Since starting this journey as a Google Ads Consultant over 7 years ago, never have I had an office space I could call my own.

New Office | Tom Holder Google Ads Consultant

I consider myself fortunate to be able to turn the spare room in my house into my makeshift office, and for a long time that has done the job perfectly. But even with the home office, I’d still seek different places to work – lazily on the sofa, perched on the end of my dining table or breakfast bar, the atmosphere of a coffee shop and even hot-desking with an agency client.

I like change and variation – that must have been what I was chasing. Either that or I was trying to negate some of the cons that can come with working from home.

Fast forward more than 7 years and I’ve been putting the finishes touches on a small workspace I can call the Tom Holder PPC headquarters. Scrap that, it’s a small 3 person private office. Maybe the headquarters tag can come if/when I decide this place needs more than just me and my plants.

In an attempt to get out of the house more, I’ve been working at Node, a new (post-Covid) shared office building, on a coworking membership. After a couple of years, and in a moment where timing met opportunity, I said yes to taking on my own office. Lease signed.

It’s been a few weeks, and honestly…I’m really enjoying it. Maybe it’s the change again, a refresh, a new environment, less distractions, increased productivity, socialising…or is it the good coffee served at the in-house cafe? Whatever the recipe might be, it has me at the office every day.

This isn’t a putdown on working from home, or a “goodbye” from me, I still plan on working flexibly between my office and home. That’s the idea right? Work where it’s most suitable for you at that time or on that day, based around schedule, responsibilities, workload and life.

Just to round this post off, I figured I’ve got some value to share when it comes to working from home. As I said, it’s been 7 years for me, but some are much newer to this, born out of recent events. I know I’d have benefitted from reading something similar all those years ago.

So here’s what I’d consider the 4 of the most important tips for working from home, that centre around some the cons of WFH, such as isolation, environment, distractions and work-life balance…

1. Create A Dedicated Workspace – whether it be a desk in your spare room, or a makeshift corner of your longe or kitchen, having a dedicated workspace always helps productivity. The days I spend attempting to work on my lap, on my sofa, are always the least productive. And always the most body taxing.

2. Immerse Yourself In Communities – this one is more for the freelancers and has really helped me with continuing to learn, problem-solving and tackling the social impact of working “alone”. Having a community of like-minded people, on the same path and facing the same challenges as you is a great place to spend time and talk. My preferred community to hang out in is the DMU – it’s a small but mighty group of digital marketers, diverse in multiple ways with a common goal of support, in business and life.

3. Take Regular Breaks & Get Outside – this is arguably the most important point, and one that I overlooked for a long time in my early years as a freelancer and working from home. It’s incredibly important to take regular breaks, exercise in some capacity, and get outside (ideally in the AM) every single day. I can’t “stress” enough how this has helped me with stress relief, clarity, motivation and just feeling better throughout the day. Some things that I like to do are going for a walk around lunchtime, doing a daytime gym session instead of in the PM, keep things like exercise bands, massage balls and yoga mats close to the desk, and tend to my lawn. Just get started by moving your body.

4. Stick To A Routine – sometimes the flexibility of WFH can also bring disruption to routine. Whether it be working, eating, sleeping, exercising – I’ve found building a routine around these 4 core tasks has helped in life and work, and cleared the blur that can build between the two. Simple things like waking at the same time everyday, showering and getting dressed, preparing meals, scheduled movement and exercise, and most importantly “logging off” physically and mentally when your workday ends.

What I’ve learnt is there is no right or wrong, good or bad or definitive answer to the working from home vs in-office debate/question. I’ve been critical in the past of companies who fail to offer their employees flexible working. Probably too critical at times, without considering the complexities of managing people and their individual circumstances. I think what’s clear is that flexible working is here to stay, and for the better.