Having started in practice in 1997 with very little notice the spare bedroom of a small 3 bed semi was our first home office. With the arrival of a second child in 1998 it was clear something had to give! We found a bungalow that someone had put a full size snooker room on the back of. The 28 foot by 18 foot room became our new home. The separate access and extra space allowed us to work much more effectively. We had trouble getting three phone lines connected in 1998 as the phone company could not understand why we needed 3. One for voice, one for fax and one for the modem which took about 5 minutes to connect! The psychological aspect of working from home has come into sharp focus in the current COVID crisis. Having been doing this for over 20 years I am familiar with the main issues, in my view, they are as follows:
- Mental separation You need to be clear when you are at work and when you are at home. Firstly with yourself and your family and then with friends and clients.
- Physical separation Most people need physical separation to achieve mental separation. A dedicated workspace with all that is required for your business is essential.
- Focus Distraction needs to be avoided, whether that be television, family, friends, or your phone. It is important to have structure to a day to enforce this and breaks from work on a regular basis make you more productive.
In 2006 we moved to our current office. This provides us with 3 rooms as a dedicated workspace. This has, again, improved our efficiency and given great separation and dedicated services. Our current office setup and location are great and clients can see how we work. Given our experience, it is a great demonstration of the value of our advice and our ability to follow our own advice. One client commented that we must be expensive given the nice setup. I was able to retort that if I was giving the advice from a one-bed flat it may not be advice worth having.