Remote work has exploded over the last decade. As a digitally dominated workplace unchains workers from traditional workspaces, this trend has become the norm. And the growth is increasing exponentially.
Back in 2012, 39% of full-time workers worked remotely at least once per week. By 2018, that number rose to 70%.
The above stats don’t include self-employed workers or contractors. Even enterprise companies are renting coworking and remote office spaces. Remote work is convenient, affordable, and effective. And this trend is only expected to see continued growth. Especially with Toronto’s difficult market for office rental space.
We take a look at how to keep motivated as a remote worker:
9. Have A Routine
Whether you’re working at home or simply without direct supervision, procrastination is a big temptation. While remote work is proven to be more productive, it can be harder to get your day started.
Stanford economist Tim Bloom explains how working remotely increases productivity
Having a morning routine is the best way to make sure you get your day started properly. For most, this just means following the normal way you might start a traditional workday. For example:
Skip the ‘snooze button’
Have a shower
Grab your coffee
It’s not always easy starting a new routine but stick with it. According to The New Psycho Cybernetics, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, it only takes 21 days to form a new habit.
8. Set Goals
Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself to get things done. When setting goals, think in steps. Setting your goal as, “I want to complete X project,” is too large for good motivation.
Instead, break that project down into smaller sections. Create goals by scheduling all the steps you need to accomplish larger projects. In fact, setting up that schedule can be your first task!
Having goals to work on throughout the day keeps you on task and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
7. Reward Yourself
Now that you’re about to become a goal-crushing machine, you better get ready to reward yourself. Of course, you’ll want to set the rewards appropriately for the task at hand.
For instance, you might reward the completion of a large project with a night out. But that would be too extreme for completing a small task like creating a project timeline.
More common reward-based thinking is enough to keep you motivated, but not so much to distract you. Instead of getting a second coffee before starting a task, tell yourself you’ll earn that coffee once you complete it.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Remote workers are prone to working long hours, and that can contribute to an overwhelmingly underslept workforce. Getting enough sleep is an important indicator of workplace wellness. Too little can lead to employee burn-out, as well as a decrease in work quality and productivity.
Adults require a bare minimum of 6 hours of sleep per night. One of the best ways to improve your sleep is to have clear sleep patterns. Have a consistent bedtime and try to limit screen time before bed.
If working from home, having a dedicated home office is ideal. This creates a clear divide between your workspace and sleep space.
Your work environment has a direct impact on the quality and efficiency of your work. You want a clean, organized, well-lit, professional space that is dedicated to working. This space should minimize distractions and focus on productivity.
Many remote workers choose to work out of a Toronto coworking space. These spaces have all the professional equipment and services you might need, as well as an atmosphere that fosters creativity and productivity.
4. Surround Yourself With Motivated People
A big benefit of a coworking space is that you surround yourself with highly motivated people. This helps to boost your own motivation, as well as helping you grow your professional network.
When there are people around you who are working hard, it helps keep you on task. As well, they’re a great source for learning new trends, techniques, and skills that can help you.
3. Don’t Be Stagnant/Go Outside
It’s important to mix things up once in a while. It’s a good way to shake ideas loose and keep your head in the zone. A quick walk outside can clear up the mid-afternoon brain fog.
In a coworking office, many people choose not to get a dedicated desk. This allows them to switch things up day-to-day, as well as helping them meet new people to exchange ideas, boosting their skills and network.
Even those working out of a virtual office can mix things up. People who take advantage of the virtual mailbox services at coworking spaces have access to the lounge. This gives them a great place to do work and keeping themselves accessible.
2. Have The Right Tools
They say a shoddy workman blames his tools — but any self-respecting workman has the right tools for the job. For a remote office, you must have the right equipment and services for success.
This is one of the reasons coworking offices are so sought after by remote workers. They offer top-of-the-line equipment at a fraction of the cost of buying your own. As well, they offer a wide range of support services ranging from IT to bookkeeping.
1. Be Accountable
One of the most important things for successful remote work is being accountable. This is especially important if the remote work program is new.
Being accountable increases trust in you and the program itself. It’s a highly efficient business model, but many employers are skeptical when starting out.
Find Remote Office Space In Toronto
The Professional Centre offers prime remote office space in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District. Our coworking spaces boast top-of-the-line design and capability, making it ideal for any worker.
Book a tour now and discover how TPC can boost your remote work.
Staying Professional as a Freelancer
There’s a misconception among outsiders that freelancing is only for people who are between jobs or looking for experience. But freelancers know the truth. Yes, there are ups and downs, and all sorts of challenges — but nothing beats being your own boss.
Flexible schedules, control of self and personal freedom is a rewarding lifestyle. But too often, clients fail to appreciate the level of expertise and professionalism a good freelancer possesses. To maintain relationships and grow your personal brand, you need to present a professional appearance.
As one of Toronto’s top coworking spaces, and home to freelancers like you, we offer some key tips to stay professional as a freelancer.
Hone Your Online Presence
Nowadays, it’s pretty common for people’s first impression of you to occur online. You need to make sure this digital impression paints you in the right light. Your digital footprint should inspire confidence and trust in potential clients and partners.
Any good brand has a good website. It should be clean, professional, and easy to navigate. While it’s nice to be able to hire a team of developers and designers to build out the perfect site, you can get by without it.
Many website building sites allow you to purchase professional templates at low costs, often from $25-$200. It’s a low price to pay for something that, if done thoughtfully and with appealing content, imagery and site structure, will help you stand out from the competition.
Social Media Presence
Managing all the top social media platforms can be a full-time gig. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a social media guru to succeed as a freelancer.
It’s a good idea to grab social media handles for top sites like Twitter and Instagram, as well as for any social media platforms you may want to use in the future.
It’s okay if you aren’t using them all right away, but make sure to update the images and information to match your brand. If possible, try and get the same handle across all platforms.
Two areas you will likely want to establish a presence are a Facebook page and a LinkedIn page. These help to get you discovered online, as well as increasing trust and credibility.
If you provide a local service, setting yourself up on Google My Business and Bing Places will help you show up on map applications and appear in local searches. And, as a bonus, they’re free tools.
First Contact Points
The first contact you have with a client can set the tone for the entire relationship. And while you may be a great talker in person or even over the phone, you aren’t always available. You need to take stock of where and how people may first speak with you.
Freelancing keeps you busy. As available as you may try to be, plenty of calls will go to voicemail. Having a strong, professional voicemail greeting can help establish confidence in your capabilities.
Consider writing out a script before recording. As well, check the acoustics of the room to make sure your voice is clear.
As well, you may want to consider a virtual secretary. This is part of a virtual office that forwards your calls through a secretary to increase your professional image.
If you are doing location-based business or are likely to have many meetings, your mailing address has an effect on clients. It looks good to be easily available, so it’s nice to have a downtown address. As well, being in a desirable location, like Toronto’s Financial District, can boost your professional appearance.
Of course, renting professional office space in downtown Toronto isn’t in everyone’s budget. But any business can afford a virtual mailbox. This virtual office address allows you to have a high-end address. It also gives you access to a host of other services, and even a lounge area to work in.
If you expect to be meeting clients in person or want to network, it’s worthwhile renting office space. A shared office space is an affordable way for freelancers to get their own professional space in the city.
A coworking space is a great alternative to the home office. It makes it easier to stay productive, helps you build a network, and creates a more professional image.
One of the challenges of freelancing, especially out of a home office, is divided attention. You can have a lot going on in your home, but it’s important to give your clients full attention while interacting with them. That means you don’t want the TV, kids, radio, etc in the background while communicating with clients.
As well, make sure to dress appropriately. Freelancers enjoy the freedom to dress comfortably, and it’s a hard habit to break. But when meeting with clients, even over Skype, it’s worth being presentable.
There’s no need to go all out. But a clean, professional attire and proper grooming help to show that you care. For many clients, how you present yourself is a show of respect that matters to them.
Having a good meeting space adds legitimacy to your business. Meeting clients in your kitchen isn’t a great look. It’s inconvenient and unprofessional.
Fortunately, professional meeting spaces are available for rent, even if you don’t have rent a shared office space. Meeting room rentals can benefit companies of all sizes, from freelancers to enterprises. High-quality design and modern technology set a professional tone for any meeting. Rentals are available by the hour by the day.
Clients, partners, and investors all place a lot of value on reliability. So any successful freelancer makes meeting deadlines a top priority. This helps to ensure repeat business and grow your reputation through word-of-mouth.
Staying organized and keeping an easy-to-read schedule is ideal for giving realistic projections for when you can complete a project.
Know When to Say No
It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s one every freelancer figures out eventually. You have to be willing to say no. That can mean saying no to jobs, timelines, payscales, or other factors. You need to manage expectations right out of the gate.
Accepting jobs where you can’t meet deadlines or expectations can damage your professional reputation. As well, it’s a major stress that can affect your other jobs.
You also want to make sure the pay scale matches your efforts. In a lot of freelance industries, there isn’t an industry standard for pay. Your value is where you value yourself. So don’t sell yourself short.
Build Your Professional Image With A Downtown Toronto Coworking Space
A Toronto coworking office makes you accessible, flexible, and professional. Enhance your reputation and capabilities with a coworking office rental. It’s the best value in professional office space for rent, and it’s sure to impress you and your clients.
Book a tour now and discover how The Professional Centre can boost your freelancing business.
How To Get A Virtual Address | Home & Virtual Office Tips
Whether working from home or running an online business, having a physical address can add legitimacy and prestige to your name. Many event, tour, and activity companies try to run on the web alone. But without a physical address for the business, they can have a hard time converting customers.
Signing up for a virtual mailing address earns customer trust by showing that you are a legitimate business. You can also take advantage of prestigious locations, such as Toronto’s sought after Financial District, to enhance the image of your business.
As well, for local businesses, a physical address helps put you on the map – literally. Having a virtual address allows your company to be found on tools like Google Maps, and makes it easier for you to show up in local searches.
Any local business without a physical address, online or offinline, is missing out on opportunities.
In this article, we take a look at how anyone can get a virtual address in four easy steps.
1. Determine Your Needs
A virtual office can be more than just a mailing address. Consider your other business needs when choosing your virtual address.
If you expect to receive mail at the address on a regular basis, you may want to sign up for mail forwarding. This automatically sends delivered mail to you, saving you the trip to the virtual mailing address. Taking advantage of extra services is a great way to upgrade your home office for productivity.
As well, if you’re from a different area code, you may want to consider using a call forwarding service. This allows you to have the right area code for your address, improving your legitimacy. You can even have a virtual secretary answer your calls for you.
A number of designated services are available in addition to your virtual mailing address. You can even get access to an exclusive business lounge and discounted meeting room rental rates. Compare virtual office packages to see what best suits your needs and budget.
2. Choose The Location
The location of your virtual address matters. Your ideal location depends on your specific business and customers.
Companies that provide a service or ship products in a specific area can do best by getting a virtual mailing address in or near that area. This reassures customers of your relevancy and responsiveness.
If your business involves frequent meetings with clients or businesses, you may want a location that’s easy for them to get to. Our Downtown Toronto coworking spaces offer virtual addresses, as well as meeting space rentals for businesses like yours. This helps keep you agile, professional, and convenient.
3. Compare Virtual Mailing Services
Not all services are created equal, so it’s always worth it to shop around. When comparing virtual office services, it’s best to focus on value – not price. Consider the words of self-made businessman Jon Ruskin,
“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
In short, the best deal isn’t always the lowest price. To compare services, consider not only your budget but what you are getting for your money. Take a look at how each offer suits your needs, how it benefits your business, and which will make your job easier.
4. Sign Up For the Service
Once you know which virtual mailing service is best for you, all that’s left to do is sign up. As well, consider any other add-ons or additional support services that can benefit your business. The process is simple – fill out any required information and the mailbox service should get back to you promptly.How To Get A Virtual Address | Home & Virtual Office Tips
Good luck with your new virtual address!
Upgrade A Home Office For Productivity | Virtual Mailbox & Other Tips
The home office is making a comeback and it’s bigger than ever. Once the realm of freelancers and the self-employed, now even the biggest companies have people working from home. Today, 75% of organizations offer flexible working.
Although there are few businesses that have transitioned to entirely work from home workforces, a mix is common. While some staff may work entirely from home, others are given the opportunity to work out of a home office one or more days a week.
Of course, with all the comforts of home come all of the distractions. Although flexible work options contribute positively to productivity, some days working from home can be a challenge. In this article, we take a look at how to upgrade your home office for productivity.
One of the most important aspects of a home office is designing a productive workspace. For starters, this means specifically dedicating a space as your work area. It doesn’t necessarily have to be its own room (Good news Toronto renters, you don’t need to find a bigger place).
Some of the considerations to keep in mind when designing your home office include:
Organization: You want to keep it clean and clutter-free.
Ergonomics: Keep comfortable and protect your wrists, back, and neck if you’re at a computer all day.
Distraction-Free: Some people can work with TV, pets, or video games in the room, some people can’t. Finding out what’s a distraction for you and what isn’t may take some experimentation.
Plant life: A few desk plants can liven up the area, clear your mind, and improve air quality. If nothing else, they make for a more comforting, pleasant environment.
Sunlight: Bright, natural light makes a big difference in your mood, productivity, and alertness. It’s why all our coworking spaces feature big windows and natural light. If you can, working near a window can really improve your day.
The next step is making sure you have all the right equipment. Monitors, computers, external hard drives. Get everything you need on a day-to-day basis. And don’t forget all the accompanying cables, chargers, and cords. Taking time to prepare your home office from the outset will save you hours of headaches down the line.
As well, consider some of the tools you need access to, even if you don’t need them every day. Printing, scanning, and fax machines may not fall into your daily needs. But it’s having access that matters.
People who work out of our virtual offices have access to printing and other services, as well as options for discounts on office supplies and shipping. It’s a great way to increase the capabilities of your own office without having to rent expensive space.
It’s important to put a professional face on your business. No matter your professional reputation or capabilities, the address on your letterhead matters. Potential clients and partners often see red flags when they see a home address. Signing up for a virtual mailbox is a smart and affordable solution.
You can get a professional Toronto mailing address and phone number. This inspires confidence in your business. You get all the benefits of a prime downtown Toronto office, without the prime downtown Toronto costs.
Beyond first impressions, many people prefer not to use their home address for their business. For instance, we work with a number of lawyers practicing out of their homes. They often opt for a virtual address for privacy as well as for professional appearances.
One of the biggest rules of having a home office is that sometimes, you need a change of scenery. Spending day after alone at home can get dull and drive down productivity. Every now and then, you need to get out.
Classic options, like coffee shops, are fine for a couple of hours. But they fall short when it comes to getting real work done. Space is limited, the atmosphere is unpredictable, and you’re at the mercy of public WiFi.
When it’s time to change up the scenery, people with a Toronto virtual office have better options. In addition to a virtual mailbox, users get access to a professional lounge area in Toronto’s Financial District.
The lounge area is a professional working environment with a kitchen, high-speed internet, and all the coffee you need. It’s not just an ideal place to get work done outside of your home office, it’s also great for networking.
As well, they offer access to professional meeting rooms.
Meeting Room Rentals
Virtual office users have access to priority bookings and discounted rates for meeting room rentals. It’s another great way to impress clients. The modern designs and technology give these rooms a huge appeal. Even large enterprise companies are renting meeting venues from these spaces.
Business Support Services
For any home office, and especially with small teams or one-person businesses, support services are important. They don’t just help sell your professionalism, they increase your capabilities.
A virtual mailbox gives access to all sorts of on-demand services. For instance, a virtual receptionist can answer and forward calls. As well, there is a whole slew of on-demand secretarial, payroll, and bookkeeping options.
For whatever support you need, it helps to know you have access to the affordable, readily-available services. It takes more off of your plate, so you can excel at the work you love.
Upgrade Your Home Office Today
Upgrade your home office today with no risk. One year and month-to-month virtual office plans are available to anyone. Discover the quickest, simplest, and easiest way to upgrade your home office for productivity.
The Virtues Of A Virtual Office
Toronto’s virtual offices are making a real impression. Companies of all sizes, from freelancers to enterprises, are snapping up virtual space. They provide services and benefits that can elevate any company’s productivity and professionalism.
We take a look at Toronto’s evolving business space scene and explore the virtues of virtual offices.
One of the most sought after benefits of a virtual office is boosting your professional image. A virtual mailbox gives a business a prestigious downtown address, without the cost of renting physical space.
Having this address on your letterhead improves your credibility and security. Many lawyers, for instance, work out of their own homes. They’ll often choose to use a virtual mailbox instead of their home address.
Having a Financial District mailing address isn’t just great for Toronto residents. It also offers opportunities to companies who service Toronto but are headquartered far away. A virtual mailbox allows you to expand your service area while establishing trust. Companies and clients are more confident when they see a nearby address. It shows that you are available and can handle their business needs.
The Financial District has the highest office rental cost in the country, nearly 100% higher than Toronto’s average rent. A virtual office provides this sought-after high-profile address without the price tag.
Many new companies launch without a physical address. For B2C businesses, this can make a company look less trustworthy and reduce sales. A physical address legitimizes your business in the customer’s mind.
Additional Virtual Services
A virtual office offers more than just a mailbox. A range of additional services that increase your business’ versatility and professionalism also exist. It the easiest and fastest way to upgrade your home office.
Taking advantage of on-demand services, like administrative support, keeps your business lean without sacrificing capability. A virtual secretary offers a real person answering your phone calls to promote your professionalism. And our financial support services keep your books in line without the high cost of hiring extra full-time employees.
Some of the additional support services a Toronto virtual office can provide include:
Printing & photocopying
Banking & deposits
As well, virtual office plans in coworking spaces can include access to a number of amenities. These range from printing, photocopying, and high-speed internet, to a place to work and/or meet with clients.
A Place to Go
A virtual office doesn’t just live online. Virtual office packages can also offer physical space. It’s a great alternative to coworking desk rentals if you aren’t in the office often, or don’t need a desk.
At our downtown Toronto coworking spaces, our virtual office users can use the lounge area as much as they need. The lounge is a great place to work, with high-speed internet and plenty of networking opportunities.
It’s a popular option for our virtual tenants who often work from home and need a change of pace. It also gives a professional location for informal interviews and client chats over a coffee. A modern, well-designed space shows people that you’re an agile, up-to-date business that can handle their needs.
For more formal or private meetings, meeting room rentals are available. Virtual office users have access to better rates and priority booking for meeting rooms. The fully-equipped meeting rooms add to your professionalism and are sought after, even by large enterprise companies.