Here are a couple pieces of advice on keeping in contact with clients when running an accounting firm from those who have already done it.
Before the internet, working from home was essentially an impossibility, at least for most jobs. Writers could write, musicians could practice, but otherwise, if you were going to be working, you were going to be “at work.” The 9 to 5 daily routine, for better or (but really, “and”) for worse was simply a staple of working life for most of the twentieth century- and so was the commute. It wasn’t fun, but it was how life had to be, so we all accepted it and made do.
Except now, we know that’s not the case. After the pandemic is over, we’re going to have learned a lot (one of those things is, well, that it turns out that meeting COULD have been an email all along). But another is that you don’t have to “go to work” to be able to be “at work.” While yes, some hands-on blue-collar jobs like construction certainly require you to be in a place, it turns out that plenty of white-collar positions don’t require you to sit at your desk or in your cubicle in a building shared by all of your other coworkers.
And honestly, this is a GREAT development. Obviously it’d have been nice for us to all find this out a different way, but we have to make do with what we have. After the pandemic has run its course, many things will be going back to normal- but here we’ll be arguing that maybe one thing which shouldn’t snap back to how it was before is working at home. Here are just a few reasons as to why we think this should be the case.
So I’m going to be honest here, organization is something I struggle with. It takes a conscious effort for me to stay organized. I know for some folks it comes naturally, and for some others…well, you are like me. And I don’t necessarily just mean in terms of keeping your desk neat and tidy- I mean with life.
What does this all have to do with working from home? Well let’s face facts: it’s easier to do things when everything is in one place. Being able to walk across your house or into the next room of your apartment, sit down, and bang out whatever work you have to do is infinitely easier than having to have all of your working materials at…well, work.
Plus, now that it’s 2020, there are plenty of ways for you to actually make working from home work for you. As we said above, before the advent of the internet this would have been basically impossible. But now, companies have moved forward; the advent of telephony services like MightyCall make it possible to essentially conduct all of your business from afar, without losing any of the ability to work you would have otherwise had if you were at your office.
So there’s something else about working from home which is not often talked about, at least not by your boss (or, if you are your own boss, it’s something you may not even admit to yourself): working from home is just…easier. And it’s not lazy to admit that! It just IS easier. For example, here’s how the normal 9 to 5 job works: you wake up at 7:30, sleep your way through breakfast, drive to work, and then sit at your desk for 8 hours.
You might not actually need to be there for all 8 hours—I think anyone who has worked in an office can tell you that you definitely don’t need to be there for all of those 8 hours—but you have to be there nonetheless. Then, you’ll drive home, cook dinner, and watch a show or read a book for a bit before going home. If you have any social events during the week, they’re usually crushed in and guarantee you can’t get any chores done, meaning that you’ll get to spend one of two weekend days cleaning your toilets. If you have kids, it means that for a majority of the week, you won’t get to see them.
Here’s working from home: get up at 8, 8:30, casually eat your breakfast. Start working from your other room (or heck, your bedroom) at 9, work for a couple hours, then take a long lunch break without your boss tapping his or her foot waiting for you to come back. Take the time to eat, do a chore, walk the dog; then resume working for a bit more, finish the, say, six hours of work you had, and then you’re done by 3 without having to drive home. Greet your kids for the school bus, and have a nice, longer, and fun night.
What working from home can do is free you from the rigid routine of 9 to 5. With companies that allow you to work from home, and software which lets you take advantage of being allowed to work from home, you actually can break free of the same rules which governed your great grandparents when they were working.
This one is frankly, self-evident: no one likes commuting. Even if you do not live on the horror show that is Interstate 405 in by Los Angeles (the one that you always see on the news, profusely clogged with traffic), commuting can still be just…un-fun. Even if your city has effective public transport, unless you happen to live near where you work, you’ll still spend a decent chunk of time commuting to work; the average American spends about 26 minutes. There and back, you’re closing in on nearly an hour of travel.
But when you work from home, your commute is about thirty seconds, depending on how far your work station is from your bed. Plus, as we mentioned above, you can take breaks more easily and aren’t forced to just sit at a desk to please your corporate overlords- so that means when you go outside, it’s because you want to, not because you’re expected to.
Americans spend thousands upon thousands of dollars a year commuting to work. That’s a huge chunk of cash! That’s a couple of nice vacations. That’s money that can go to loans, or fixing your roof, or toward a car payment, or can just sit in your wallet instead of going straight into your car’s gas tank.
When you work from home, that massive chunk of change disappears entirely. And you’ll probably end up even saving more: think of all the times you didn’t have time to pack lunch, so you bought something from the cafeteria in your building or ran to the restaurant down the block during your break. All the times you put a couple quarters into the vending machine. That stuff *adds up!*
Meanwhile, working from home barely costs you anything. A business phone system from MightyCall, for example, can cost as cheap as only $19.99 a month! Math was never my strongest of subjects but even I can tell that that’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a couple grand a year in gas alone.
What you have probably picked up at this point is that the current system we have of working is…just not optimal. It is severely lacking. It’s far too expensive, eats up time, and just overall makes no sense whatsoever.
When you work from home, those issues disappear, and you can truly optimize your business from top to bottom. No longer being constrained by physical locations is everything- and with a phone system like MightyCall’s, which effectively turns any internet-connected device into a phone, your opportunities will grow massively. Tired of working in only your house? Spend the day in your local coffeeshop, making calls and great deals over their wi-fi. Need to meet with your colleagues? Hire out a temporary co-working space where you can all get together and share ideas and plans of attack.
Plus, if you are not constrained by physical locations, your employees, don’t have to be either. In the past, if the best possible employee you could hire worked three hours away, that hire wouldn’t have worked out. But transitioning your business away from the 20th-century physical model means essentially that you no longer have to worry about hiring second best. Geographic restraints are a thing of the past.
After the pandemic is over and we’ve all stumbled out of our abodes, the world will be different, for better and for worse. One of the ways it will be better is that the idea of working from home will have finally bled into the mainstream in a way like it never has before- so don’t let the moment pass you by! The economy will open back up, and when it does you’ll want to hit the ground running- and to do that, you’ll need to free yourself from old ways. So look into MightyCall, which is running a 50% off sale for the first three months– just for folks like you who are ready to get going again!
If you already have a virtual phone number, we can port it in for free so you can keep using it.
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