3 things you need to know about homeworking

By Lisa James
21/06/2022
Home » 3 things you need to know about homeworking

There was a huge amount of interest when Travel Gossip launched its Homeworking Hub a few weeks ago, proving that agents are looking for freedom, flexibility and the chance to be their own boss.

Travel Counsellors, which has 1,900 franchisees all working remotely around the globe, has launched Anywhere, Anytime, a free guide that shares insight and advice for those adapting to remote working or thinking about making the move more permanent.

With only 6% of the population working from home pre-pandemic, ‘WFH’ is a relatively new concept for a lot of people. But not for Travel Counsellors. The company has been been powering people to work from home, or anywhere else they choose, since inception in 1994.

Here are three top tips we learnt from the guide:

#1 Maximise productivity by keeping a structure to your day

This doesn’t mean following the same pattern to the minute; greater flexibility is the number-one reason people love working from home after all. But establishing a routine will help you to avoid distractions and maximise productivity.

Some Travel Counsellors have ‘house rules’, such as ‘emergency only interruptions’ from kids, others create a to-do list every morning that gives the day structure and some find value in a dedicated office space to get in ‘work mode’.

Travel Counsellor Brett Parsons says: “I know I like getting up and ‘going to work’ so I work from a shared office space not far from home. I have two young kids, so the short commute means I get in the right frame of mind for work and am less distracted than when at home. Generally, I switch off from work when I leave around 5 or 6pm and then get back into ‘Dad-mode’.

Did you know? 44% of homeworkers say they work the same hours but to a different pattern. On average, the work day at home starts and ends 15 minutes later than in the office. What’s your pattern like?

#2 Unlock your full potential by staying connected

Working from home can be great for concentration, but when it comes to collaboration, remote workers can feel the effects of distance. What’s more, people in travel are the most likely to find communication easier in person… We’re a sociable bunch!

Lucy Althorpe, who spoke to Travel Gossip in a recent Take 5, has some simple advice for overcoming distance, especially when things are as busy as they are now.

“Ask for help,” she suggests. “Demand has doubled over the last few months, so I’ve been working with my Business Development Coach to help me manage my business.

“I’ve taken on an admin assistant which has freed up a lot more of my time to focus on sales and conversions and I work with another TC who is quite new. We share enquiries and split the commission which helps me out and grows his business too.”

Don’t worry if you don’t have the set-up to work with others like Lucy; simply reaching out to colleagues can be enough to start a great conversation.

#3 Strike the right work-life balance by switching off

This might feel especially difficult when there is so much going on in travel at the moment.

And with a quarter of people saying they work more hours at home, if you find yourself feeling the same, you’re not alone! But it is possible to work ‘anytime’ rather than ‘all the time’…

Travel Counsellor Katie Kirk says: “Communicate your workload and expected deadlines clearly and honestly to both customers and colleagues. It helps them to manage their own time at home effectively too.”

Lucy Althorpe adds: “Having a room, with a door you can shut, so at the end of the day you can get that separation is vital.”

Finally, remember why you made the move in the first place.

Travel Counsellor Grant Stirling sums this up nicely: “Previously I worked long hours, every other weekend, for someone else who profited.

“I have two young children, who I just never saw, and you miss out on so much that you can’t get back.”

Are you adapting to working from home, or thinking about making the move more permanent?

Download Travel Counsellors’ Anywhere, Anytime free guide here.

Anyone downloading before 4 July will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of Apple Airpods.

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