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Getting Respect Working From Home

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How often have you been working at your home office, when your brother calls you wanting to chat, or a friendly neighbour comes over to ask you for some help? You’re working at home, but everyone seems to think that your work involves sitting around the home doing nothing all day but answer some emails or occasionally talking on the phone.

What can you do to stop these distractions so you can work, and even get some respect for your home business?

Set a Schedule at Home

If you have regular working hours, you can post them on your office door, inform your family and friends, and if anyone comes over to chat during your scheduled work time, you can politely ask them to leave. This schedule will help people realize you are working, and make your business look more professional.

Even better having these regular working hours will help you be more productive if used properly. By focusing on your work at a regular time everyday, you train your mind and body to go into working mode. If you you plan your work hours when you have the most energy, it’s even better.

Remember that this doesn’t have to be a 9-5 work schedule, play around with it at first to find out what hours are best for you, and then stick to it.

Dress for Success

Since the inevitable stereotype of working from home is a person working in his or her pyjamas, try to break the image by wearing comfortable business casual clothes.

You want to be comfortable while you work, but wearing clothes that are too casual, will make you appear less serious, and can make you feel a bit too relaxed to work at your peak efficiency. By wearing business casual, you keep the comfort, but if a neighbour, client, or family member drops by they’ll see that you are treating your work professionally and it gives you an advantage. If they see you wearing old jeans and a sweatshirt or worse actual pyjamas, it will be very hard to convince them that you are working.

Learn to Say No

Sometimes people don’t take a hint, you can tell them that you’re working, print up a super-sized schedule for your door, explain that you’re about to talk to an important client, but they still want to talk.
In this case, you have to firmly tell them that you do not have time to talk, go out for coffee or even let them in your front door. Try to be polite but firm when you do so, don’t tell them you don’t want to talk, simply say you are working but can talk to them when you are done. Give them your schedule and explain that between certain hours you are unavailable, but you’d be happy to talk after work.

Your at home business is important, and people need to realize that working from home actually involves working. So treat your job like a regular job and insist others follow suit, even if they disagree with you.

Dan Clarke is a business coach, specializing in helping people who work at home expand their business, solve problems and find a great work/life balance. Find out more about him at his website, Be Happy Working at Home.

 

 

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How to Design a Mindfulness Oriented Office for Increased Productivity

When you’re stressed at work, you’ll find that your mood worsens and that your productivity slows, making the work day less enjoyable. The best way to battle stress is to create a mindfulness-oriented office space.

Mindfulness involves adjusting your attitude so that you are less judgmental and more enlightened. It can also help battle signs of depression by replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

There are a few different ways that you can create a mindfulness-oriented office space, and the following suggestions can help you de-stress and adjust your attitude to help you increase productivity.

Change the color.

If you are working in a dark room, it will make the room feel smaller and can put you in a negative mood. A great way to make your office more mindful is to choose your favorite color, but choose a lighter shade. The lighter shade will ensure that the color is not overpowering or distracting, and choosing a color you love will help boost your mood. Leave the ceiling white to add a heightened effect to your office, and only paint your walls.

If you’re not allowed to paint your office, make sure that you fill your office with colorful accents. Bring in throw pillows and blankets, colorful furniture and wall décor to add a boost of energy to your office and help lift your spirits while at work.

Get new furniture.

If your furniture is plain and boring, it can have a major impact on your mood. Replace old and worn out furniture with newer pieces that you love. Make sure to choose something that is lively but also comfortable, as your comfort level will also impact your overall mood during the day. Add a couch or easy chair to your office so that you can relax while reading over documents or performing other tasks. You’ll be surprised at how this simple change can make tasks less stressful.

Rearrange the furniture.

Rearranging your furniture is another way to create a mindfulness-oriented office space. Play around with the layout of your office until you find something that is both comfortable and attractive. Instead of pushing furniture around all day, use virtual design tools likePunch to help you create the best layout for your office.

Clear the clutter.

If you have papers and clutter all over your office, you’re not going to elicit the best productivity. Make sure that you clear the clutter and use filing cabinets or other organizational tactics to simplify your process. Buy a basket and use that as an inbox for papers that need your attention. This keeps everything more organized and keeps clutter from forming on your desk.

Personalize it.

You’re going to spend a lot of time in your office, and it will be much more enjoyable if you make it yours. Bring in family pictures or items from home that mean a lot to you and make you happy. When your office is an extension of your home and not a plain and boring area, you’ll find it easier to get your work done.

Prepared by M. Brown a member of Buckingham ID. You can view our work here.

 

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Tips to Keep Your Office Desk Tidy

If you’re busy throughout the working day and constantly submerged at your desk with the amount of work you have to do, cleaning your desk or making sure its tidy is not going to be top of your list for things to do that day, but what I have found is that following these few tips you can ensure that your desk is organised and always clean for the next morning.

Here are some tips you should look at doing:

Don’t use post-it notes

The reason this is first on the list is due to the fact that my desk was constantly untidy due to the amount of post-it notes. I admit post-it notes are great if you need to remember something as you are always aware of them, but I must stress that you should only use them if you absolutely have to. Instead why not try using reminders on your computer for instance; I couldn’t live without my Microsoft Outlook calendar.

Throw away unwanted printouts

If you have ever printed out documents for a meeting (or have been given them from someone else), decide whether you really need to keep them once the meeting has ended and if you’re going to use them again. If you don’t need them, bin them!

Tidy you’re desk at the end of the day

If you’re hectic throughout the day, tidying your desk isn’t going to be a priority but before you leave the office just take 5 minutes to clean and tidy your desk. That way you will be ready to start work off an organised desk the day after.

Don’t pile up books and magazines (Only keep the ones you need)

If you subscribe to business or marketing magazines you’ll know that every month or so you will receive a new one, but once you have finished reading the old ones either take them home (if you keep them at work), throw them in the bin but remember to note the important parts that you have read or file them away.

Keep photos at the side of your desk, but don’t have too many

It’s surprising how much room 2 or 3 framed photos can take up especially if you only have a small desk. Be sure to keep them at the side of the desk (or besides the phone) just so they are out of the way and you won’t be in danger of knocking them over.

Use small containers to keep staples, paper clips etc…

All the little accessories such as paper clips, staples and elastic bands will fit nicely in small container pots or the other option is to get ‘desk tidies pot holders’ which can also hold pens and pencils etc…

Use a paper tray

If you’re going to keep some of your printouts, you’ll need a way to organise them.  What I would suggest is to get a 3 tier paper tray and note each tier with the following:

Tier 1 = Important

Tier 2 = Needs to be filed

Tier 3 = Not read yet

Use Tier 1 for documents that you desperately need to keep or you intend to use again in that week. Use Tier 2 for outstanding documents that have been read but need to be filed away. A good tip is to always file your documents at the end of the day so you’re not wasting time throughout busy periods of the day.

Use Tier 3 for documents that need to be read. Make sure this tier doesn’t get cluttered and you keep on top of reading the documents.

Don’t eat at your desk; don’t leave snacks lying about for days

What I mean by this is packs of sweets that won’t be eaten in a day or so. Keep them in a side draw or take them home with you.

So there you have it, some great ways to keep your office desk tidy. Do you have any tips that can help keep your desk tidy?

Daniel Whittaker has worked for a successful internet business, TonerGiant Ltd., who supply quality laser printers throughout the UK, since December 2009. During this time he has develped a keen interest in programming and developing websites.

 

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Calling in Sick? Make Sure You Have a Good Excuse.

We’ve all done it before – called in sick when all we really wanted was an extra day off to lounge on the couch or hit up the mall. Most people in this situation simply tell their boss they’re sick and can’t make it into the office, but you might be surprised at the excuses some people come up with for missing work.

CareerBuilder’s Annual Survey, released at the end of 2011, revealed some of the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work. And these aren’t your run-of-the-mill “my car broke down and I can’t get another ride” excuses – they’re much more creative.

The top 15 unusual excuses for calling in sick include:

  1. My 12-year-old daughter stole my car and I have no other way to get to work.
  2. Bats got in my hair.
  3. A refrigerator fell on me.
  4. A truck accidentally dumped flour into my convertible while backing up.
  5. A deer bit me while hunting.
  6. I ate too much at a party.
  7. I fell out of bed and broke my nose.
  8. I got a cold from my new puppy.
  9. My child stuck a mint up his nose and had to visit the emergency room.
  10. I hurt my back chasing a beaver.
  11. I got my toe caught in a vent cover.
  12. I got a headache from visiting too many garage sales.
  13. My brother-in-law was kidnapped by the Mexican drug cartel.
  14. I drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.
  15. A bucket filled with water fell through the roof of a bowling alley and hit me in the head.

The moral of this story? Make sure you have a real reason for calling in sick, or simply be honest and tell your boss that you need an extra day off. Otherwise you might find yourself in danger of being caught.

In fact, the survey found that 15 percent of employers have fired a worker for calling in sick without a legit reason, and another 28 percent have checked up on an employee by:

  • Requiring a doctor’s note (69 percent)
  • Calling the employee (52 percent)
  • Asking another employee to call the worker (19 percent)
  • Driving by the employee’s house (16 percent)

The survey further found that employees are most likely to call in sick between January and March, and that 29 percent of workers admitted to playing hookey, mostly to run errands or do things with family and friends.

Citations:

Writer and content creator specializing in everything from recruiting and job searching to social media and technology. Check out PCRecruiter.net for more.

 

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The Challenges of Starting Your Own Virtual Assistant Business

As any business owner will readily attest, starting up your own business is no piece of cake. It takes plenty of hard work, sweat, blood, and more than a few tears to get your dream on the right tracks and take it from a struggling start-up into a successful enterprise. Even when you reach the “successful” stage, you’ll soon realize that your work is far from over.

Unlike an employment job where you’re guaranteed a regular paycheck, even if you don’t do a lot of work, running a virtual assistant business really is a full time job. Full time doesn’t mean just 40 hours a week either – it means working from morning until night, into the early hours of the next day’s morning, working over the weekends, skipping vacations because something important comes up, and so much more. In the end, you’re going to be putting a lot more of your time into your work than you ever did before, but the payoff at the end is what makes it all worth it.

If you’re thinking about starting up your own virtual assistant business, there are some things that you need to ask yourself before you quit your day job to focus 100 percent on your dream:

Are you motivated?

Motivation is going to play an ever increasing role in your success as a virtual assistant business owner. It won’t be difficult to stay motivated at first, that much is true. But once you start to sink into the daily grind you’re going to start to question whether it’s all worth it. Questioning like that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the motivation, but giving up or slacking off is going to completely ruin all of the progress that you’ve made so far. It might be hard to get up in the morning and look at the 14 hour work day in front of you, but with the right level of motivation you’ll see it through, and as the days pass you’ll find that you end up working less and less for more and more money. It’s the first year that really kills a lot of people.

Do you have the right knowledge?

If you’ve worked as an assistant in a company before, you probably have a very firm grasp of all the skills that you’ll need to be a star virtual assistant. The problem with running your own business though is that you need a whole new set of business skills on top of those virtual assistant skills that you already have. You have to deal with marketing, getting new clients, setting up a website, managing your taxes, detailing your billable hours for clients, and a lot more tasks that go above and beyond what a simple office assistant would normally be required to do. Luckily, there are guides that can help make the process easier, and if you need a transition step you can always work for a virtual assistant company while taking business classes on the side.

Susaene Thomas is a qualified virtual assistant enterpreneur  and a well know blog writer on these topics.From her college days onwards she has been in to Virtual assistant field due to which she got more exposure on this subject.If you would like to get Susaene’s Virtual assistant help or blogs related to assistant works please go to her website:

 

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