Tag Archives: work from home

Top Qualities to Build Your Business.

business success

Build Your Business.

As in all aspects of life, there are five essential ingredients for success: passion, enthusiasm, optimism, inner strength, and perseverance.  So in a post-Covid world what qualities will help us succeed as entrepreneurs?  The last 9 months have made many of us reassess our work and our business direction.  Like many who use Hold Everything, you are probably working from home building a business.  Perhaps you have been nudged on the freelance path by redundancy or a major shift in the way your industry operates.  But whatever the reason is that brings you to our door we want to help you succeed in building your business quickly and efficiently.   As you know, we do all the heavy lifting for you by answering your calls, sorting and forwarding your mail and generally providing a backbone of essential office services for you.   But what are the qualities that you need to focus on to build your business when you are working from home?

After working with thousands of successful entrepreneurs I can say that the characteristics that have stood out are:

Clear goals. They are extremely precise regarding the objectives to be achieved; They spend a lot of time designing their purpose and adjusting anything that throws them off course. They permanently evaluate their performance, not comparing themselves with others, but with themselves. They have a high standard of excellence in everything they do.

Build Your Business.

A positive self-image is very important.

Positive self-image. Self-image is the internal representation of who you are and what you want when you look in the mirror each morning. Winning-minded people can see beyond, they know how to self-observe in-depth, enhance the good and improve what they still lack. They know that there are always new skills to be learnt, be it a new language or mastering a new software product. You understand that each extra skill will help build your business.

Self-confidence. Winners trust themselves and their potential. They tend to have a high tolerance for frustration, disappointment and failure, from which they recover quickly. They are aware of how others relate to them whether as a business partner or as a competitor.

Self-determination. They are permanently affirmed in their strength and not in their weaknesses. They do not victimize themselves and go to the front without neglecting that there may be others who find it difficult to keep up. They are also skilled and quick in decision-making, they do not procrastinate for days over every tiny detail.  They have unusual speed in processing a lot of scattered information.  They can see how various factors would fit together in the changing business landscape can affect their situation whether from a legal or accountancy or a fulfilment perspective.

Self-discipline. When they commit, they go deep. They always act in direction to achieve what they seek. They are determined and rarely hesitate to define crucial issues. They have a good relationship with the risk/opportunity factor. They are usually ordered, or surround themselves with people who help them in their high performance, to focus in that case on what gives them the most pleasure and what they do best.

There are of course other important things to consider in developing a winning mindset and build your business, such as keeping a close eye on costs and seeking value from your budget.  But then, as a client of Hold Everything you are already exhibiting these qualities by choosing to avoid the expenses of a rented office and full-time staff.  Business development is always an ongoing process but by having the team at Hold Everything working on your behalf you can be the entrepreneur you always dreamt of becoming.

Your Work-From-Home Setup – Time To Smarten Up Your Act.

work-from-home

work form home

All the indications are that work-from-home will be around for a lot longer than we expected when we first entered COVID lockdown mode. Michael Gove and the rest of the cabinet team want us to work at home if we can to help contain the virus.  The emphasis seems to be on ‘home’ bit of ‘work from home’  they are not recommending using a shared office like ‘We Work ‘ as a convenient compromise.    Indeed the shared office space boom is becoming a victim of the pandemic along with many other old-style work patterns.   Sharing office space with a dozen other freelancers is not any healthier than trudging into a Canary Wharf office suite.  The We Work business model has taken a bad bruising and rents are not being paid on time.  20% of We Work’s office space in New York – its biggest market – is empty and not showing any signs of improving.

It seems obvious to me and many other business pundits that the optimum solution is to perform the actual work from your physical home but the combine this with a fully functional ‘Virtual office‘.  So if we are going to work from our home we need to make the workspace as efficient and as comfortable as we can.  So where should you be investing your attention and your money in bringing your home office up to speed?

Here are some essential items that will give your work-from-home set up an ergonomic and, of course, aesthetic upgrade.

1| L-Shaped Desk

Your desk is the centre of your dedicated work station, and a quality work table will do wonders for your work-from-home productivity. Finding the best desk depends on the space, budget, and personal preference, but one type of desk I highly recommend is an L-shaped desk. It’s big enough to handle a PC, laptop, notebooks, printer, and plenty more besides.

2| Luxury Chair Makes Work-From-Home a Pleasure

Eames office chair – a classic.

The chair is everything. Sitting on a Monoblock for 12 hours a day might just give you scoliosis, so give yourself a break and invest in one very comfy and very luxurious wheely chair. It might hurt your wallet, but at least it won’t hurt your back. Don’t just grab the first chair you find at Rymans or Ikea search around for something stylish. Perhaps a classic Eames office chair that you see in many office film sets?  It’s a classic in design and very comfortable.   If your sitting position is important ten maybe visit a specialist back chair shop and try what is most comfortable for you.  Remember, you are your own human resources department. When you work-from-home you decide your own office style and function.

3| Wide Monitor – Keep Multiple Projects on the Go. 

samsung wide moonitir

The power of a big monitor is underrated. Even if it isn’t hooked up to a PC and just an extension of your laptop screen, having a wide view of all your tasks and windows can make you feel as if you’re on top of the situation.  Samsung, LG and all the usual culprits will sell you something to dazzle your family and friends and work on several projects at once.

4| Sleek Keyboard

Logitech K780

Go for something sleek with a good clunky feel to the keys so that you feel a satisfying click as you work.  In my experience, the keyboards that come as part of a PC deal are cheaply made and not ergonomic.  Visit the big retailers like Curry’s or PC world that have a good selection of keyboards or the tech department of Selfridge or John lewis will let you see what are available at different price points.

5| Soft Light For Bright ideas

philips hue lighting

Bad lighting can make your headache worse, and you don’t need that to happen if you’re already sitting in front of a computer screen half the day. Soft light is the answer to your troubles. It’s bright enough to do the job, but not strong enough to glare into your eyes when you’re feeling drowsy.  Maybe this is the time to check out the Philips lighting system that you can control to get exactly the hue and power to suit your needs when you work-from-home.

6| Docking station

A really good docking station from Kensington

Too many wires and plugs all over the place can affect your focus and therefore your productivity. Clean up your connectivity with a simple docking station that does the job of getting rid of clutter.  If you use a Macbook for example, there are some very slick docking stations you can hook into to free up space and give you extra USB points.  Browse online to find the best docking station for your type of computer and then do a price comparison to get a good deal..  But, you already know this, you are an entrepreneur which is why you are following our blog.

Be your own Barista

work-from-home

 

You can make your work-from-home cup of coffee as stylish as any top coffee lounge in London by buying a good quality coffee maker.  You can grab a capsule system from Amazon or visit a specialist barista supply shop if you really value your morning cappuccino.   Pair the coffee with a few chocolate beans or a cantucci for a better than Cafe Nero experience.

If you allow yourself the finest in home office equipment then you will match the high-quality equipment and services we use to work efficiently as your virtual office.

 

Working From Home Will Establish a Different Kind of Business Landscape.

home working
working from home

London, Frankfurt, Paris, New York,  each of these huge global cities are related in that they are major nerve centres of creativity. These cities started to buzz for a reason: vital business meetings of national importance were taking place, Business owners and idea makers were putting their heads together to invent exciting new technologies, and go-getters met over flaming sambuca’s and expresso coffees to discuss startup ideas.  Now we all seem to be working from home in social isolation.

The physical setting really did matter; the bricks and mortar of a downtown office block and the in-person interaction that comes with that. Yet, in a step toward making distant work a lasting future, Facebook and Google, for example, told their staffs that they can work from home until July 2021. We know that the nature of jobs has changed into ‘digital by default’ so this is the result we might reasonably expect.

Indeed, a study by Google on distance workers found “no difference in the effectiveness, productivity ratings or promotions for individuals and teams whose work requires teamwork with coworkers around the world versus ‘Googlers’ who spend the majority of their daily collaborating with colleagues in the same office.”.

Nevertheless, some people might justifiably claim that staff working from home could potentially hinder product development and innovation. Tyler Cowen writing in Bloomberg said that “Even as tech companies grow more essential, the geographic distribution of company activity will also make them less unique. They’ll start to resemble a typical cross-section of the workforce, with all of the routines and bureaucracy that most other companies experience. They’ll have less fire in the belly to disrupt and overturn previous institutions.”

This is not a completely new trend. IBM, the pioneer of teleworking, eliminated nearly all of its office work years ago, and then released a report entitled “Challenging the modern myths of remote working, the evidence for the upside of teleworking.” Back in 2014, they boasted about their innovative modern business model with over 45 per cent of their employees working from home. But one also has to consider that WFH on a large scale can destroy the innovation hubs that have popped up in places like silicon valley or Shoreditch in East London.

silicon valley

Offices have been discarded for Discord Servers, Zoom, Slack Channels and the like. Over the last few months, multiple news sources have confirmed that people are forsaking from cities towards urban and rural areas. Could this Covid-19 pandemic really decentralize tech opportunities out of just a few hotspots, such as London and New York?.

These developments have huge ramifications for the global innovation landscape as a whole.  Here at hold Everything we see the future being mapped out before our eyes.  Large office suites are being rationalised into more compact meeting areas with employees working out from their homes.  The sprawling office of the past has turned into an agile set of services, call answering, mail forwarding and meeting rooms by the hour.

Nevertheless, to say that working from home will mark the end of innovation is an exaggeration. As per Raconteur and Professor Bernd Irlenbusch, who co-led a study titled Innovation and communication media in virtual teams: an experimental study, by the University of Cologne and Leibniz University Hannover, “Previous research has shown that creative performance is significantly lower when there is no face-to-face communication. However, the current lockdown has fostered the adoption of new technologies to conduct collaborative tasks when team members work from home. Video conferencing can mitigate the gap in creative performance.”.

virtual work

We will work remotely but human contact is part of our human makeup and we will need to set up new routines with augmented reality (such as social online meetings) that can be put in place to foster collaboration and more human-like meetings instead of solely relying on cold, unemotional Zoom meetings.

The most important takeaway that emerges is that working from home means that a new species of entrepreneur has emerged, and those who adapt quickest will be best-suited moving forward.  Hold Everything will be there to help with our fully serviced, totally agile, virtual office.

 

The New Office Paradigm – It’s Virtual, It’s Augmented and it’s Here!

So once again we look at our lock-downed world and feel that our 3 decades of providing an efficient virtual office has finally come into general business consciousness.  As I leaf through the pages of the Sunday Times I read a paragraph that is almost our own mission statement.  Let us consider it for just a moment.

Why would we come back after all this and pay for space for a thousand people when we have already proven to the sceptics and the doubters that we can work perfectly well at home?” asked one manager. “I think this is the end of the modern office. In the future surely we’ll have a few meeting rooms and desks for the few who need to be in.” Richard Robinson, managing director of Econsultancy, agreed. “When we come out of this we are going to look at our large office spaces and huge rents and wonder what we were doing with them all. This will fundamentally change how we all work.”

He is right, how else can it go?  Where is the sense anymore in paying for a prestigious suite of rooms in the city centre so that people can cluster around a water cooler and make Pret a Manger even richer.  It all seems so pointless so ‘Pre Covid’ if you like.  I really want to go and shout from the rooftop that the “paradigm has changed, business reality has shifted.”  This is not even hyperbole, it is now a statement of truth that the old office -pre-covid – is extinct, it is no more and has ceased to be.   Certainly all the big london commercial estate agencies will try to deny it.  In the same way as Kodak tried to deny the supremacy of digital film, or Blockbuster shut its eyes to streaming.  When the major commercial estate agents try to extoll the virtues of an office suite for thousands of pounds rent a month the business world knows it doesn’t have to be.  Technology lets us work from home, we don’t need a receptionist wearing a facemask leading us into a meeting room that is only used 3 times a month but we pay for 24 hours a day.  We don’t need to travel for an hour to a work space when we can have an equally effective workspace in our spare room.   If we can work virtually from home with the essential functions of phone answering and mail handling outsourced to experts the raison d’être of the tradiotional office is gone.  And, if you want a swish meeting room for the odd hour of whiteboard presentation then a virtual office such as Hold Everything will rent you one.  We even supply the biscuits.

Once you get over the need to congregate in one place to ‘brainstorm’ you can use Zoom or similar apps.  Be certain that once this change evolves new virtual conference will be created to meet the demand.  In fact, I am willing to bet serious money, that in 12 months Zoom will look so outdated we will smile that we ever used it.   We will be working in a world of augmented reality supported by all the research that Facebook, Google and Microsoft have been developing over the past 5 years. Yes, their time has come too.

 

 

Google has been offering augmented reality tools for a couple of years now. It unveiled its Android ARCore platform in 2017  which allows augmented online shopping.to become a totally immersive experience.  This is all part of a larger arms race toward sophisticated phone-based augmented reality: Facebook, for instance, announced an expansion of its Spark AR platform which can be adapted to many office purposes.  Wearing VR goggles is no longer a weird sight – it is familiar in an architects practice and in a cosmetic surgeon’s examination room.   The enforced work from home discipline cause by COVID-19 will add urgency to these developments and before long we will have shifted irreversibly into a virtual office world.  there will of course be naysayers, there always are.  There are still printers who believe in the art of typesetting or authors belting out books on Remington portable typewriters but for the majority of businesses especially in the services sector of media and finance the office world has changed.

We believe fiercely in these changes and we want to discuss them with you.  We want to show you how you can save thousands of pounds in wasted resources and useless outdated vanity premises.  So call us on +44207 5804242 and let us make a convert of you before the guys at the big commercial estate agents  put their sticky hands in your wallet.

 

The Work-Life Balance

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, we assist many clients in their work-life balance planning, by providing a business support network, whether its phone answering  when they’re in meetings or away to us being able to accept packages that otherwise would have been missed.

So how hard is it to get that perfect work-life balance?

Being a professional you may find it hard to strike that balance between your career and personal life. Without having a healthy balance between both worlds problems could occur where your work can become uninspiring. Therefore working from home can be a great solution to this issue; you have the ability to get your work done, while being available for family commitments and your own personal chores. But you do need to consider the practicalities of working from home before deciding if it is right for you.

With your office at home, but a Regent Street Virtual office address that will impress your clients, there are still things to consider.

Flexibility advantages

While working in an office environment, it’s not always easy to take time off for personal/family duties, but if you do opt to work from home you can be a lot more flexible with your diary as ultimately you control it. In many jobs as long as the work is completed by the deadline it’s up to you how and when you do it so by working from home you can fit the work in around a schedule that’s best for you.

No more emails

Earlier this year, a report circulated that a French law banned employees from checking work emails after 6pm (this wasn’t true). But it’s a good idea to start to set yourself some rules to help achieve a work-life balance, as mentioned above about the flexibility of working from home, some are just not able to do this so why not say to yourself when you come home at night, this is your personal time, try and limit your email checking and take a step back from working after work.

Time Blocking

Being in charge of your own time can be a big bonus, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Some get easily distracted in their home environment and find it more difficult to stick to self- imposed deadlines. If you are a remote worker you do need to be efficient with your time – for example if you know you only have an hour blocked out, then focus on the task in hand and stick to the timing. Don’t try and finish just one more email if your time is up, stick to your plan which should allow you to produce your best work instead of rushing to fit it all in.

One of Hold Everything’s long standing Virtual office client, who works from home told us “I get dressed everyday as if I was going to my office, I leave the house, walk about for 15 minutes and then arrive back at my home, I have taken the time to get into the attitude & belief that I am work for the day in my office and am ready to work hard as being at home it’s too easy to sit in a tracksuit and be distracted, however, if I am needed by anyone at least I don’t have that commute back”.

In conclusion – stepping away every day with enough time to do other things than work helps you clear your head, gain perspective and bring your best to all areas of your life.  So before you ditch the idea of an office desk for the home dining room table, ask the question, will I be more effective working from home?