Working from home – good, bad or both?   Leave a comment

Covid-19 has certainly made everything and everyone in this world look at things differently.

It has helped communities come together and neighbours, maybe even getting to know people they never knew before and helping them out. I think we have all had time to look at our lives and see the good, the bad or the indifference.

One of the most inspiring things is how our key-workers have stepped forward and how much they are recognised for their contribution to this crisis. That includes NHS and all those who have volunteered, but also everyone else, no matter what job they do is important and helps the country. Even people self-isolating are playing their part by helping the country come out of this situation, hopefully sooner rather than later. Everyone should be proud of what they have done to ‘contribute’ to help us get out of this strange place we currently find ourselves in.

Another good thing is the environment has benefitted from some of the changes we have had to make. There are certainly more birds in my garden and I even saw a Stork the other day when out walking my dog. It landed on a fence nearby, but unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo before it flew away! Countries have seen more animals making an appearance in towns and cities, like goats in Llandudno, ducks leading their little ones across Roehampton Way, London last month and the Police trying to direct them 🤣 Coyotes in San Francisco and many more cities all over the world invaded with other animals. Hopefully this will be a reminder to all that we should preserve our environment, take care if it and of course love animals.

One thing that has significantly changed for a lot of people is working from home. Hence one of the benefits for the environment whether you travel by car, public transport or worldwide for business meetings. A lot of people have found use of the new technology that is out there, some that they never even knew existed and there are several choices for video conferencing, meetings etc.

My daughter is a dance teacher and is even doing lessons by video link, which the students enjoy and value immensely during this difficult time.

Maybe now is the time for everyone to sit back and ask what can I change to benefit my work/life balance, to spend more time with the family and friends or even more ‘me’ time.

Travelling to business meetings, is that really necessary? The company would also save on expenses! Do I need to travel into the office every day, could I work from home some days? Is it essential to be on-site every day? Think of the money you would save on travel! I’m sure many people are working from home currently due to Covid-19 and find it is possible.

I have worked mainly from home since 2009 full-time, so it’s second nature to me. Although there is always something new to learn, especially when it comes to technology as it evolves so quickly. Having said that, I tend to learn any new software fairly quickly and work my way around it with relative ease. I remember being told once by a computer programmer “just tell it what you want it to do and don’t be afraid of breaking it”

Many people are very new to this concept and maybe not everyone welcomes it. I know people sometimes think what about the phones, filing, diary management, contact with people, you must be in an office on-site to make it work.

This present situation though has shown it’s not absolutely necessary. Phones can still be answered, emails replied to, documents can be saved and available to people, diaries can be managed and shared remotely and conference calling is easily accessed. The technology is there, maybe it has made more people realise it is possible to work and give support from home and it is relatively easy to do. Whatever problems may arise, there is usually always a solution that can be found. Nothing is impossible!

On top of that it saves time commuting to and from work or even travelling for business meetings. Working from home is so much less stressful and could better for everyone. I know you may miss out on the company of people, but it may give you more time to socialise with family and friends. Also you can still keep in contact with colleagues regularly with video conferencing etc.

Maybe it’s the time to change. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your life and how much you can improve it. I think everyone has something to learn from this experience we are currently living in. So if you need any help, advice or PA/secretarial support whether temporary, permanent or ad-hoc please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am happy to help either as a one-off, occasionally, or all the time and even give free advice if required.

Take care everyone and stay safe.

Cathy /

Posted May 15, 2020 by cmm in Blog

Self-employed battle loneliness   2 comments

The number of self-employed people in the UK has now reached more than 4.5 million, but a recent study found that many freelancers battle loneliness in search of an improved work-life balance.

Huckletree interviewed 4,000 self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs who work from home:

43% said that working from home improved their relationship with their partner/spouse.

55% stated that an improved work-life balance was the main benefit working for themselves.

35% identified the avoidance of office politics as a benefit.

It’s not all good though as more than 38% of respondents admitted that working from home had left them lonely, with 48% of people wishing they had others nearby to bounce ideas off.

One solution to this may be networking. Some people may see networking as solely to try and get new business, but it can also be a place to get inspiration, ideas, knowledge and meet with a community of entrepreneurs and self-employed people like yourself.

It is all to easy to sit behind closed doors, but you have to make the effort not just for your self belief and esteem but also for to grow your business and be up-to-date as much as you can. One thing I remember finding out about at networking a years ago now, was about QR codes. I didn’t know what they were in fact had never heard of them, but soon found out and started using them.

Social media also plays a part but it’s not quite the same as going out to meet people in person which can be much more enjoyable and fruitful in all sorts of ways for you and your business and make new friends and meet new colleagues along the way.

Another way to battle loneliness would be to ensure that you have a very active social life outside work, whether it be sports, hobbies, social etc.

So get out there and make the effort, whether it’s work-related or social. After all being self-employed you have the flexibility to have an improved work-life balance so make the most of it!

Posted June 16, 2014 by cmm in Blog

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Networking – After Hours Club   Leave a comment

Below is a list of After Hours Club run by Invicta Chamber of Commerce. This is a free ‘casual’ networking event. The atmosphere is very informal and relaxed. From personal experience I can recommend them.

Ashford       – The Conningbrook Hotel, 5 February
Canterbury  – The Abbotts Barton Hotel, 15 January, 19 February
Chatham     – The Innovation Centre, 15 January, 19 February
Dartford     – The Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, 5 February
Maidstone  – The Russell Hotel, 22 January, 26 February
Sittingbou  – The Coniston Hotel, 27 February
Tonbridge  – The River Centre, 8 January, 12 February


Posted January 4, 2013 by cmm in After Hours Club, Events

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Why does success mean different things to Women vs Male Entrepreneurs?   1 comment

Gender tends not to be a factor when securing financial backing, but running a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as a woman nevertheless poses several challenges.
U.K. government research by Britain’s’ Department for Business, Innovation and SKills (BIS) shows that gender is one of the most likely factors to dictate growth and success of an SME. With regard to ambition among the SME sector, gender was found to be one of the most powerful “explanatory variables” when it came to an entrepreneur’s vision. The report suggested that women may be “less driven by wealth” than their male counterparts.
Whilst women may have the same skill set as men, the same report found that “women-owned businesses grow less because they have lower growth ambition than men.”
Women may set up in business for different reasons to men and have a different idea of success. Also women tend to be more careful and take less risks. Do you agree?


Posted October 19, 2012 by cmm in Blog

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Happy Freelancer’s   3 comments

The 2012 Freelance Industry Report suggests that 90% of 2000 international freelancers surveyed have no regrets about going freelance. The majority loved the freedom and flexibility self-employment gives them. The percentages below speak for themselves:-
28% – flexibility was the key reason they decided to go freelance in the first place
22% – it was to fulfil their lifelong passion
7%  –  said it was for financial reasons
10% – maintaining a good work/life balance
Everybody has their own reasons for going freelance but the difference it can make to your quality of life is outstanding. It’s not easy to get it going and even harder to keep the business going as 37% of freelancers state that getting the work is their hardest challenge.
I must agree with the above, that is the hardest thing getting the work especially at the start but it does get easier and word of mouth recommendations are better than anything else. If you have a client and you do the best you can for them, they will continue to call on your expertise as and when required and also recommend you to others.
It’s not always easy being self-employed and sometimes the hours are longer than if you were employed, but at the end of the day you are working for yourself, which gives you freedom, flexibility and that great work/life balance. Your life is your own and you can make your own decisions and choices regarding anything to do you with your business; from what stationery you use to who you work for.
There are various reasons people go freelance, some maybe forced or pushed into that decision, but whatever the reason it’s not always easy but well worth it. At the end of the day you’ll never know what you can achieve unless you try – just remember it’s not always easy and straightforward and some days the hours are longer than you’d like but at the end of the day your working for you.
Good Luck!
If anyone wants to share their views or reasons for going freelance please join in the conversation.

Posted September 29, 2012 by cmm in Blog

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