28 April 2020
With more of the nation working from home than ever before, and the situation set to continue for at least a few weeks more, we called upon our community of Travel Counsellors to tell us their top tips for working productively, efficiently and happily from home.
After all, Travel Counsellors was one of the first companies in the travel industry to enable experienced travel professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for customer care, to launch corporate and leisure travel businesses from home or shared offices, with the aim to work flexibly around their clients.
Trim based Mandy Walsh says, “Routine is the key to staying motivated,” adding, “Every day brings different challenges, but you need do your best to be consistent and disciplined – don’t be tempted to stay in your PJs all day.”
Fuelling your day the right way is top of Malahide based Travel Counsellor’s ‘to-do’ list. Karen says, “Start every day with breakfast, and if you can, do some exercise! It sets me up for the day with a positive mindset.”
Cork based Travel Counsellor Sarah McCarthy emphasises the importance of setting clear goals for your working day. Sarah says, “For me, the goal is to clear the desk every night, even if that is near midnight!” However, it’s not always about burning the midnight oil, and as the Beatles famously sang, we ‘get by with a little help from (our) friends’. Sarah takes the time to keep in touch with her fellow Travel Counsellors and colleagues, who are also working from home and ‘in the same boat’.
“We all face issues and having a support system of colleagues we feel we can be totally honest with about anything, whether it be personal, financial or business-wise, is key to boosting mental wellbeing when working remotely.”
Getting into the right headspace is something Dunshaughlin based Travel Counsellor Lorraine Lawless says is key to keeping on track. Lorraine says, “I try to take a lunch or just a break to get out for a run or walk for fresh air, and it helps you come back with a fresh mind.”
With schools closed across the country, many homeworkers will now also be balancing their workload with their children’s schoolwork and keeping the kids entertained. When it comes to homeschooling, Co. Louth based Travel Counsellor Deborah van Coller says it’s all about managing expectations.
“(Customers) don't mind that you work from home and sometimes have to work around the kids. Our customers often have kids too, and they love the fact that I can work around them as well, plus I can call them during the evenings or weekends at a time when we can talk without the kids interrupting!”
Travel Counsellor Rosemary Chawke also manages her workload by managing expectations. Setting realistic deadlines for when work will be done, and “by communicating that clearly and honestly to both customers and colleagues, it helps them to manage their own time at home effectively too.”
Dublin based Travel Counsellor Jennifer O’Brien admits that when she first launched her business from home, she “found it a novelty and was easily distracted. However, like many people at the moment, my husband is also working from home which has helped me to get into a routine. He’s upstairs, I’m downstairs!”
Jennifer also recommends having “a proper desk, rather than working at the kitchen table, or on my lap.”
If you’re working away from the office for the first time, why not contact your local Travel Counsellor for some more hints and tips on the best ways of working happily at home?