Contractor networking for introverts

Sharing, talking and mingling drains you of energy.

Most of the time you’d rather just focus on your work.

You’re a private person, so sharing feels awkward.

If the above describes you then you may be a bit of an introvert, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s common for introversion and shyness to get confused, when actually they’re completely separate. Broadly speaking those of us with introverted tendencies are inclined to feel drained from being around people for long periods of time, especially large crowds. Whereas shyness is the fear of negative judgement. Extroverts on the other hand, gain energy from socialising – their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone.

This makes promoting yourself quite difficult for those with introverted characteristics – but you’ve decided that contracting is the life for you – so unless your skills are so niche and in demand that you’re highly sought after, it’s something you’re going to have to do. To put yourself out there, you’ll need to sell your skills to agencies and clients in phone conversations and interviews, network with those in similar fields and generally big yourself up! So how can you do all this without it being too overwhelming? Here’s a few ways to get over the hurdles of self-promotion:

 

1. Remember that many feel the same way as you do
Just because some people appear confident on the outside, it doesn’t mean they’re not a wreck on the inside. Maybe they’re just better at hiding it than you are, or they may have gone one step further and practiced managing their anxiety. Next time you’re in a situation you feel uncomfortable with, breath deeply and consciously take it in your stride. Nothing bad is going to happen – after all, thousands of nervous contractors and freelancers deal with it successfully every day.

2. Bond with others
Rather than viewing people as competitors, see them as a potential support network. If you look at it from this angle it may help to ease the difficulty of socialising. Building good relationships with people may create new work and contracts, as well as offer welcome support and advice, or even forge friendships by seeing you as an ally. It’s a natural human trait to want to connect and share, so don’t miss out by declining too many opportunities.

3. Use social media
There’s a certain amount of anonymity to be had from communicating online, plus you have the freedom to choose when and where to do it, so this form of communication is ideal for fitting around your requirements. Connecting, chatting and posting your opinions on a platform such as LinkedIn (the main one for businesses), means you can secure and build up valuable contacts without even leaving the house.

4. Attend networking events
Social media can be a brilliant tool for self-promotion, but it’s still quite impersonal. Nothing can replace a real-life, friendly smile and one of the best places to find those is at networking events. The thought of a crowded room might make some people shudder, but a way to overcome this is instead of focusing on the quantity of people you meet or conversations you have, find one or two people that you can devote your focus and attention to and enjoy those meaningful connections. Then give yourself plenty of alone-time afterwards to recharge.

5. Boost your self-motivation
You might think it’s all well and good doing all the above, but how do you get motivated in the first place?
•Keep a positive attitude – You can never fully control your circumstances, but you can certainly choose your attitude towards them.
•See the good in bad – When encountering obstacles, you want to be in the habit of finding what works in order to get over them.

 

Being more of an introvert just means you have the same talents and skills as everyone else, but just find promoting them a tricky area to master. Do what you’re capable of, keep the momentum going, and if you’re genuinely interested in other people and their needs and stay true to yourself and your work, then you’ve pretty much nailed it.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

 

How to get your Limited Company name just right

So you’ve decided to form your own Limited Company, congratulations! While it’s a fantastically exciting time for new employment adventures, there are a few things you’ll need to get in order before you can trade through your company, and one of them is your company name. How do you go about doing it, what’s required, and how do you check if it’s even available?

This blog looks at all the factors to consider when choosing the name to ensure that it complies with the rules set by Companies House.

 

Limited or Ltd – which one to choose?

The first thing to note is that all private Limited Companies in the UK must have either ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ at the end of their name.

Beware: If you register with ‘Limited’ you can use ‘Ltd’, but if you register with ‘Ltd’ you can’t use ‘Limited’. Make sure you choose the right option.

 

What’s the right name for you and your company?

The perfect company name lets prospective clients know what you do and that you mean business. Here are a few things to consider:

  • What industry are you in, and can your company name reflect this? If you’re an IT contractor for example, portray what you do straight away to your prospective clients
  • How creative do you want to be? Would you prefer to appear serious, or stand out from the crowd with your uniqueness? Made-up words or acronyms can give an individual feel
  • Will your personal name feature in the company name? As in ‘Joe Bloggs IT Contracting Limited’ for instance
  • How will your company name sit alongside your personal marketing strategy (if you have one)?
  • Will your name reflect you as an individual, or your company?

 

Deciding what your personal and/or company image is will probably be the most difficult part of creating a name. Write a list and get an idea for what feels right to you.

Another tip would be to look at your direct competitors’ names – what do you like/dislike about them, and how will you stand out against them to your prospective client base?

 

What’s generally allowed?

As long as the name is unique there’s a wide range of choice available. Some people choose random words or phrases as they’re not intending to use the company name as a brand to trade on. If this is the case for you then you’ll probably be less concerned about what the name sounds like, which gives you even greater choice.

If you intend to incorporate the company name in your marketing strategy then just bear in mind that more often than not the most obvious choices have already been taken, so you may have to get a bit creative with it. Even if you can’t find something that you really like it’s still possible to use a ‘Trading Name’ that fits, as long as this doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s name or trademark. To do this you’ll still need to display your registered company name on all documentation and your website, but you can add something like ‘Stellar Computing Genius is a trading name of Xylo 2013 Ltd’.

If you’re professionally qualified, such as a Chartered Accountant, then you may be able to obtain permission to use this in your company name if you want to, but remember to check that the full company name remains entirely unique.

Here are a few rules and considerations every contractor must abide by:

  • The name can’t be the same (or too similar) to an existing name from the Companies House index of names. With expressed permission from the other name owner you can get around this, but this is based on exceptional circumstances only. To check if it’s already been taken, visit the Companies House website
  • Your company name can’t include a ‘sensitive’ word or expression. It also can’t imply business superiority, a particular status or specific function. For example, you can’t use the word ‘bank’, as this would need to be approved by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • National words such as ‘British’, ‘Great British’, ‘Great Britain’, ‘United Kingdom’ or ‘International’ are strictly controlled. Only Companies House will allow these based on exceptional circumstances
  • The name can’t have nor indicate any connections with the Government or local authorities
  • Be creative – but not rude! Offensive names are not permitted
  • Characters, symbols and punctuation can also be restricted

 

Beware: You may wish to call your company whatever you like, but Companies House has the power to reject any name they feel doesn’t comply with the points above. So save yourself time, effort (and potentially money) and make sure you comply to get it right first time.

 

Can you reserve a company name?

While you might know what name you’d like to use, you may not be quite ready to register your Limited Company. So what do you do? Unfortunately you can’t reserve your company name, but you can set up your Limited Company in a ‘dormant’ state.

Beware: Even though the company is dormant, your legal responsibilities as a Director are still active. Make sure you’re aware of what’s required of you while your company is dormant.

 

Can you change it further down the line?

If you want or need to change your company name you can do so in two ways:

  • Special resolution – if you change the name using a special resolution, you must file a copy of the resolution, a completed NM01 form and the appropriate fee with Companies House
  • Provision in the company’s articles – if you change the company name by means provided for in the company’s articles, you must file a NM04 form and the appropriate fee with Companies House.

 

Beware: Changing your company name through Companies House isn’t the only place you’ll have to do so. If you have social media platforms, stationery, or other mediums which carry your old name, these will all have to be changed, which can get costly. Our advice is make sure you like your name before you register it!

 

As part of Intouch’s monthly fixed fee, company incorporation is included. Our specialist team will make sure you’re eased into Limited Company ownership knowing that the name, information requirements and paperwork are fully compliant and have been appropriately filed with Companies House. Good luck!

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

 

The pros and cons of a Limited Company for a contractor

After much deliberation, you’ve decided to go it alone and set up as a contractor. You’ve polished your CV and LinkedIn profile and have started looking for your first contract, but you’re yet to decide on one important factor: your new company’s trading structure.

As a contractor, you can either choose to set up as a Limited Company, a Sole Trader or work under a so-called ‘Umbrella’ agreement. This article examines the main pros and cons of operating as a Limited Company.

Pros: 

Tax-efficient

Registering as a Limited Company tends to be the most tax-efficient way of operating, particularly if your annual income is likely to exceed £40,000. As a director and shareholder in the business, you can opt to take your income in the form of dividends, which will reduce National Insurance costs.

Claimable expenses

Further savings can be made through claiming back certain business expenses, such as home office costs, childcare and mileage.

More control

As the director, you make the decisions and have full control over how your business is run, as well as your personal income and therefore rates of tax. This means no compromising with partners, or relying on third parties to collect payment for your services.

Limited personal liability

With a Limited Company, your personal finances are separate from business assets. So, if something were to go wrong, you’d only lose money from the company.

More professional image

Trading as a Limited Company gives off a more professional image, which can help you to attract and retain clients, particularly larger ones.

 

Cons:

More administration

As director, you have to ensure that your business is compliant with company law and are required to do everything from filing accounts to preparing tax returns and general bookkeeping. It’s down to you to familiarise yourself with the punitive IR35 legislation, too.

Greater responsibility

Acting as director does carry considerable responsibility. Not only will you have to conduct admin tasks on a regular basis, but it’s your duty to ensure that all information is accurate and submitted on time.

Associated costs

There are several costs related to setting up and running a Limited Company, namely those related to administration, filing and accountancy.

 

At Intouch Accounting, our Personal Accountants offer expert advice on the most suitable trading structure for your future business. We’ll manage the company formation on your behalf and relieve you of those time-consuming and often complex administrative duties. As experts in IR35, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the legislation. Get in touch today to find out more.

 

You may also be interested in:

Venturing into contracting? Download our free guide now

Calculate your take-home pay and find out if Limited is right for you

Contractor Accountants – do you get what you pay for?

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

 

 

Start contracting with confidence in 2018

Starting a long-term career as a contractor or freelancer in 2018 has become more attractive than during any time in the last two years. If you’re looking for independence and have a skill set that matches increasing current demand, then it’s possible to both ‘have your cake and eat it’, in 2018!

 

Clarity of employment status

The turmoil that was predicted from the middle of 2017 regarding changes to IR35 (the legislation that determines your employment status and therefore your potential tax efficiency as a contractor) has not materialised. The possibility of further IR35 change in the private sector has been deferred until the public sector changes can be reviewed and lessons learned.

Meanwhile, day rates are also stabilising as employers who sought to pass the burden of employer’s National Insurance contributions entirely onto workers are experiencing resistance.

HMRC’s employment status tool (CEST: ‘Check Employment Status for Tax’) also helps; it’s not perfect, and it’s still advisable to take professional IR35 advice, but when answered openly the questions provide a pretty accurate answer.

This increased level of clarity puts the contractor in the perfect position to grasp the opportunity, and begin to enjoy the freedoms of freelancing – all good reasons to rejoice in 2018!

 

Demand for skills 

Brexit and other Government promises to deliver on infrastructure projects and technology change, are creating huge demand for IT and related skills across the UK.

Employers are still preferring to keep employment costs under their control by engaging flexible workers, under flexible or zero-hour contracts. And anti-avoidance rules are also settling down with engagers being more pragmatic and accommodating (rather than issuing blanket edicts) in order to attract and retain talent.

All good news for the 2018 contractor.

 

Taking the leap into Limited

Are you ready to have your cake and eat it? Embrace the quality of life, freedom and flexibility of being your own boss, as well as increased take home pay?

If so, there are always choices of which trading model you should trade under. As a rule of thumb (only – there are always exceptions), you should consider the following:

Semi or low-skilled workers – If you are semi or low-skilled or provided services at or near the National Minimum Wage, then using a Limited Company is not likely to be the most suitable vehicle for a number of reasons. If you’re in this category and being put under pressure to go limited, you should take independent advice.

If you’re able to choose your preferred solution, then an Umbrella organisation should give you good advice. Beware the shady Umbrellas (pun intended) though – FCSA accreditation is a must. For others with perhaps fewer expenses that can be claimed, the best solution may well be to use a simple payroll bureau, where the fees you pay are lower and the rights you get more comprehensive.

 

Skilled or ‘Knowledge Workers’ – If you’re a ‘Knowledge Worker’ or skilled in a particular trade or profession, then a Limited Company can provide you with the best solution from several perspectives. For individuals who are independent and outside of the supervision, direction or control of the hirer, there will be advantages in your take home pay. You’ll have increased flexibility and commercial credibility, but you’ll have to protect yourself for illness or inability to work (usually through insurances). Ask for assistance from a contractor accounting professional from the beginning and get off to a good start.

 

Contracting advice from experts

If you’re thinking of setting up as a Limited Company contractor, Intouch can offer more than just an accounting service. From set-up and insurance to tax and IR35 advice, your Personal Accountant will be there to help you start your journey with confidence. We know that taking your first step into contracting is a big decision so we’re happy to chat through any questions you have even if you’re not ready to get going just yet.

 

You may also be interested in:

Venturing into contracting? Download our free guide

IR35 FAQs

Intouch current joining offers

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

 

Forget London! The UK’s IT scene is setting up camp elsewhere…

The UK’s IT scene has moved…..but where?!

Calling all contractors! If jellied eels, pearly queens and doing the Lambeth Walk aren’t your thing, then you’re not alone! With over inflated costs for rent and living, more and more professionals and businesses are looking to move outside of England’s capital.

 

But where are they heading? In this blog we pinpoint the hotspots and what to expect when you get there.

 

Newcastle – Wey aye, man!

Famous for giving us Alan Shearer, Lucozade and the Angel of the North, Newcastle is part of what makes Britain great. But what about IT contracting?

 

Average wages

Software engineer: £30,000

Software developer: £26,000

 

With over 25,000 people employed within the technology sector, Newcastle has been referred to as ‘Silicon Shore’ and is fast becoming one of the places to go for contract work in the UK.

 

Which companies are based here?

Sage, the only technology company to feature in the FTSE 100 is based in Newcastle and HMRC’s Digital Delivery Centre is also located here.

 

Even though Newcastle’s location means it’s one of the furthest cities from London, it hasn’t hindered it from becoming one of the up and coming technology cities of the UK.

Angel of the north

 

Edinburgh –  That’s barrie!

It’s not all haggis, kilts and Dolly the sheep, Edinburgh has quite the IT scene developing. Almost everyone has heard of the video game Grand Theft Auto, the brainchild of Rockstar North, which is based here.

 

Average wages

Software engineer: £39,800

Software developer: £29,000

 

With a far lower cost of living, shorter commute time (if any) and opportunity to work for either a small or large IT company, there’s something in Edinburgh for every type of IT contractor.

edinburgh

 

Bristol – Gert lush!

2013 was a big year for Bristol, as the city was voted the best city to live in with the second highest national average wage. It’s also the most environmentally friendly city in the UK and is quickly becoming the city to relocate to.

 

Average wages

Software engineer: £30,500

Software developer: £29,000

 

Bristol is well known for its opportunities, both within large corporations, as well as vibrant start-ups and SMEs. With the recent addition of the high speed data connection and HP choosing Bristol for its UK head office, it’s clear why it’s quickly becoming one of the tech cities in the UK. ‘Jobs a good’un!’

Bristol

 

Leeds – Ey up keka!

With more than 45,000 people employed in the digital sector and the likes of William Hill, Asda and SkyBet all housing their head offices here, Leeds is a powerhouse in its own right.

 

Average wages

Software engineer: £31,000

Software developer: £25,000

 

Leeds has it’s very own internet exchange – the IXLeeds, meaning it’s totally independent from London.

leeds

 

Where will IT contracting take you?

So if the thought of life as a Londoner doesn’t float your boat, it’s clear there are many other options available to you. Across the UK you’ll find a growing and vibrant IT industry, that’s showing no signs of slowing down.

 

Whilst location might be important for your work, it doesn’t have to be for your contractor accountant. With 24/7 Cloud-based access to your accounts and direct contact with your Personal Accountant, there’s no need to waste time in making special trips. Speak to Intouch Accounting today about how their expert, tailored advice and support can complement your contracting career, no matter where you are.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Break through your slump!

Break through your slump with Intouch’s top tips to re-motivate yourself when contracting

Waning motivation can be deadly, especially when you feel like every step you take is getting you stuck further in the mud.  According to experts, motivation is the most significant predictor of success. So what can you do to get yours back? Here we share our top five tips to help you get out of a slump and fall in love with contracting again.

 

1. Find out what’s at the root of your slump – is something leaving you feeling drained; are you eating right, getting plenty of exercise, or maybe even enough vitamin D? Why not change your diet, take up a new exercise class or go for a walk in the fresh air for half an hour each day? Or maybe it’s a particular client that’s difficult to work with, or you’re in the middle of a challenging contract? Whatever it may be, identify the source to understand what’s causing your slump.

2. Get away from it all – a change of scenery or new adventure is good for the soul, as well as the mind and body. Maybe you’ve been working too hard or focusing your mind on professional problems, when what you really need is a rest. Book a holiday – it doesn’t need to be abroad, just getting away from home for a few nights can be just as beneficial. Wellbeing retreats are a popular way to recharge your batteries too.

3. Take some “me time”- each evening or for a couple of hours over the weekend take time to unplug yourself from everyday life. Switch off your phone, leave facebook and your email inbox alone and enjoy the simple things in life, without the need to feel connected all the time.

4. Treat yourself to a new experience – it doesn’t have to cost lots of money (or any at all!) Why not create a bucket list and start to work your way through it?

5. Discover what personal development means to you – as a successful contractor you will already have got it nailed when it comes to professional development, but what about personal? If it’s having a knock-on effect to your professional life, then it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate.

 

Happiness is being the master of your own personal and professional destiny.  Remember the days when you had to move to the beat of someone else’s drum? You probably had to work eight hour days (or worse, even longer) for little professional recognition or progression. You went into contracting for a reason, so don’t forget it!

 

And should you ever feel like you’re headed towards a slump, run through our top five tips to help you remember why contracting is so fantastic!

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

What are the benefits of becoming a contractor?

Contracting benefits

Often, when people say they are giving up their permanent job to become a contractor, they get a lot of funny looks from colleagues and friends who can’t believe they’d give up a regular salary to go it alone. That being said, there are some definite advantages to being a contractor that can outweigh the security a salaried position provides.

 

Our preferred contractor insurance provider, Kingsbridge Insurance recently blogged about the benefits contractors can expect from their chosen professional field. Here, they share their top 5.

 

1. Flexible working

Although the UK is getting better at flexible working, it’s still not as commonplace as in some of our European neighbourhoods. For many people, the nine-to-five grind doesn’t actually suit. As a contractor, depending on your contract, you decide when and where you work. Remember though, some clients may well prefer you to work from their premises which will usually mean you have to adhere to their office hours.

 

2. Better pay

Generally speaking, due to their specialisms and expertise contractors and freelancers make more per hour or per day than their salaried counterparts. Plus, since contractors are able to claim allowable business expenses when they complete their tax return, they also have a higher rate of take-home pay. This means you can earn more money for less time and it can help to offset the fact that, as a contractor, you won’t get paid holidays, sick pay and other benefits.

 

3. Improved work-life balance

‘Work-life balance’ is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. The flexibility of contract work means that you can do more of the things you love, whether that’s spending time with your children, indulging in a hobby or socialising more with your friends. If you’re happier and more relaxed, you should see your work improving too.

 

4. More career control

As a contractor or freelancer, you can steer your career in whichever direction you want it to go. So if there’s a particular client you don’t want to work with, no one’s making you. If you want to pursue a certain avenue of work, go ahead and explore it, it’s your career to design however you wish!

 

5. Variation

Contracting can have as much (or as little) variation as you like. One of the worst things about permanent employment can be the repetitiveness of going to the office and doing the same tasks day after day. As a contractor, you can ensure that your days are varied either by taking on a range of different clients, or by simply organising your week so that you have different tasks every day. It could even be as simple as working from a different location each day. Whatever works for you, you can make sure you’re never bored.

 

If you’re thinking of making the switch to being a contractor and need expert contractor accounting advice, speak to one of our team here at Intouch Accounting. Or if you’re needing to organise your insurance, contact Kingsbridge Insurance on 01242 808 740.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Leap year love – do what you love on this extra day

Happy Leap Year!

Today marks a leap year, a whole extra day to do whatever you like! So how will you be spending the day? How about doing something you love?

 

Here are just a few ideas you could try:

  • Be brave, bite the bullet and propose to your boyfriend!
  • Book a holiday
  • Watch a marathon box set or series of movies
  • Have a “staycation” – imagine you’re a tourist in your own town for a day
  • Buy a novel by your favourite author and read it in one day
  • Plan an old fashioned play day with children or grandchildren and relive your childhood
  • Visit a National Trust property to see snowdrops, the first signs of spring
  • Learn a new skill at a one-day workshop – eg cooking, photography, mindfulness
  • Volunteer for a day – so rewarding and you may decide to make it a regular event

 

Contracting means you can design your professional career around your personal life, rather than the other way around. You work when, where and how you like (try doing that if you are a permanent employee!) Why not take a couple of minutes to find out what makes a successful contractor? If you’re considering contracting, it’s better to be fully prepared and know what to expect.

 

A few fun facts about leap years

So, you’ve decided how you’re spending your extra day, but do you know how the leap day came about and how the rest of the world celebrates?

 

  • A leap year occurs every four years to help synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, or the length of time it takes the earth to orbit the sun, which is about 365¼ days.
  • However, because the orbit is slightly less, we have to skip three leap days every 400 years. The last time was in February 1900. The next time will be in February 2100.
  • Only 30 people alive today experienced the skipped Leap Day in 1900.
  • The tradition of a woman being “allowed” to propose marriage on 29th February became commonplace in the 19th Century.
  • Women who propose must either wear breeches or a scarlet petticoat to pop the question. In Scotland, the petticoat should be partly visible to the man during the proposal. If a man refused his partner’s proposal, he would be fined a kiss, a silk dress or twelve pairs of gloves.
  • One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year. They believe it is bad luck.
  • People born on February 29 are called “leaplings” or “leapers”.  The chance of being born on a leap day is one in 1,461. There are five million leaplings around the world.

 

So what will you be up to this leap year? Why not share your plans with us. Simply leave a comment below and we will share the craziest with our Twitter and Facebook followers!

 

And if you haven’t yet leapt at the chance of contracting and the freedom it brings, why not become your own boss and use 2016 to take a quantum leap forward for personal and professional freedom?

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Final top tips for setting up a great home office workspace – part two

Our final 5 tips for setting up a great home office workspace

In last week’s blog we shared five top tips to help you start setting up a super home workspace. Now you’ve got the basics covered, here are another five tips to help you set up a workspace which is not only pleasant to work in but also highly efficient:

 

1. Get equipped The equipment you’ll need depends on your type of work and you probably have the basics – computer, printer, scanner, shredder. It is useful to have a smart phone specifically for business which you can set to voicemail after hours.

 

Insider knowledge: Don’t buy expensive equipment to start with. You’ll soon find out what’s essential.

 

2. Where to put it? When planning, make a list of all the materials you’ll need to store – books, ink, paper, stationery…  It’s easy to underestimate your storage needs and end up with a cluttered and inefficient workspace.

 

Insider knowledge: It’s cheap to source smart boxes and files in co-ordinating colours.

home office

 

3. Getting together Unless you have a dedicated room for your home office, consider whether you might prefer to meet clients elsewhere, either at their base or in a meeting room rented by the hour in a hotel or large office building.

 

4. Decorating and finishing touches How your workspace looks affects your mood and motivation so consider colour, texture, comfort and ambience. Have a look online for ideas.

 

Insider knowledge: A notice board for uplifting photos, affirmations, letters of thanks helps with motivation and some people like to burn scented candles or play soothing music to inspire or encourage creativity.

 

Remember, if you will be video calling or conferencing your background should look uncluttered to avoid distracting the caller.

 

5. A place for everything… Before you decide where you are going to put everything in your workspace, sit in the chair and imagine going through a normal work day.

  • Is everything you need to hand?
  • Is your phone in its charging cradle in front of you?
  • Do you have to open a drawer to find a pen or notepad?
  • Do you have to get up to reach the filing cabinet?
  • Stretch to reach a much-used reference book?
  • Can you see the wall clock without twisting round?
  • Can you reach the switches for computer and peripherals?

 

Then move everything to its optimal position. The trick is to keep the most-used items nearest and the least used items farther away.

 

A tidy office is a tidy mind so having set up your workspace, keep it well organised so you can impress with your efficiency and ability to find information quickly.

 

And try to avoid this! :

 

great home office

 

Finally, sit back and enjoy your workspace and the exciting prospect of working from home.

 

In next week’s blog we’ll reveal how contracting can give you the professional and  personal lifestyle you’ve always wanted.


Meanwhile, if you have any tips or your own ideas on how to create a workspace to harness maximum productivity, we’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.