What Everybody Ought to Know About Working from Home - Advice from Darren A. Smith, CEO of Making Business Matter (MBM)

COVID19 has challenged businesses to rethink remote working, yet many have no idea how to work from home productively, manage their wellbeing, and avoid isolation.

The UK had 4.2 million people that work from home, which is 13.9% of the workforce, according to the Office of National Statistics survey in 2014[1]. Social distancing means that figure has been forced to increase and will continue to rise rapidly.

For most people working from home is new. They have never been taught how to work from home. Their parents never did it. And the stigma is one of ‘being at home and putting your feet up’. They now need to find a way to do what they did in the office, at home, whilst getting to grips with new tech, not staying in their pyjamas all day, and avoiding countless distractions.

The advice for how to work from home is infinite, as is any topic with a simple google search. The difference is getting the advice from people who have made the mistakes, tried all the different ways of working, and got the t-shirt.

Darren A. Smith, CEO of Making Business Matter (MBM), has been working from home and managing a remote team for 18 years. In the early days he had to deal with small kids pulling his laptop from the kitchen table, hide from visiting grandparents, and to look up from his email inbox after working for 5 hours straight.

He has developed a mnemonic which is built from the 7 most common mistakes people make when they start working from home. If new homeworkers adopt these 7 best practices they will feel less isolated, more productive, and be able to focus on what they need to get done.

The anagram is ‘M.I.N.D.S.E.T.’ where each letter shares a way of working that will help every home worker.

• M is for Manage: Managing your time is essential.
• I is for Isolation: Avoiding becoming isolated is a concern for many people.
• N is for Neat: Which is all about the ‘3 Wardrobe Rule’.

• D is for Deliverables: Answering ‘Why are you on the payroll?’ is key.
• S is for Space: Creating the right space to work.
• E is for Emotions: Being able to share how you feel as a remote worker.
• T is for Technology: Getting the most from the technology around you.

Resources to help new remote workers:
• 7 Best Practices Article: https://www.makingbusinessmatter.co.uk/work-from-home/
• 18 x 3-minute videos, each with a practical tip: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc3hP2_jw9SkMS5wTXKQ2CUVkzIb2KWuO
• Infographic: https://www.makingbusinessmatter.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Work-from-Home-Infographic.pdf

[1]Reference: ONS 2014 Survey - https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/adhocs/009913homeworkersbyukregion2008comparedto2018

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