Tag Archives: flexible working

Create a Successful Working Environment from Home

17 Jul

Working from home in recent years has seen a growing trend in popularity. Many people are making the leap from working in an office to setting up their own in the comfort of their home. However, along with working from home comes loads of possible distractions that you wouldn’t typically see in the work place. In order to conquer these distractions, it is key that you follow a few simple rules. Here are three key tips that will set you up with a home office that will send your productivity level through the roof.

Create a productive space – First thing is first. In order to generate the level of success you are looking for from home you must create a designated work space that is strictly used for your work and nothing else. Setting up a proper office will allow you to get done what needs to be accomplished. Find a quite area where people will not distract you where you can concentrate. Working from home will not work if you try and lay on the couch with your computer while watching TV. It’s important that you treat your home work office as if you were in an actual office building.

Get the support you need – In order to be successful working from home, it’s important that the people who live along with you understand that when you are working there is no interrupting or distracting. Whether it is your roommate, spouse, partner, or children, they should understand that they need to treat your workspace as if it was an office away from home. Keep things that don’t have to do with your work out of your workspace. Once you step into that workspace at home it should feel as if you are in a regular office. Keep those distractions out!

Stay on track – If you were in your old office space, you wouldn’t be able to just come in whenever you want and finish when you were tired, right? Or you can’t just take a break to watch a TV show and tell yourself you’ll make up the work another time. Well you can’t let yourself do this at your home office either. Stay on track! In order to be productive, it’s important to follow a routine schedule. Get in the habit of doing the same thing each day. Try and start and end work at the same time each day. Be sure to take the usual breaks. Give yourself an hour for lunch like you would if you were in an office. By doing this, you’ll naturally get used to a regular routine that will allow you to stay on track.

Working from home can only be a challenge if you allow yourself to fall out of the normal work routine. By creating a productive office space, having understanding loved ones, and keeping to a regular working schedule, you might even be more productive than in an actual office. Give it a try and discover why so many people in recent years have been switching to working from home!

newtophd09

Busy Lizzie Business Brain with Olwen Dawe @ Irish Business Intelligence

28 Aug

Do the boring stuff: market research, planning and financials

This week we interview Olwen Dawe who is the creator of Irish Business Intelligence.

1. Why did you decide to start your business?

A culmination of events! And a genuine desire to work for myself… I had always harboured a real interest in running my own business, but hadn’t ever been brave enough to take the plunge.  When things became somewhat turbulent in the late noughties, I took my chances and dove  head-first into self-employment.  Enterprise and regional development were  natural choices for me; I’ve always been interested in individual and collective growth and development, making change for the better – thankfully the times we’re in are conducive to those kinds of projects so I’m very fortunate.

2. What have been the biggest challenges and achievements for your business?

There are lots of challenges in business; mainly managing ones’ own feelings about things, I find! There are lots of swings and roundabouts in the early days, and I found that a little troublesome to start withI always say that you’re tested in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine when you run your own business, but you also learn an infinite amount about yourself and others in the process! My biggest challenge has also been an achievement: being able to handle ambiguity.  I could well have been referred to as a tad of a control-freak in my managerial days, however, that’s all changed now! In business, you carve out your own destiny – but equally, you have to be able to accept that a lot of things are beyond your control.  Deliver excellence at every turn and accept the learnings that come your way.  A tangible achievement has certainly been the fantastic clients I work with: exciting SMEs with amazing vision and drive, charismatic entrepreneurs and forward-thinking regional and rural development agencies and organisations – all making an important contribution to Ireland Inc’s recovery.

3. What are your plans for the future?

I am delighted to work in the area I do, and want to continue to do so into the future.  Much of my work is project-based, so I constantly seek to broaden my portfolio in terms of sector and delivery outcomes.  I relish a challenge, hence why I work in the enterprise and regional development end-of-things! Every piece of work is different.  I’m hoping to do some more work in the creative and social enterprise arena, as well as cross-border initiatives – and as time goes on, I identify new focuses… the grey cells are seldom bored!

4. Who do you look up to in business?

There are so many people I admire… I’ve been fortunate to meet many great Irish entrepreneurs, all from different walks, through my association with Network Ireland – a few names that spring to mind? Tina Roche, Norma Smurfit and Nicola Byrne are very inspiring ladies [and I could think of dozens more too!].  I think the essence of entrepreneurship is vision, resilience and persistence.  If you can keep yourself on that track at all times, you’ll stay focused.  I’m also a big fan of Richard Branson, mainly because of his unfaltering commitment to innovation within a brand, he carries himself in a very genuine, unfussy way which is also very welcome… obviously, the same could be said of the late Steve Jobs, another extraordinary entrepreneur.

5. What is your advice for other entrepreneurs?

Do the boring stuff: market research, planning and financials.  Most entrepreneurs either a) hate it b) avoid it or c) pretend they did it. Don’t kid yourself; in business, what you don’t know will always hurt you.  Do have a vision:so many start-ups think it’s big picture and not ‘for them’. It is.  The big vision will keep you focused during the tough times and you’ll be able to revel in it when you’ve started to see the results.  Do have a team of honest supporters: beware the cheerleaders! Honest but supportive peeps are necessary when the going gets tough.  They’re also the pat-you-on-the-back types when things come good.  Don’t give up: you’ll know if there’s no future, but when you know there is – don’t throw in the towel

6. How are you gaining visibility and promoting the business?

In my line of work, most client projects are gained through longevity and reputation – however positioning is helpful.  I blog regularly on topics related to my area of expertise, as well as utilising social media [LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook] and forums.  I enjoy writing, which means I find blogging enjoyable, and as a result, tend to get quite a bit of newspaper coverage too!

7.   Do you use any Social Media?

I’m a major advocate of social media, it’s fantastic to be able to connect with so many individuals and groups – as well as sharing knowledge and information.  My media of choice are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  From a business point-of-view, LinkedIn is a great tool for building relationships, whilst Twitter allows you to interact, share [and learn] what’s going on in the business community and elsewhere.

More about Olwen

Olwen Dawe is Owner and Principal Consultant at Irish Business Intelligence [IBI]. Olwen works in the enterprise and regional development sector, project managing and advising agencies and enterprise organisations on specific areas or rural, regional and enterprise development. Offering a hands-on and practical approach, IBI also acts as a Business Partner for SMEs, providing strategic business development and communications advice and support, focused on real results for clients. Olwen also mentors and supports start-up enterprises through the various enterprise agencies.

Olwen graduated with a BBS [BA] Hons. in HRM and IR from NCI, and has also studied at the IMI [Irish Management Institute]. During her career, Olwen has worked with some of Ireland’s best known corporate companies [such as Tesco Ireland] as well as well-established indigenous Irish companies [imag!ne, Celtic Invoice Discounting Limited]. Olwen’s experience spans HR, Operations Management, CRM and Marketing, in retail, telecommunications, manufacturing and professional service sectors.

A member of Network Mayo since 2007, Olwen has served on the committee since 2009, becoming President of the branch in 2011. Olwen was appointed to the National Executive in 2012 as Secretary. Olwen is a previous recipient of a Network Mayo Businesswoman of the Year Awards, winning the ‘Employee’ category in 2009; she was also shortlisted for the national award and received a nomination for an IMAGE Businesswomen of the Year awards in the same year. This year, Olwen received a JCI Mayo TOYP award [The Outstanding Young Person] for services to business

We want your work:life balance ideas

20 Apr

We want to know how YOU strive for balance in your work and life.

You have more meetings than hours in the day, a presentation to plan, your staff is putting in for holidays, the school is calling for you to pick up your sick child…sound familiar?

Life is stressful and rarely ever predictable, so what’s a person to do?

What are your best hints and advice for not only coping, but successful and happy?

We are putting together a list of all work:life balance ideas and will send it out in 2 weeks time.

Why We Need to Adopt Flexible Working In Ireland

27 Mar

Another great article from Irish Independent on 24.03.2011, which endorses all the reasons why Busy Lizzie is here today.

A Great Article on Flexible Working

26 Mar

Great article from Irish Independent on 24.03.2011, which endorses all the reasons why Busy Lizzie is here today.

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