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How to work well at home: 17 founders share their top WFH tips

How to work well at home: 17 founders share their top WFH tips

Table of Contents

Founders of UK businesses are weighing up whether to return to the office; full-time, part-time, or as part of a hybrid working model. It’s a divisive issue with pros and cons on both sides. 

And every founder is likely to feel different. Startups launched in the last 18-months have had to embrace remote working either way. But as the UK starts to lift restrictions, companies have an imminent decision to make.

Perhaps you’re undecided, or actually, quite keen to continue working at home. We’re a totally remote team so we know that working at home isn’t always easy, which is why we like to ask others how they manage.

As part of our ongoing Founder Stories series, we ask founders of UK companies, across a variety of industries, to share their thoughts on remote working. 

We’ve hand-picked a few nuggets of wisdom and compiled them into one list to give you food for thought.

Tips for founders, shared by founders. Like how to maintain work/life balance and how to be as efficient and productive as possible, particularly while working at home. 

Advice for founders working at home

Nirali & Jag Mankodi, founders of Superfoodio

“Schedule in distractions. It’s easy to get distracted by everything else that needs to be done in the house, cleaning, washing, cooking etc.

So, try to build these things into your schedule for the day so you don't have to worry about them while trying to work.” 

Graeme Dixon, founder of Octopus

“Start early and do your important work when you feel best. For me, it is the first thing in the morning, for others, it’s the last thing at night.”

Tim Boote, founder of Protein Rebel

“Try to plan your day best you can to be as productive as possible, and make sure you have plenty of rest and exercise breaks.”

Gavriella Abekassis, founder of Out of the Cube

“My biggest challenge has and still is on focusing while working remotely.  If you’re working alone and struggling with procrastination, you should decide on a routine in the morning, so you are in the right mind to work efficiently. 

“You should also question the type of to-do list you have. From time to time, I reverse my to-do list, so I start by the projects I tell myself that I never have the time to work on, and actually get them done!”

women-working-at-home-sofa

James Saward-Anderson, founder of Social Tree Global

“Firstly, build structure into the day. But not everyone is tuned the same way. Find the best routine which suits you.

Secondly, I would recommend daily physical training. You cannot function well working from home if you are not routinely exercising and training.

Thirdly, if you can, stick to one room for work and allocate other spaces in the house for downtime.”

Rebecca Donaldson, founder of MUSE Activewear

“I started working with my laptop in bed, but before long, I found myself feeling very lethargic. I recommend finding a place in your home and making it a dedicated work zone.”

Hugo Morrissey, founder of Nuisance Drinks

“Make sure to get outside frequently. I find it really helps to break up the day, allows for some separation from work and helps to keep the mind focused.”

Christina MacLeod, founder of Edinburgh Women in Space

“I would say set boundaries, give yourself tangible goals, and ensure you get your movement in. Working from home can be distracting, so I think setting smaller goals that account for interruptions from things like family members is important.”

laptop-coffee-wfh

Joshua Dean, founder of Ember

“Make sure that you’re comfortable and have the essentials i.e. WiFi and a charger! I bought a 4G WiFi booster last summer so I can work out of my campervan on nice days.”

Mhairi Cochrane, founder of Lilypads

“Working remotely is tough so being kind to yourself is step one. Giving yourself a 5-minute dance break and a cup of tea are some of my favourite rewards!”

Patrick Wells, founder of Booth

“I end my day with a checklist for the following day that includes things from exercise and meditation to meetings and emails. I try to start my day with exercise and take it bit by bit from there. 

The important thing is to have a structure and try to stick to it as much as possible and don’t beat yourself up when you slip. Just keep trying.”

Craig de Souza, founder of Creative Industry Association

“PLAN! Have set goals and targets – yearly, monthly, weekly and daily – sounds hard but once you get into a routine, it’s the best thing for you.

Share these plans with someone you trust so that they can keep you on target.”

coffee-woman-at-home

Lucy Flinter, founder of Zero Procure

“When in an office or co-working environment it is easier to take a break or stroll to the storeroom etc. Make sure you take time to step away from your workspace [wherever you are].”

Euan Cameron, founder & CEO at Willo

“I have worked remotely for a number of years now and my top tips are to take regular breaks, keep a task list so you don't get lost in menial tasks, and stay hydrated with plenty of water.”

Deri Llewellyn-Davies, founder of BGI and creator of Strategy on a Page

“Always be clear on your purpose and be clear on your intent. Then prioritise like your life depends on it and focus rigorously on what matters.”

Dino Myers-Lamptey, founder of The Barber Shop

“I write lists of the things that I would love to achieve and work on, and I diarise uninterrupted time to work on those things.”

Kyle C Grant, founder of Oxwash

“Definitely get some calendar time in to take a break at lunchtime, go for a walk and leave your phone at home.”

wfh-dog

A huge thanks to all founders for sharing their thoughts on remote working. Working at home undoubtedly has its challenges, but judging by this, these challenges can be easily overcome.

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