency fund is while you’re in a secure job. It should be able to cover at least 3 months of essential expenses (or longer for added security), but the exact amount to save will depend on your individual situation. You will be able to rely on these savings if you lose your job.

Even though saving can be tough, you’re only doing this until the pot is full. And remember, if you cut into the fund, don’t forget to top it back up again.

4) Assess Your Job Prospects

 Even if there’s no sign of losing your current position, it’s always a good idea to regularly overview your skills and qualifications, and update your CV. How quickly could you find another job if you lost the current one?

Take a look at the job market for positions you are qualified for and could apply for. If there aren’t many available or requirements have changed (sometimes you might find yourself disqualified from your current job on paper), you might want to prepare for a career change or even some retraining.

5) Consider Insurance

Income protection insurance is a form of insurance that pays out when you lose your job (though certain requirements have to be met). Typically, you will be issued regular payments (much like a wage) for the time you are out of work or for an agreed period. Other policies pay out a lump sum.

Unlike a straight savings plan, you could be paid out much more than you paid in. However, if you never lose your job you do not have access to the money you paid in.

6) Know Your Employer’s Benefits and Policies

To properly prepare for a potential job loss, you should become familiar with your employer’s severance policies and other benefits.

Do you get severance pay if you’re laid off and if so what is the criteria? Does your health insurance plan continue under COBRA if you lose your job?

7) Be Ready to Downsize your Life

Even if you have an emergency fund and other sources of money that can tide you over until you find a new job, you’re still likely to need to cut back on your expenditure and learn to live frugally. That means no more meals out or impulse buying.

8) Get a Side Gig

One hedge against losing your job is to have another one on the side. For example, you might start freelancing online during the weekends. Of course, if you are in a fulltime job you won’t have time to make a lot of money, but if you lose your job you can dedicate more time and immediately fill that income gap.

9) Maintain Good Credit

If you lose your job and need to borrow money to stay afloat, a good credit score is going to help. It will provide the widest possible range of credit and loan options, with the best interest rates and other terms.

10) Maintain Your Network

The old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is still very much applicable. Always keep in contact with your close clients and work colleagues, as you never know who could be offering you a job in the future.

11) Learn New Skills

Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you can’t continue to learn new skills and get new qualifications. In fact, that’s how a lot of people progress in their career. Some firms might pay for extra training in the hope that you stay with them and move up the ladder.

If there’s not much room to progress in your current job, you should still advance your skills in your own time. If you lose your job, you may end up with a better one!

Even though losing a job can be one of the most stressful times in your life, with good planning it doesn’t need to be.

Working from Home – 5 Things I Love

Working from homeBeing freelance can be a really scary prospect at times; the irregular pay, people taking forever to pay your invoices, lack of sick pay or holiday pay and the isolation are all things which weigh heavily on most people who work for themselves. However, there are some amazing upsides to it all as well (otherwise there wouldn’t be so many people who do it!) so I thought I’d make a list of all of my favourite things about working from home:

Lack of Other People

There are times, usually around Christmas, when I quite miss working in an office because of the lack of Christmas do and general excitement, but then I remember how much I’ve disliked certain colleagues in the past! Having to say a forced “hello” every morning to people I don’t like is something that I really do not miss, nor do I miss that march past the smoking shelter where, despite being a non-smoker, you end up stinking of smoke before you get to your desk. Having said that, if they were all to switch to vaping and use the best e-liquids of 2017, I probably wouldn’t mind it so much!

Flexibility

During the holidays, our routine is usually that we get up, Husband and I spend the morning doing a bit of work, we spend the day with the girls and then we both do some more work in the evening once they’re asleep if we have anything left to do. It means that we get to really dedicate time to the girls during the holidays and still get to carry on earning money. We can also work in other places if we need to; I’ve been known to sit on a park bench uploading work in the past!

Cost

When I met Husband, I was working as a payroll clerk in the NHS, and there were times when it felt like I was spending more money that I earned. Between the travel, needing to buy lunch, the daily scone and coffee run by another staff member, the birthdays that everyone had to chip in for, the expenses really totted up. Working from home means no travel expenses, no temptation for mid-morning pastry and the only birthday I celebrate is my own!

Variety

One thing that I love about freelance writing is the variety in my work, and I think this is actually the main reason that I’ve stuck as it for so long. I’m definitely a “variety is the spice of life” kinda girl, and I do get bored with a strict routine or structure, so this aspect of my work is a massive bonus. One day I can be writing about private education, another about a local shopping centre and the next I’ll be writing about high-end beauty products. It keeps my brain ticking and stops me ever getting bored.

Weather

When I worked in an office, the weather always had an impact on my mood. If it was cold or wet, I dreaded the commute and spent all day wishing I was at home, and on sunny days I’d spend the days wistfully looking out of the window dreaming of being outdoors. These days, I don’t have to leave the house (other than school runs) if the weather is rubbish and on lovely days, I can work from the garden if I want to.

Do you work from home? Are there things you love about it that I haven’t listed here? Leave me a comment below.

How Office Layouts Can Affect Your Productivity

When it comes to being productive, I definitely need some help; working for myself whilst caring for a toddler (and an 8 year old…and a 37 year old Husband…!) means that my actual work space is pretty ad-hoc. I use a laptop and tend to use it wherever I can so that Burrito Baby can watch TV or play with her toys, which means that my “office” has been everything from our lounge, the car or even outside on the garden bench whilst the kids are on the trampoline!

What I didn’t know (or maybe just didn’t occur to me, as it makes total sense) is that office layout can affect your productivity and how you arrange a meeting room can also affect how meetings go (see this infographic from jason.l with recommended layouts for meeting rooms). I don’t currently have meetings at home but I do have the occasional Skype or Hangout meeting and having a proper space to conduct these in would be really useful.

The irony is, we DO actually have an office space in our house, I just never use it! Husband has his PC set up in there and our wardrobes and clothes storage are also in there, so it’s a kind of office/dressing room, but everything in there is pretty neutral so it would be ideal for vlogging/Skype. Burrito Baby is starting nursery in September and this will give me the chance to start working at a proper desk and keeping everything I need on one place, rather than searching for my laptop charger every time I get a low battery notification!

I’m looking forward to seeing how this will affect my own productivity. It’s literally been years since I worked at a proper desk with a pen pot and a coaster for my coffee and I’m almost worried that the change from working on a sofa will be TOO different and will actually distract me! I’m so used to all of my work being done with Paw Patrol or Bob’s Burgers playing the the background that working in silence might be too weird – it might be time to invest in a radio!

Do you have a dedicated working space set up at home? Do you actually use it or do you find yourself working on a laptop wherever you can? Have you put a lot of time and effeort into nsuring you have the perfect working space? I’d love to hear from you and see links to posts about your own office so please do leave me a comment below.