The Sedantary Life of Working From Home: The Risks and The Solution

The Sedantary Life of Working From Home: The Risks and The Solution

If you were to properly analyse your working week, how much of it is spent sitting at a desk each day? 3 hours? 5?… More? Research by Sanlam Private Investments showed that, on average, office workers spend 55% of their working day sat down with almost 60% saying they don’t even take a proper lunch break and instead eat at their desk.   Does It Really Matter? In short, yes. For example, in the 1950’s, The Lancet published the results of a study between bus drivers and conductors. The results showed that the bus drivers had twice the risk of developing heart disease, compared to the conductor colleagues, simply because they spent so much longer sitting down. Therefore, standing is good for you and many freelancers and other business owners simply don’t do enough of it. Claire Sanderson is the Principal Physiotherapist at The Gingerbread Clinic in St Ives, Cambs. In her professional opinion “Sitting for long periods of time can cause joints to stiffen up, particularly if we unknowingly fall into poor postural alignment. This can lead to general stiffness and pain in joints.” According to the British Psychological Society, in a typical working week, people spend on average 5 hours and 41 minutes per day sitting at their desk. Many business owners that I know easily match that in a day.   The Solution It doesn’t matter whether you work from home, an office or a coworking space; there are a number of solutions to ensure you stay healthy without impacting on your productivity levels. These are the main three: Sit/Stand Desks This gives you the flexibility to move...
Describing What You Do: Make Your Words Mean Business

Describing What You Do: Make Your Words Mean Business

The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, once described the loving art of kissing as… “A contact between the mucous membrane of the lips of the two people concerned, in spite of the fact that the parts of the body involved do not form part of the sexual apparatus but constitute the entrance to the digestive tract” Sexy words, right? Okay, maybe not, which is the point of this post. The words you use to describe your business, whether written or verbal, are key to letting prospective customers know what you do, how you do it and what the benefit is to employ you to do it. However, choosing the right words is an art form in itself. Why is it important to get this right? Mainly because it’s no good wasting time describing what you do if people don’t get it or can’t visualise it for themselves. Therefore, the reason it’s important to get the description of what you do right is: To give you a sense of direction. Prospective customers need to know what benefit of using you is and if it’s right for them. If it’s not for them, everyone needs to know if they know someone else for whom this might be perfect. Too often we focus the description of ourselves by listing the products and services we offer, rather than from the customers’ perspective. Take these two examples of how to do it differently… 1. John Lewis As traditional as mince pies and jingle bells, every Christmas sees John Lewis launch a much-hyped advert, backed up by a soundtrack that is almost guaranteed to provide the artist with a top ten single. But what is...
Charging Per Hour vs Per Project

Charging Per Hour vs Per Project

How will/do you charge your customers for the work you do? By the time you spend on specific tasks or the results of those tasks? Here is an exercise that I run through with many of my clients. Firstly, write a list of all the tasks – and I mean, every task – that you have to complete for a particular client (column a). Then, in the next column (column b), estimate the time it takes/will take to complete those tasks. Next to that (column c), write down how much you’d pay yourself, per hour, for that task. Finally, multiply column b by column c. You also need to ensure you include any external costs, such as materials and outsourced work. Here is a simple example of the table that I mocked up for a fictional logo designer. My Preference Firstly, there isn’t a one size fits all approach. For instance, if you’re employing a photographer come along to an event, you will book their time from start to finish. However,  I do prefer a price per project (where possible) more than charging for time spent. The reason for this is because I’ve seen, all too often, clients of freelancers disputing the amount of time that is needed on a particular task. I’ve actually heard “It wouldn’t have taken you that long for this.” Results driven invoicing is much easier to measure. For example, “I will do this for this much, by this date” is crystal clear, to all parties, what your client will get in return, irrespective of how long it takes to do. Take the table above....