In April 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that pretty much half of the UK was working from home as a result of the pandemic (49.2%). It’s likely that as the restrictions ease, many of us will return to some form of office or coworking space. But for now, how can we make sure our business thrives while we work from home?
Despite the obvious benefits – more time with loved ones; time and cost savings from ditching the commute – we know that depending on the nature of your business, it’s not always that easy. For those operating in the STEAM sectors (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths), or any sector for that matter, it can be tricky without the right support in place.
Tips to improve productivity at home
If possible, try to create a quiet, comfortable workspace with plenty of natural light. To reduce anxiety levels, clear your workspace of any clutter and distractions. If you live with others, agree times in the day when you’d rather not be disturbed.
A great way to ensure your wellbeing is to maintain your usual routine. We all thrive on a bit of structure in our lives, so try to get up at the same time every day and follow the same working pattern. Make the most of not having to commute by going for an early morning walk. Perhaps treat yourself to your favourite coffee to get yourself ready for the day ahead.
Various studies have shown that the boundaries between our work life and personal life have become blurred, so set yourself a time to finish work, and stick to it.
Take regular breaks and leave your workspace to enjoy lunch. If you struggle to maintain focus, try the Pomodoro technique. This involves breaking the working day into digestible 25-minute chunks, followed by a five-minute break.
And, most importantly, keep in touch with others. Schedule virtual tea breaks with mentors, colleagues, or even friends if you work alone. Take time to talk about something other than work.
What other support is available?
Co-working is an increasingly popular choice for those craving the comradery of the traditional office environment. The community and culture that co-working spaces nurture can be invaluable to small business owners and start-ups looking to share ideas with likeminded individuals. While it’s true that most co-working spaces have needed to temporarily close their on-site facilities during the restrictions, centres such as STEAMhouse have worked hard to adapt their services to support those now working from home.
During the past couple of months, the STEAMhouse tech team has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to provide a series of remote services for our members, proving that anything is possible when you work collaboratively.
Our STEAMhouse PORTAL online learning platform provides members with a mix of virtual group events, as well as one-to-one mentoring with in-house business consultants and skilled technicians. To find a full list of our online events and workshops, visit the STEAMhouse events page.
Our STEAMhouse MAKER BOX subscription service provides specialist materials and step-by-step training – including a launch event and evaluation session – across a wide variety of areas: woodwork, moulding, bio lab, electronics, computer-aided learning and virtual reality.
Finally, our STEAMhouse BUREAU is where the magic happens. Once members have honed their skills via the PORTAL and MAKER BOXES, they can send in their designs (complete with production specifications) to be transformed into prototypes.
For more details about the above services, check out our recent blogpost.
Don’t forget to get social!
Social media is great for promoting your business, but it’s also proving an essential lifeline for many start-ups during the pandemic as a way of tapping into remote support from peers, colleagues and mentors. Like many organisations during 2020, we have worked hard to ensure members receive lots of support and information via our social media pages. For instance, our STEAMhouse Members Group on Facebook serves as a friendly open forum for budding entrepreneurs to communicate and share ideas.
Meanwhile, our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn pages are also buzzing with news and blog posts on the most up-to-date thinking across the STEAM sectors, as well as guidance on how to access our latest online workshops and seminars.
Start-ups across the globe are proving that if we work together, and adapt to change, anything is possible – whether at home or in the office. By creating a stress-free environment, looking after our mental wellbeing, and seeking remote support, 2021 could be a great year for business.
To find out more about how our STEAMhouse remote services can help you progress from idea to prototype and beyond, enquire today.