At the beginning of the week we focused on ‘How successful remote teams work at home’, providing top tips, advice and knowledge to stay productive within your team whilst working remotely from home. Now we would like to focus on remaining productive and motivated if you are a self-employed, freelancer working at home...here are our top tips;
Set up a productive workstation: Find a location where you can minimise distraction! Although this may seem difficult with children off school and other family members at home, a clear and organised work area leads to a clear and organised mindset. Setting up ready for your usual work start time will create a sense of routine in each and everyday.
Network like you have never networked before!- Now is the time to deliver a fantastic virtual presence. Although those of you who are self-employed may fear the lack of physical interactions with both potential new clients and existing, the world has now become virtual. Use this working from home period as an opportunity to join online networking groups and interact with like-minded business people both on a personal and professional level regularly. Perhaps setting up a networking tracker could ensure you maintain a high level of interaction from week to week?
Plan ahead and manage your time effectively: Naturally working from home may disrupt the routine of your typical working day but it is essential for any business to progress throughout this uncertain time by setting projects with alternative outcomes and new deadlines. How can you do this? You can use several apps such as Google Calendar and Trello Boards to organise and prioritise tasks, ensuring you are getting the most out of every working day.
Maintain a healthy balance: This is a very important one. Even though our movements and activities are limited, try to set boundaries for yourself. Work when you are at your optimum levels of productivity and take regular breaks for exercise and relaxation. The temptation when working from home is either to be distracted by routine household activities and run out of productive working time or, conversely, to work day and night, especially when you are anxious about the future, and not consider your physical, emotional and mental health. Schedule breaks into your day-to-day planning and decide on when you will start and finish your working day.
Utilise your social media platforms: Now you have the opportunity to build your online presence. Join new social channels, build on the platforms you are already present on and enhance your profile. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are fantastic to communicate from both a personal and business perspective. Start threads, engage with your followers and make yourself PRESENT.
Get creative: During these uncertain times and with a lighter work schedule, you have time to have those lightbulb moments. There is nothing better than getting a creative plan ready to action when this is over. Whether you will be introducing new product lines or simply changing a process- it is time to think outside of the box.
Stay connected: This situation is likely to last for at least 3 months and the connections that you maintain with business contacts, your family and friends will be a lifeline for them and also for yourself. If you have spare time, be generous and offer your expertise to business contacts, the hand of friendship to a neighbour, a friend or a stranger who will really benefit from your assistance, even if this is only a phone call to check in with them. All acts of generosity and kindness will be remembered and will forge connections that, when this is over, will last a lifetime.
What financial support is out there for the self-employed during this COVID-19 situation?
These are worrying times for self employed businesses with bills to pay and work diminishing……..but the good news is, the government is offering financial support. If you have kept up to date with the news and the regular communications from the government you will know that self employed workers can now apply for a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
If you meet the following conditions:
You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
Have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
Traded in the tax year 2019-20
Are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
What is the government’s definition of self employed?
According to the government website...a person is self-employed if they run their business for themselves and take responsibility for its success or failure.
For further information and where to apply for this grant simply follow this link:
Where can you receive further business information/advice?
Here are just some business support organisations whom are providing vital information:
Business East Sussex
Sussex Chamber of Commerce
Coast to Capital LEP
Business East Sussex
Business West Sussex
SE Local Enterprise Partnership
Federation of Small Businesses
Let's Do Business Group
UK Trade and Investment
Department for International Trade
And of course… Here at FREEDOM WORKS! Our dedicated team are still delivering vital pieces of information that could benefit your business each and everyday! If you are not signed up to our newsletter or follow our social channels- NOW is the time! #freedomworkscommunity #stayconnected