Kingsbridge’s Introductory Guide To Fracking

What is it?

You’ll be familiar with the fact that we can find oil and gas buried deep in the earth, and it’s accessed via drilling.  Fracking, or to give it its full name ‘hydraulic fracturing’, extracts gas from shale (a sedimentary rock) deposits and is a much more complex process when compared to ‘traditional’ gas and oil drilling.

During the extraction process fluid (water) is injected into existing cracks in rocks until they break open and create larger breaks in the rock formations. Oil and Gas from surrounding shale moves into the cracks and is forced down into a bored well, from where it can be extracted. The diagram below shows the basic principals.

fracking diagram

In the modern version of fracking at least a million gallons of high pressure water can be used per ‘frack’. It’s this method of fracking that has been proposed for UK sites.

Who wants to get involved and what are the regulations?

The companies in the UK that are involved with onshore exploration for shale gas deposits are listed below:

The UK law which governs gas and oil licensing dates all the way back to the 1960s and many have concerns about its relevance today.  There are elements of the fracking process which would not be regulated under current law and those opposing Fracking argue that the inadequate regulation means there is no enforcement when measuring flowback and waste water from fracked wells. Even Cuadrilla, one of the most prominent drilling organisations in fracking, has called for better regulation for fracking in the UK.

What impact will it have?

Positive

Fracking helps drilling firms get to difficult-to-reach resources of oil and gas. Looking at previous case-studies, fracking in America has significantly boosted domestic oil production and subsequently given America and Canada gas security for 100 years. It has helped to lower gas prices and has created the opportunity to generate electricity at half the CO2 emissions of coal.

In the UK it is believed that shale gas and fracking could be significant in securing  future energy needs.  A more recent report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee last year has supported the above theory, but suggests that fracking may not affect gas prices in the UK.

Negative

Much of the controversy surrounding fracking comes down to environmental worries. The process of fracking requires millions of gallons of water which usually wouldn’t be available onsite and would need to be transported, which has a high environmental cost. There are also worries of pollution; that carcinogenic chemicals used may contaminate nearby groundwater if they escape the fracking site. Many people from the industry suggest that pollution results only from bad practice rather than from proven fracking techniques. Other worries are that fracking can cause tremors or earthquakes (there have been previous reports of two small tremors in Blackpool at fracking sites) The industry answer is that the quakes will only be noticeable to a few and will not cause damage.

Finally, environmental campaigners say that fracking is distracting the government and energy firms from investing in sustainable renewable energy and is causing further reliance on oil and gas.

Fracking, like many other energy extraction techniques, has its positives and negatives; with advances in its regulation and investment from energy companies it looks set to be a popular choice for the UK government in creating new oil and gas reserves as we go into 2014.

You can follow updates on UK fracking news from our Twitter account @KingsbridgeProf and let us know your opinion on the practice.

Kingsbridge’s Oil And Gas Predictions For 2014

The UK:

2014 could be the year that the UK moves more towards shale gas with the British Government giving out the next round of exploration licenses this year, as well as being granted extra exploration licenses from Norway for oil in the North Sea.

The first nuclear power plant for 20 years is to be built, which also suggests a new period of growth, creating some 25,000 jobs and it should help to tackle the current engineering skills shortage.

More good news for those in the oil and gas sector as it is predicted that the boom in new jobs will also see a wage rise.  68% of oil and gas workers saw a pay rise in 2013, so it’s a positive feeling for the industry in terms of employment. Confidence in the oil and gas industry is strong and likely to increase; the majority of workers are confident that tax breaks will continue to boost investment and interest in the sector.

If Scotland were to claim Independence from the United Kingdom this year it would have a major effect on the North Sea Oil industry. Alex Salmond has increasingly focused his economic case for independence around the North Sea Oil reserves, telling Scots that the remaining reserves could be worth £300,000 per person. However the ‘black gold’ will be fiercely fought over by London and Edinburgh politicians, if it were split via the North Sea border then 90% of the revenues would go straight to Scotland. It is unlikely that England’s politicians would sit back and let this fly as revenues from the North Sea reserves are so high. It will certainly be worth keeping an eye on what the feeling is north of the border.

The US:

It’s likely that the US Shale gas revolution will continue strongly into 2014 and beyond. The US could even become energy self-sufficient by 2015 which could cause huge shifts in the global energy market.

We could also see an increase in development in the production of natural gas and oil. This will again increase chances to work in the sector and open up job opportunities throughout the coming year.

Worldwide:

Advances in technology and improvement in techniques for well-completion could mean steadily increasing recovery rates for shale oil and gas wells across the world in 2014. Those who believe in the Peak Oil theory will continue to ignore this. In the same vein ‘Peak Oil’ will not arrive in 2014.

Overall with an increase in interest and action with fracking it looks set to be a strong year for the oil and gas industries, especially as there will be an abundance of new jobs and investments within the sector. We’ll be keeping up to date with all the relevant oil and gas news throughout the year, so keep an eye on our Twitter account @KingsbridgeProf.

A Contractor’s Guide To Self-Assessment Tax Returns

As if you weren’t excited enough about Christmas, every freelancer and contractor’s favourite time of year is fast approaching too…..Tax Season!

Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or just starting out, self-assessment can be intimidating, particularly when the press is full of horror stories about fines, recent government policy changes and HMRC taking measures to answer to the recent criticisms they’ve been facing around avoidance. Hopefully we can help with our guide to self-assessment.

1 – First you’ll need to register with HMRC for self-assessment.

You can register online, by post or by phone; find more details here. To register for self-assessment you’ll need your National Insurance Number as well as all the details of your business and your personal details.  Registration (if you haven’t already done it) needs to be submitted by 5th October after the end of the tax year for which you need a return. If you are new to self-assessment you will receive a UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference) which stays with you to keep you linked to your self-assessment records. If you aren’t new to this then you’ll need you reference number to hand to complete the forms.

2 – You need to keep your records in order.

They key to submitting your assessment on time and correctly is in keeping accurate financial records.  Just some of the financial records you should have to hand when you are completing your self-assessment are:  your self-employment income, any dividends, any income that may have come from partnership and interest paid on things such as loans and credit cards. This only the basics so be prepared to also list any additional income or expenditures.

Don’t forget, you always have the option of speaking to a professional and having them help with your accounts and financial information.

3 – Timing is important

You may have already guessed that leaving your self-assessment to the day before its due is not the best idea.  The earliest you can realistically submit it is the beginning of the new tax year.  You do, however need to make sure you have all of your tax forms from the previous year, P60, P45 and P11D, for example, so whenever you have received those you can get cracking. The advantages to early filing are the fact you’ll know how much tax you owe so you can plan the rest of the year on the back of that, knowing in advance can also prepare you for any shocks and having to pay out of your own pocket!

4 – Completing your self-assessment

So, you’ve organised all your papers, you feel prepared and ready, next comes the task of actually filling out the assessment. You can now register online (if you haven’t done it before) and receive your UTR (which we mentioned earlier).  Next you’ll use that code activate your account online and you’re ready to go. You can check this HMRC guide if you’re stuck at this point. If you’ve filed a return online before you’ll have an Id and password and you can get started straight away.

If you’re already prepped it’s an easier task of simply copying data from your records and documents into HMRC’s system. It’s simply form filling. Keep all of all your forms in front of you and once one form has had its data inputted online put it to one side, once all the forms are aside, you’re done!

The great thing is that the online system saves your progress so you don’t have to complete the assessment in one sitting and if there are things you need to double check you can always go back before you decide to submit it. Once you’ve double-checked everything and are happy that you’ve completed the forms you can submit.

5 – Finally, don’t miss the deadline of January 31st.

If you let the deadline go by you’ll be hit with an on the spot £100 fine and be given an extra three months to work through the online forms. If you miss the second deadline the fine will then go up to an additional £300, or a 5% fine of the tax you owe, whichever is greater. So it pays to be prepared for your self-assessment.

November Contractor News Round Up

Take a look at our latest contractor news round up below:

Oil and gas contractors can expect the current contract boom to continue into 2014

An Oil and Gas industry report reveals strong levels of activity and record employment intentions in the sector. A record 98% of contractors in the sector are looking to recruit in the next 12 months and confidence in the industry is high for 2014. The downside is that the industry’s growth is being constrained by skills shortages and companies are finding themselves frustrated with the lack of information on the impact the vote for Scottish independence will have. Read more…

Contractors more motivated by lifestyle benefits than money

A recent survey has shown that contractors are more motivated by the lifestyle options that freelancing affords them than money. 70% prefer the draw of the flexibility and freedom that often comes with contracting. 38% said they liked the variety of working on different assignments and work-life balance was cited as top reason for 12% of those surveyed. Only 29% said that potential earnings were the main attraction for them in contracting. It was also shown that those in creative jobs were the ones to state that the lifestyle reasons were their main reasons. This is in contrast to those in engineering, technology and manufacturing jobs who leant slightly more to being motivated by money.

Contractors and Freelancers celebrate National Freelancers Day – the “best one so far”

National Freelancers day was last month (21st Nov) and it seems to have been the most successful so far according to Contractor Calculator.  Their CEO said, “This has been an important year in the slow move towards gaining the recognition the sector requires to make it an even more powerful force to help grow and improve the UK economy.” The event caught the eye of the national media, with the Telegraph running a feature on freelancing in celebration and awareness. The event was popular with the debate causing the biggest stir; many didn’t think the government were representing contractors and freelancers well enough. “It was interesting that when Nick Ferrari asked us whether we felt the government has improved the situation for contractors and freelancers, no one raised their hand,” – Contractor Calculator CEO. Alongside the main event, other smaller parties took place in co-working spaces up and down the country.

Contract opportunities outstrip contractor supply in Scotland

Contractor availability has been deteriorating across Scotland faster than any period since December 2004. The sharp fall in Scotland-based contractors looking for contract work suggests that there may be great opportunities for contractors in the UK who are willing to travel. This news comes from the recent Report on Jobs from the Bank of Scotland, which highlights that contractor demand and vacancies across all areas continues to increase. “The recovery in the Scottish economy is showing through in growing employment and rising pay.” said Donald MacRae, Bank of Scotland’s chief economist.  Read more…

Oil And Gas News Resources For Contractors

We work with many Oil and Gas contractors and it’s important for us to keep up to date with the industry news.  This week, we thought we’d share our favourite Oil and Gas news resources.

BBC

The BBC regularly covers worldwide Oil and Gas issues, especially the North Sea and Scotland’s industry. They also have some great informative sections on this page, the future fuel section gives and in-depth look at what the future may hold for the energy generation, including fracking, alternative and nuclear.

Oil and Gas People

Oil and Gas People isn’t just a jobsite.  Their news section is regularly updated with summaries of the latest industry headlines.  They also partner with other industry specialists to provide a range of relevant services designed for the industry and are particularly active on social media channels, making it easy to keep up to date without needing to trawl the papers every morning.

Offshore Technology

This site will give you more technological news and info about the Oil and Gas sector, with the latest press releases and information on suppliers, products and services.  It’s particularly helpful if you’re looking for regular offshore news and information.

Your North Sea Oil News

This site is part of a larger worldwide Oil and Gas news website, but this section is relevant for those in (or interested in) the North Sea industry. The articles are updated regularly, as the news happens, so you’re likely to find a new story each day. If you are interested in the industry news in other geographical areas, such as Norway and Gulf of Mexico, there are also links for these.

Rigzone

This is another great source for North Sea Oil and Gas industry news, with similar articles to the above site. You can find extra information on this site about the world’s Oil and Gas companies as well as there being a job board.

Oil and Gas UK

The news here is about the trade association itself, with news about upcoming events and how the organisation is helping the industry as well as any information about government relations.

The Telegraph

The Telegraph is another regular news site which features great articles on Oil and Gas and the whole energy sector. They have regular industry updates, with historic articles also available. Most articles naturally focus on the UK’s industry but the most significant worldwide Oil and Gas stories feature too.

Are there any other sites you know of you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section or via Twitter.

Energy Contractors’ Events Calendar

Since launching our new energy professionals package last week, we’ve been looking into some upcoming events for freelancers and oil and gas/energy contractors.

National Freelancers Day – November 21st 2013

http://www.nationalfreelancersday.com/

This event is happening in LSO St Luke’s, in London’s Old Street on Thursday 21st November 2013 from 6.15pm onwards. There are a number of great guest speakers including keynote speaker Karren Brady who features on The Apprentice as one of Lord Alan Sugar’s aides and is regarded as one of the most powerful women in the world.

Others speaking at the event include Nick Ferrari, known for his breakfast radio show on LBC 97.3, Sue Lawley who is hosting the freelancing debate and Isabel Oakeshott political editor at the Sunday Times.

As well as the talks and debates there is a spread of drinks, food and music.

Oil & Gas UK Roadshow – November 22nd 2013

http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/events/event.cfm?frmEventID=566

You may be attracted to this event (taking place in Norwich) if you’re interested in ‘hearing Oil & Gas UK share its vision for ensuring a sustainable long term future for the UK industry supply chain’.

Matching oil supply and demand: rising to the challenge – 3rd December 2013

http://www.energyinst.org/events/view/1012

This one day conference in London will be looking at “outlooks for oil supply, including unconventional sources; prospects for demand; economic, political and environmental factors driving the forecasts; and management and mitigation strategies to ensure security of supply.” (See more: energy institute events here.)

Subsea North East Oil & Gas Networking Lunch with Aker Solutions – December 17th 2013

http://www.nofenergy.co.uk/n25-events/8e5105f2ebc740d3afaed32b674ea789.html

“At this networking lunch you will hear a presentation that will include: A company overview, details of current/future projects, supply chain requirements, how to engage and key contacts” You can take an exhibition stand with you or visit as a member or non-member. It takes place in Hardwick Hall in N-E England.

Oil & Gas UK Exploration Conference – February 4th 2014

http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/events/event.cfm?frmEventID=568

This one day conference starts at 8.30am  and takes place in London. It will “focus on lessons from oil and gas exploration on the UKCS with a view to encouraging further success across the sector. Delegates will hear from the successful explorers of the last ten years.”

Oil and Gas mobility Summit – February 10th – 14th 2014

http://www.oilandgasmobilitysummit.com/

“The Oil & Gas Mobility Summit is the only event in Europe that focuses on innovation, strategies and communication technologies applicable within the Oil and Gas industry.” It features talks from, Oskar Wols an Enterprise Solution Architect from Shell and David Lloyd and IS Portfolio Manager from GDF Suez E&P UK. The event takes place in the Kensington Close Hotel in London.

 

Books And Magazines For Contractors

What do you read?  Fiction, history, biographies?  I doubt many of us would have ‘Business Guides’ or ‘Self Improvement’ titles at the top of our reading list, but if you can make the time, there are a few publications out there which could be really relevant and actually change your perspective on what creates a successful freelancer.

We’ve put together a reading list for contractors (including a couple of magazines and online publications if you really don’t have much time to spare) which, we believe, could help your freelance business grow or at least make sure you stay up to date with the industry news that could have a direct impact on you and your business.

Rework

This book was a New York Times bestseller and promises to show you a faster, easier and better way to succeed in business than your bog standard advice. It preaches focus and perspective.  Advocating focus on the ‘bigger picture’ and money-making activities, rather than worrying about the little things.

You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Rework-ebook/dp/B002MUAJ2A/

Authors : Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

The 4-Hour Workweek

Why did you start freelancing?  A better work life balance by any chance?   It’s one of the top reasons cited by newcomers to the contracting and freelance market.  In reality the commitment needed to be a successful contractor or freelancer can overshadow everything else in your life.  The 4-Hour Week seeks to teach you ways to reduce your work hours to a possible 4 hours a week! It discusses reducing 50% of your work flow by outsourcing, eliminating emails and other techniques. Sounds like fiction?  Why not give it a go and let us know how you get on.

You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Expanded-Updated-ebook/dp/B002WE46UW

Author : Timothy Ferriss

Freelancing Matters

If you haven’t already discovered it, Freelancing Matters is available in print and online.  It’s created by PCG and covers the latest news and information for freelancers and contractors. The business blogs include information and advice on a variety of topics including managing your finances, technology, inspiration and start-up help. They also feature blogs on lifestyle and politics and have a weekly market report of the freelancing sector.

Read it here: http://www.freelancingmatters.com/

Freelancer Magazine

Freelancer magazine focuses on many of the same topics as Freelancing Matters. The website layout may not be the best but their blogs are informative and helpful and they frequently have guest posts which give a great change of perspective.

Read it here: http://www.freelancermagazine.com/

The Freelance Business Funnel

This is one for established freelancers who, although work is steady and finances are secure, may be struggling to keep everything else together and truly expand their business.  Branding, blogging, optimizing the business all take a lead in this book.  If you need help scaling your business this is the one to read.

Download this book for kindle, PC or other devices here: http://rockablepress.com/books/the-freelance-business-funnel

Author : Skellie

If you’ve read any of the books featured, we’d love to see your reviews via the comments box or perhaps you have a title of your own to recommend to a fellow freelancer or contractor?

October Contractor News Round Up

Your monthly round-up of October’s top contractor news.

The intention to hire contractors has doubled over the last year and trebled in the last two.

A study by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation has shown that clients’ intention to hire contractors had doubled over the last two years as well as 36% of them admitting that they planned to increase their use of contractors over the next three months. Not only that, but another third said they planned to increase their work with contractors over a 4-12 month timescale. Read more…

The number of British women freelancers has grown by a fifth over the last four years.

More great news in the growth of the contracting and freelance sector. The latest statistics show that there are 21% more female sole traders than there were back in 2008. Last year stats showed that 31% of all sole traders were women and Middlesex saw the highest rise (23%) in growth. Read more…

The outlook is positive for the construction industry.

In the UK construction industry, a number of limited companies are reporting they have increased orders and profit margins. These improvements in the market mean that firms are looking for ways to expand their business – whether that means adding new locations or branching out into new sectors like power and energy. Read more…

Contractor demand across Scotland is polarising.

IT, engineering and construction industries are surging well ahead of other contracting disciplines. All the signs of a contracting skills crisis are showing, as clients and recruiters are struggling to hire engineers and technicians. This news comes from the Bank of Scotland’s report on Jobs which highlights that growth is strong although the rate of growth slowed in the month of September, and in some sectors it dipped below the national average. Read more…

Contractors could be among the small businesses losing billions every year as a result of simple mistakes.

The study by Exact shows that as many as 1 in 5 small firms may have forgotten to invoice a client for goods or services more than once. This suggests that that some of these small companies could be hindering their success with inefficient internal processes. A quarter of these small businesses said they had forgotten to invoice for a job worth anything between £500 and £1000. Read more

Top Ten Freelancing Misconceptions

Making the decision to begin freelancing is definitely not one to be taken lightly. However, there are certainly a lot of misconceptions that come with the territory. We’ve taken ten of the most common presumptions and blasted them wide open, for a happy, successful freelancing career.

1 – Freelancing gives you a lot more free time

When you announce that you’ve made the decision to go freelance, you’ll undoubtedly be met with ‘supportive’ soon-to-be-ex colleagues gushing about the fact that ‘at least you won’t have any more early mornings!’.

Sadly, that’s not necessarily the case. Whilst some days you might be able to sneak in an extra half hour in bed, if you want to keep on top of things, you should be working the same office hours as everyone else. This is mainly so that clients can get hold of you, but it also gives you some structure to your day and keeps you in the habit of working 9 to 5.

2 – Being a freelancer makes you loads of money

We’ve yet to meet a freelancer who cashed in during their first few weeks of leaving their office job, so you will probably have to stick at it for a good while before you can afford that second home in the Caribbean.

Whilst some people do charge quite a high hourly rate, the reality is that you’re not working every hour of every day, so it’s a bit of a moot point. There’s also only a certain amount of work/clients that you can service on your own, so it’s important to take it just one step at a time.

 3 – Freelancing means you don’t have a boss

You may be glad to get rid of that stuffy CEO who is stifling your creative flow, but just because you’re a freelancer doesn’t mean that you don’t have anyone to report to.

Clients and others who are paying for your time are expecting a return on investment for their cash, so not doing the work you have agreed means that you’ll certainly have someone to answer to.

Not meeting deadlines is frustrating for those who are expecting a finished product, and it will also earn you a less than desirable reputation. Treat those who you are doing work for as if they are your boss, and it should help to keep you on track.

4 – Freelancing is much less stressful

Another regular misconception that a lot of people have is that freelancing is far less stressful than ‘regular’ employment. We hate to break it to you, but this one isn’t true either.

Your schedule hours are a lot more flexible, and you do have a certain amount of freedom, but these do not necessarily a walk in the park make.

Not only do you have to be constantly on the look out for new work, you also have to structure your own time, organise your workload and then find the time to do all that work… by yourself. There’s little delegation in the freelance world!

5 – Being a freelancer means you’re lonely

A life without colleagues isn’t the be all and end all, and freelancing doesn’t necessarily have to be a lonely profession.

Not having the constraints of office life means you can arrange to meet clients and other business contacts for lunch and coffee, getting you out of your homemade office.

Thanks to the wonders of social media, there are thousands of meet-ups around the country, so why not investigating what networking events and meet-ups are going on in your area? It’s a great way to meet new people, make friends and try and snare some new business!

6 – You have to take any work you can get

No-one wants to turn away business, but just because you’re a freelancer doesn’t mean that you have to accept that job for your Aunty Jackie’s sister’s brother’s new plumbing venture.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s lovely when people think you’re worthy enough of supporting their business, but just because you’re not based in a regular office job doesn’t mean that you have to take it.

We all like doing a couple of feel-good jobs for free to help out friends and family, but sticking to your professional network will probably mean more success on the new business side of things.

7 – Anyone can do it

Similar to the assumption that freelancing is easy, a lot of people think that it’s possible for anyone to be a freelancer. However, we’d have to disagree.

You need a variety of skills to be a freelancer, just as you need a variety of skill in any other job. Good time management and organisation skills are key, and you have to be confident in what you do and how well you’re doing it in order to win new business.

Freelancing isn’t just a job that you can fall back on, and if you don’t put in a considerable amount of effort, then it’s unlikely you will succeed.

8 – You don’t have to pay taxes

Getting yourself an accountant is one of the first things you should do when you become a freelancer, as registering as self-employed with HMRC can be confusing to say the least.

You need to take responsibility for both income and tax and National Insurance, which are calculated by reference to your profits as a stand-alone business.

Even beginning to think about tacking taxes by yourself can end up leaving you a bit frazzled, so we’d definitely recommend getting a professional in to help, at least while you’re finding your feet.

9 – Freelancing limits future career opportunities

A number of people worry about life after freelancing, but moving into self-employment doesn’t mean that you have to stay there for the rest of your life.

Being able to be successful as a freelancer shows a lot of skills, many of which will impress a potential future manager. Many freelancers also see job opportunities with people that they’ve worked for on a freelance basis, so often you don’t even have to go through the tedious application stage.

Depending on the length of your freelance career, you should have a number of happy clients who are willing to give you an excellent reference.

10 – Get as many clients as possible on your first day

Don’t worry if you haven’t filled your books on your first day. You need to make sure you’re dedicating time to nurturing your business, as well as finding new clients.

Taking a few hours to make your website look top notch, spending a little bit extra on the design for some business cards that are going to make you really memorable and writing up a business plan are all things that will benefit in the long run, and mean that you can continue to grow your business.

Creating A Home Office On A Budget

As a freelancer or contractor there’s a good chance you’ll need to work from home at least occasionally.  We all know how tempting it can be to just plonk yourself down on the sofa in front of the TV with your laptop but we also know that’s probably not going to lead to your most productive day!

Having an environment at home that you reserve purely for work will make a big difference to how effectively you can work from home.  I’m not talking about loft conversions or new structures in your back garden (I’ll get on to that later) but there are a few things you can do to create yourself a home office or work area without breaking the bank.

Space – Clearly you’re going to need to find or make space.  A spare room is perfect if you can make use of one but, if not, finding a crook or alcove within your home is the best idea, so you in some ways feel sectioned off from the rest of the house.

 

chair

 

Plan – It’s a good idea to make a plan of where you want things to go, measure out proportions and check where radiators and windows are. You don’t want to buy/move all your furniture before you’ve decided on a layout; you’ll be doubling the time you spend on setting it up!

Furniture – You’re going to need a chair and a desk – might sound like stating the obvious but choosing the right furniture is paramount for your occupational health.  Ikea do a great range in ‘office’ furniture if you want to buy new but you’ll almost certainly get better quality if you opt for something used.

Get organised – invest in or reallocate some storage.  A bookcase, filing boxes, wall mounted shelves – whatever works best in your space.  Anything to keep files and paperwork away from your ‘home’ environment or off the floor!

Lighting – Don’t overlook the importance of lighting.  Natural light during the day would be perfect, but not always possible.  You can find daylight bulbs in most DIY stores and a well-positioned lamp will help if you need a break from overhead glare.

Stay connected – Another obvious statement, but you’ll need an internet connection and either a land-line nearby or a good mobile reception.  All names have been changed, but ‘Robert’ could tell you a tale about the very smart log cabin type affair he constructed (at no small cost) at the end of his garden to be used as his home office.  Central heating, running water, no internet connection, no mobile coverage.  Lesson learned I think!

Personalise – Finally, make your space your own.  One of the key benefits to working from home is the level of control you have over your own environment.  We suggest you do more than the bare minimum to make the space habitable.  Even if it’s a particular photo or picture on a wall, personalising your space will definitely help you stay focused and inspired.