If you're self-employed, it's likely that you'll work remotely at some point this summer - whether you're on holiday, away for business, or simply avoiding a sweaty commute by working from home. Being in a different environment, however, can cause productivity issues.
This doesn't have to be the case. Here, we've put together some valuable tips for ensuring effective remote working.
1. Check your WiFi access
So much of the modern working world relies on the internet, and there's nothing worse than finding yourself somewhere with a poor WiFi connection when you need to communicate with clients or send and receive work.
This may be unavoidable if you're away in a rural location, but in most areas you can ensure satisfactory WiFi beforehand. All you need to do is check.
If you'll be at a hotel or summer business event, their website should give you the necessary information - if not, contact them directly to request their WiFi speed. If it's poor, look elsewhere, or find a nearby café where you can plug in for a few hours.
2. Keep everything in the cloud
Landing in an area and then discovering the files you need are on a device back home is far from ideal. Keep organised by ensuring everything is kept in the cloud - even when you're at home. This means you won't ever have to worry about not being able to access anything.
Google Drive gives you the ability to store your files online, and has the added benefit of making it easier to collaborate with others. This and other apps are great for time management.
You can even do your Self Assessment online with cloud-based tax software.
3. Use your day effectively
One key way to increase your productivity is to take breaks. Whilst it's tempting to work all the time, this'll only result in you being less efficient in the long run. So, make sure that you at least spend some time enjoying yourself on your summer trips away.
If you're working from home to beat the heat, schedule in regular breaks to increase your productivity. This can be as short as fifteen minutes, but it'll be enough to give your brain the refresh it needs.
Make sure you do something that's not work-related in your break - checking emails won't help.
4. Reduce your homeworking costs
One advantage to remote working from home rather than elsewhere is that you can lessen your outgoings in a variety of ways. Whether you're renting or you own your property, you can claim either rent or mortgage interest as an allowable expense.
You can also reduce the amount of tax that you owe by offsetting your utilities. This includes gas, electricity, water, repairs, telephone and internet. All but the latter two can be claimed via a flat rate, which is much more straightforward than dividing the usage between home and business.
Find out more about claiming expenses when working from home on the GOV.UK website.
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