Members of the business community had the opportunity last week to hear tips on working remotely. Go Carterton facilitated the business social hosted by Carterton businesses Nectarine, Experienz Immigration, and Planwell Services. 

It was a good opportunity for locals to check out the renovated Marquis of Normanby Hotel. New owners Anthony and Sarah Walton were in attendance and outlined their community-minded ethos. They have fully renovated the Marquis accommodation area which includes rooms upstairs, a shared kitchen, bathrooms, and a downstairs shared working space where the business social was held. The upstairs accommodation is available for short or medium term stays through online booking systems such as Air BnB. Anthony and Sarah have also purchased Pete O’Leary’s garage in Memorial Square, and intend to develop the site. 

Minty and Bek, of Nectarine, are experts in graphic design, website design, board game design, animation & coding. They have been working from home for over 20 years, and Minty credits some of that success to creating a purpose built workroom upstairs. 

Chris Tracey, of Planwell Services, Planwell Services provides a range of services including project management and policy development. Chris has been involved in planning big local events such as The Oversew Fashion Awards, The Clareville Country Music Festival, and Wings over Wairarapa. She works from home in her rural property in Carterton, and says one of her favourite things about working from home is hearing all the birds outside. 

Feija Bokhoven, of Experienz Immigration provides specialist immigration services to individuals, professionals, businesses and investors. Feija works from home in Carterton, but can often be spotted hot desking at 3mile Coworking Community. Covid-19 has impacted her business significantly, as many of her clients were based overseas. After receiving external advice, she is now working on expanding different areas of her business, including creating online courses to take applicants through residency applications. She was also a recent recipient of the Carterton District Council’s Covid-19 Small Business Grants. 

Thinking of working from home? Here are some of the tips from our hosts: 

  • Maintain a good record of your hours
  • Enjoy the flexible work hours, but ensure you maintain that work/personal life separation
  • Keep up the paperwork: maintain a paper trail of Zoom catchups, client meetings, etc. 
  • Comfort is key! Make sure you have a good working environment
  • Don’t be afraid to dress up and get into your work clothes
  • Stay connected with what’s happening in your sector, e.g. networking, keeping up with professional development
  • Don’t overcommit! Focus on paid work, and don’t let work creep into your personal time
  • Don’t forget to exercise – the commute is pretty short, so find ways to keep up your physical activity
  • Ask for feedback from clients (you won’t get it from your boss!)