Working from Home – Create A Working Space

Most people would find the idea of working from home a complete dream. It gives you flexibility when it comes to the working day, there’s no stressful commute, sitting stuck for what seems like hours trying to make your way into the city, and, if you so want it, every day can be a pj day – no-one is actually going to see what you are working in. Recent research has claimed that remote workers can be up to 13% more productive than their office based counterparts, it seems that it is no longer frowned upon to fit your work around your family – to be that little more flexible.

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And yet, there are things to consider before you become a remote worker, with one of the main one being how to focus and not  get sidetracked by things that need doing in the home, or by something interesting on the television. Staying focused on the task ahead is very important, and so a home office, or at least a working space that is conducive to working is both practical and productive. You need to take the work as seriously as you would in a traditional work environment. Apple Home Improvements have produced their own guide to designing a productive workspace in your home, and are running a social media campaign with the hashtag #ProductiveHome.

 

I think they have got it just right with their tips, your space does need to be quiet, and yet also needs to be light if you are to avoid falling asleep at your desk. Making it pleasant with plants and features will mean you are happy to work there, whilst a comfortable chair to work in is an absolute must if you want to avoid back ache. Ultimately your space also needs to be yours, so those personal touches are something to be encouraged, but also avoid chaos with a good filiing system and pinboards for your targets and deadlines.

Working from home isn’t always perfect.  But the flexibility it can offer (I work around the school run for instance), the comfort of knowing that things like adverse weather or school holidays will not stop your working day, ensures that this is an option that will prove to be crucial for so many working parents, and a good working space will definitely help too.

5 Ways to Help Save Money for Life

Have you ever wondered what you would do if an emergency cropped up? Life is full of uncertainty and there are a wide range of things that can go wrong. If you aren’t financially prepared, it could make the situation a lot worse. Despite the fact it could really help, the majority of Americans never save for an emergency fund.

There are plenty of ways to save money on things like your shopping, your bills and any other service you purchase online. You can look for discount codes from sites like dealsdaddy and dealsqueen in order to get the bet possible discounts and find out all the most pertinent offers. These can actually help you when it comes to saving money in your every day life and could be vital in times of emergencies.

If you’d like to make sure you’re financially prepared, below you’ll discover 5 of the best ways to help save money for life’s little accidents. `

  1. Creating a plan

The first thing that you really have to do before you start saving is to create a plan. This should include how much you will need in case of an emergency and how much you can currently afford to save each month. Bankrate has a great explanation of how much you should save. According to the site, it is a good idea to save between four to seven months’ worth of your income. This may sound like a lot but remember – you may end up facing more than one emergency. Whether it be vets bills, home repairs or redundancy; there are many things that can require emergency savings and these things have a nasty habit of happening in tandem.

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  1. Set up automatic payments

The best way to make sure you save is to set up regular automatic monthly payments into your savings account. Ideally you should set the date for the money to come out as the same day that you get paid. That way, you won’t have chance to miss it when working out your month’s income.

  1. Consider freelance work

It’s all well and good saving money when you have it, but what if you don’t have enough money to save? A good way to earn extra cash to put into savings is to pick up freelance assignment. The internet has provided great opportunities for creative individuals to freelance their skills. It could be photography, web design or even writing. All of these skills can earn you extra cash in your spare time. Channel every cent you earn into a savings account and it’ll soon mount up.

  1. Play and win

Gamblers with a flair for winning should see this knack as an opportunity. If you’re a member of an online bingo site or casino, you could turn your hobby into a source of potential income for your savings account. There are even things you can learn to increase your chances of winning. However, always bet responsibly, set and stick to limits and siphon off your winnings into a savings account before you get chance to spend them again.

  1. Keep track of your progress

As with any goal in life, it helps if you keep track of what you’re saving. As featured by Money Facts, it will help to keep you motivated and give you peace of mind that you will be prepared if anything does go wrong.

Overall it can be difficult trying to save money and it’s always tough to remember to fix the roof while the sun is shining. Making sure you have available funds if anything does go wrong can give you great peace of mind and ensure you resolve the problem quickly.

4th Office – Making flexible working a reality

An interesting post on the Freelancers Union website today talks about why so many women are choosing to work freelance. Sara Horowitz states that:-

“…Even more than our male counterparts, our lives play out in stages that don’t fit well with a corporate world dominated by men. By our 30s, many women are starting families and struggling with taking time away from the office. By our forties, we’re often hitting the glass ceiling in terms of pay and promotions. By our fifties and sixties, unfortunately, we’re often being ignored altogether…” (Read full piece here.)

This was certainly true for me. Starting a family in my thirties, combined with health issues that developed after Joe’s birth meant that I no longer wished to be constrained by a teaching role that saw me in school at 8am, leaving and 6pm, and then taking 3/4 hours of work home with me. Freelance work and blogging was a way to maintain a work/life balance that suited me as an independent woman, and as a mother. But working from a home office which more often than not is my dining room or sofa has it’s own issues, which is why I am excited to now be using 4th Office.

Home Office – fantasy and reality

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4th Office is your new online home office that can be accessed anywhere and keeps you organised, with all your most important files, emails, tasks and contacts stored in one easily accessible place. It is very easy to set up an account, taking just a minute, and it is free for start-ups, mumpreneurs, freelancers and those working from home. (There are premium accounts available for bigger businesses that are chargeable, these help to fund the free accounts).

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Your 4th Office account can be used at anytime, in anyplace and by anyone who you add to your account. It is the perfect way to get yourself organised – you can store your most important emails, spreadsheets, planning work and files on the system, and can then share them with anyone as required. You can set up reminders of important dates, deadlines and tasks that are instantly visible on your desktop – meaning no more need for post-it notes that just disappear. You can update your work online, and still keep previous versions to hand. What I really love is that you get a newsfeed so you no longer have to search through a chain of emails to keep a conversation going, or to refer back to something – it’s all there for you.

You can use it on the go from your iphone too.

You can use it on the go from your iphone too.

4th Office say:-

” We’re on a mission o build better ways of working – helping start-ups make the dream of flexible working a reality.”

I really think they are onto something with this, and with the free service and unlimited cloud storage space, I can see no reason for freelancers, those working from home, and new start-ups to give this a go.

To do an online our of 4th Office, click here.