Has the recent Coronavirus Pandemic resulted in you having to work from home? Are you worried that you will find it hard to stay motivated while working remotely? Here are our top tips to ensure you can stay motivated and productive without heading into the office. A vast number of UK workers have started to work from home this week as a result of the current Coronavirus Pandemic, many of whom may never have worked remotely before. Remote working can be a challenging thing to do, but it is useful to get used to as more-and-more jobs become home based or require an element of working from home. At home you are more likely to be distracted by your surroundings, and it can often result in an un-productive and de-motivating working environment, something you definitely want to avoid. It is therefore hugely important that businesses and workers do all they can to ensure productivity remains high during this unprecedented time. We sat down with Senior Manager and legal recruitment specialist Michael Bailey to find out how he stays motivated and productive while working from home. Get up, get dressed and stay in a routine! This may seem obvious, but I am almost certain a lot of people that are currently working from home for whatever reason will simply sit around in pyjamas or comfy clothing – something a lot of people often dream about. Whilst this is a novelty at first and fine on the odd occasion, it can have a huge impact on your motivation to get work done. When I am at home I ensure I get up, have a shower and get dressed. Now, this doesn’t necessarily need to be what you would usually wear to work, but getting up and out of what you were sleeping in will ensure you remain in a regular routine – even if you simply change into a t-shirt and jeans. If you really want to stay in the same routine as going to work you might also want to take a brief morning walk and use this as your ‘commute to the office’ – especially if you are used to travelling to work on a daily basis. Not only will this wake you up, it can help you get your brain into gear and ready to start work. Getting changed and sticking to a routine will give you the motivation to get your tasks done, which is something that is hugely important when working from home. Take regular breaks and have a walk You know what it feels like to be stuck in your office for too long – it can be draining and incredibly demotivating, especially if you don’t take any breaks and are particularly busy. The same will apply when working from home. I often find that working from home can be more tiring as many of us have external distractions to deal with as well as the day-to-day; the dog, kids or even housework can play on your mind. For that reason, you should set some time where you can go for a walk – even if you are in self isolation, as long as you stay a safe distance from other people. Think about taking a brief walk around the street or go out into the garden and get some fresh air. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you can step away from your work, and take a few minutes to yourself. It will really help you recharge and give you a much needed boost to get on with the rest of your day. You also need to take breaks throughout the day. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, take a full hour for lunch and stretch when you can. All of these things will aid your mood and ensure you can work to the best of your ability. Leave work at work, and home at home If you are due to work from home for a prolonged period of time it is likely you will have set up a space for you to work somewhere in your house – if you haven’t I advise that you do. Giving yourself a distinct office space, and setting boundaries between work and home will be essential – especially if you are going to be working from home regularly or for a long period of time. You should also try to stick to regular business hours and know when to switch off, otherwise you might end up working much longer hours, which won’t be good for your health, productivity or morale. Keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family Working from home and social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stop all contact – far from it. We all need social interaction to keep us sane, so it is hugely important that you stay in regular contact with your team, friends and family while working from home. Working in a sales role I know how important this is for my team. That is why we have committed to have at least three video calls per day to catch up and share success. Staying in all day without speaking to anyone can impact your mental and physical wellbeing, so it is important to get as much social interaction as you can. If you haven’t got the option to speak to colleagues, then think about setting some time to speak to a friend at lunchtime, or when you are taking a coffee break. The important thing here is don’t overcompensate. You want to remain productive, so schedule calls at times that suit your workload, and keep them brief. You don’t want to get caught up talking and not have enough time to complete the work you need to do. Get the right equipment Remote working doesn’t mean you need to forgo all of the equipment you rely on to do your job. Make sure you have everything you need at home to stay productive and continue working as normal. If that means you need to ask your employer for some adjustments, so be it. Your employer has a duty of care to ensure you can physically do your work at home, so ask for anything you think you will need. You might also want to invest in a laptop stand and take home your mouse and keyboard. Not only will this ensure your equipment feels familiar, it will also help your wellbeing long-term saving you from arm, back and neck ache – trust me, it works! If you are working from home and would like some advice or need more ideas on how to stay motivated while working remotely then get in touch, we would be more than happy to talk to you.
On Monday 29 October, 2018 the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced ‘austerity is coming to an end’ in a 72-minute-long speech that incorporated Universal Credit increases, a special tax for digital giants and equipment for schools. We take a look at the top five elements that businesses should take from this year’s budget. 1. IR35 to be rolled out to the private sector “Designed to ensure fairness”, IR35 is being rolled out to the private sector in a move that has worrying implications for the temporary sector. The update to the off-payroll working rules will see self-employed contractors, who work through their own company but are, in practice, employed by a third party, pay an increased amount of tax from 2020. According to HM Treasury, the taxpayer could be missing out on up to £1.2bn a year by 2023 due to people incorrectly paying tax as if they were self-employed. There are fears that this change, which initially will only be applicable to large and medium-sized businesses, could stifle economic growth and place a huge strain on the UK’s contract and interim workforce. 2. Apprentice training fees halved for SMEs Small business owners who offer apprenticeship training will welcome a reduction in the amount they have to contribute, down from 10 percent to 5 percent in training fees. This is part of a “£695 million package to support apprenticeships” and will come into effect for new starters from April 2019. 3. Entrepreneurs relief rules tightened Conditions under which entrepreneurs can apply for relief have been tightened, with the minimum qualifying period extended from 12 months to two years. Before the Budget was announced, there were concerns that the Chancellor was planning to scrap the relief entirely. In his speech, Hammond said: “Encouraging entrepreneur members must be at the heart of our dynamic economy, so I will retain entrepreneurs relief.” 4. £675 million for the future of British high streets A Future High Streets Fund has been promised by Hammond to help councils improve local high streets. Co-funded by the Government, the £675 million grant has been designated to help facilitate the redevelopment of high streets around the country in a move that will be well received by local business owners. In addition, from April 2019, small retail businesses will have their business rate bills cut by a third for two years, saving them an estimated £900 million. 5. Annual Investment Allowance to increase five-fold Businesses that are looking to invest and grow will benefit from a five-fold increase in the Annual Investment Allowance. The increase from £200,000 to £1 million will be available for two years, and businesses can apply from 1 January 2019. The lifting of the allowance cap was announced as part of a package aimed at boosting businesses in a bid to show the world that, “Britain is open for business”. Other measures included targeted relief for acquiring intellectual property-rich businesses and export help through direct lending. Finally, Hammond announced that employment is at a near record high and, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast, it is set to keep growing with 800,000 more jobs predicted by 2022. However, there was a noticeable absence of information on how companies will be supported in the development of these new roles, nor were any plans announced on how the government intends to help businesses recruit new talent when large numbers of the UK workforce inevitably leave after Brexit. To discuss what the Budget could mean for your business please feel free to get in touch with me on email@example.com. Alternatively you can check out our Insights section for all our latest blogs, news and resources.
This year Sellick Partnership has put a lot more emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility and how we can help the local communities that we live and work in. Earlier this year a CSR Committee was formed which includes employees from various areas of the business. The Committee introduced a new scheme where each office was able to choose some local charities to support. One of the charities the Manchester office chose to support was Mustard Tree – a homeless charity tackling both the causes and consequences of poverty and homelessness. Homelessness is a massive issue in Manchester with numbers continuing to rise and the crisis set to become even worse. This is clearly visible in the city, and as I walk to work each morning the amount of people sleeping rough is appalling. I always wonder what I can do to help – I have been told that if you want to help then food and drink is the best thing to give rather than money, however even this kind act every now and again doesn’t feel enough. With Sellick Partnership supporting Mustard Tree it has become a lot easier for employees to help the homeless. There are lots of opportunities for us to get involved from helping people write CVs to volunteering at their soup kitchen. I decided to volunteer for the soup kitchen which is held every Friday evening from 5:30pm-9:00pm at their site in Ancoats. I really didn’t know what to expect and I must admit I was slightly nervous, however as soon as I arrived it was clear that this is such a friendly environment. It was a really rewarding experience, and I would not hesitate to volunteer again. In fact it is something I would like to do on a more regular basis. After we served the food, we were able to mingle and talk with the users of the charity. Most of the users were in groups and there is a real sense of community, with everyone helping each other in any way they can. I decided to speak to an elderly man who explained to me how lonely he was. Sometimes he can go days without speaking to anyone. We spoke about politics, history and songs he likes – he gave me some suggestions which I am yet to listen to! I also learned a lot from the regular volunteers at the charity. They have around 150 people each Friday night who come in to get a hot meal. We were told that as it was a nice evening weather wise, we might not get as many. Unfortunately this is due to people not wanting to leave their prime spot in the town centre where many who walk by will give them money. This is really concerning, as if they are able to come into Mustard Tree there are so many ways the charity is able to help them try to leave a life of poverty and street sleeping. This is why it’s really important to encourage anyone who does want to help the homeless to donate directly to the charity. My volunteering experience got me thinking about the value of volunteering, and why more people should try and volunteer at a charity. I know it can be difficult to find time as we have work and home commitments, but if you do ever have some free time there is nothing more rewarding you can do. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, acquire new skills and gain experience – it gives value not only to the people you are helping but to you as well. I have now put my name down to volunteer again, and whenever there is a space available I will definitely go back and help at the Mustard Tree soup kitchen. There are also many other ways of helping and you don’t always have to volunteer to make a difference. If you would like to donate to Mustard Tree please visit their website http://www.mustardtree.org.uk/please-donate/ you can donate money, food and even unwanted clothes. If you would like to find out more about what Sellick Partnership’s CSR activities are you can visit our CSR page https://www.sellickpartnership.co.uk/work-for-us/sp-benefits/sp-community-and-csr.
Today we welcome over 200 business professionals from across Greater Manchester to our tenth annual Manchester Professionals’ Cricket League (MPCL) Charity Awards Lunch, the culmination of our tenth year organising the MPCL. The MPCL is a cricket league and charity awards lunch that was born through my love of cricket, and an event that is really close to my heart. From the offset I knew I wanted to facilitate an event that promoted cricket as a sport, gave business professionals the opportunity to network in a friendly environment and raise money for two charities that I am incredibly passionate about, St Ann’s Hospice and Lord’s Taverners. Over the past ten years the event has grown massively, and today it is one of the highlights of my year. In this blog I look back at some of my favourite moments from the past ten years, and also some of the key benefits sporting events like this can have on your business. Five of my favourite moments over the past ten years The first year of the MPCL will always be a special one for me. I will always remember what it felt like to bring the idea I had to reality and to see so many businesses get involved. It has now continued to grow year-on-year and I am incredibly excited to see how much money we raise in our tenth year. A moment I will always remember is when Sellick Partnership were named Cup runners up in 2014! This has been our best performance since the league’s formation in 2008. The competition every year is so incredibly high so to get close to holding the Cup is a massive achievement for any organisation. Reaching a fundraising total of £80,000 was also a proud moment for me and the team. When I started the MPCL back in 2008 I had no idea it would grow so quickly and it has well surpassed my expectations. We have had so many inspirational speakers over the years, it is so hard top pick just one. A few of my favourites have to be Bill Beaumont in 2016 and Paul Allott who will be speaking for his second year in a row at this year’s event. This year is one I will always remember, simply for it being our tenth anniversary. Ten years is a very long time and it is an amazing achievement to have a charitable event that has not only lasted, but continues to grow each year. How the MPCL has helped over the past ten years The MPCL has provided a networking opportunity for over 50 businesses across Greater Manchester. Each year, some of Manchester’s most prominent businesses take part in the MPCL, offering a platform to network, share experiences and make new connections for everyone that gets involved. As a business leader myself I know the benefits of events like this and the opportunities they can create, and from speaking with the companies that have taken part over the years I know that the MPCL has opened many doors. The MPCL has raised more than £80,000 for charity since I founded it in 2008! This is an astonishing amount that has helped both of our charities – St Ann’s Hospice and Lord’s Taverners – a great deal. For example, St Ann’s Hospice have used the money to assist with the day-to-day running of the hospice which needs to raise £20,000 every day to keep their doors open. Lord’s Taverners have used some of the money to install sensory rooms, play spaces and also buy wheelchairs and mini buses to help young people get active and into sport. I firmly believe that our CSR efforts, which includes the MPCL, has greatly contributed to our excellent staff retention rates and the attraction of many of our current employees. People want to work for companies that care about the community and that put the needs of others high on their agenda. This is something that is of huge importance to me. As a business owner I want to be able to give back, and our MPCL and MPCL Charity Awards Lunch is just one of the ways we do this as a business. The MPCL has been great for the community in which we work. Charitable donations help better your community, and your customers and employees will notice if you are making a real effort to improve your surroundings. Your company's charitable donations could help improve schools or parks, help disadvantaged people or simply improve the areas in which you work. In our case, we help two well deserving charities continue their vital work. The MPCL also helps improve morale across our business and that of those that have taken part over the years. Events like the MPCL allow companies to take active interests in their own communities which often leads to a huge boost in employee morale. According to a 2016 Deloitte study, millennials are "twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive" if their company participated in CSR activities that include corporate giving. Employees respect companies that care for their community and employees feel good about working for their employer. I am a firm believer that events like the MPCL have significant benefits for any organisation. I am delighted that the MPCL has been a huge success, and I am proud of the amount of money it has raised over the years. I am already looking forward to our 2019 event, and watching the MPCL continue to succeed long into the future. If you are interested in the MPCL and would like to discuss taking part next year please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can find out about our other sporting tournaments and CSR activities here.
We are absolutely thrilled to have been listed as one of just three UK based recruitment firms on the third annual Companies to Inspire Europe report. In this pioneering report, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) indentifies the 1000 most dynamic and fastest-growing, firms throughout Europe. 1000 Companies to Inspire is London Stock Exchange Group’s celebration of some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and Europe. As well as identifying 1,000 companies, the annual reports examine in detail the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs and looks at the sectors and trends that will shape the future of the British and European economies. Only 160 UK based companies made the report with Romania and Hungary laying claim to the fastest-growing companies on average. When asked about the listing Managing Director Jo Sellick said; “we are delighted to be acknowledged in the third edition of the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe! It is an honour to be recognised as it displays our dedication to providing exceptional recruitment solutions to our clients and candidates. We are proud to be contributing to the European economy. What a fantastic achievement.” This is the third time we have been recognised by the London Stock Exchange having already been listed in the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report twice. You can find full details of this and our other awards and accreditations here. Alternatively you can view the full 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe report here.