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Layers 2021 Charity Challenge Update

Here at Layers we’ve been undertaking a Charity Challenge in 2021 as we felt at the start of the year that we wanted to make a difference and we were passionate about what we could achieve as a team collaboratively. Our aim was to travel 2021km (by any self-powered means of transport; your paddle boards, your unicycles, your legs) each across the year.

 

 

Once Daniel joined at the beginning of February our total aim for 2021 was to cover a collective 11,955km (2,021km each adjusted for Daniel’s late start), or just about the distance from Newcastle to Kuala Lumpur or Buenos Aires, so nothing too enormous…however, it’s the causes, money raised, and the collaboration that counts regardless of whether or not we reach our totals but we’re all doing what we can to get there between now and the end of the year.

Congratulations to James who has become the first of us here at Layers to reach their personal target of 2,021km covered this year, and any distance travelled will be put towards the teams’ total target of 11,955km.

 

In terms of a total target, as well as how much distance needs to be travelled daily by each person for the rest of the year, the results are as follows:

James Hanson

Updates from the team and our causes:

 

 

James – Chron’s & Colitis UK

 

The UK’s leading charity for Crohn’s and Colitis have over 50 pages of information to help inform anyone affected, including friends, family, medical professionals and even employers. Recently they have been focussing on sourcing volunteers for studies such as the SPIT study which aims to develop a new screening test for Crohn’s disease. 

 

“I’m so glad we decided to do this – at the start, it seemed like a tall order, but as I got into a routine – chipping away at this happened quite naturally. Having said that, I know some of the team have struggled, but we have a dog so the routine was much easier to stick to. I’m not sure I raised as much as I could (should) but It’s been difficult to keep promoting it – especially as I kind of keep it going one day at a time. But I’ve already smashed it! So I’ve done something right!

 

I chose my charity due to my own background and the journey I had through Colitis, I know how stressful this can be for people and I was lucky enough (although he was unlucky) to have a dad who had gone through it and could help me deal with it during my first year of university, which was a really tough time.”

Niall – The Haemophilia Society

 

The Haemophilia Society is the only UK-wide charity and free membership organisation for everyone affected by a bleeding disorder. It aims to empower people affected by a bleeding disorder to live life to the fullest.

 

The Society offers support through local groups across the UK, free membership events for people at all stages of life, and a vibrant online community, where people affected by bleeding disorders can find information, and share their views and experiences. Expert, in-depth resources and news updates keep members informed and help equip them with knowledge and confidence. They are soon to have their AGM and trustee election for the upcoming year, giving interested parties a say in the future of the charity.

 

“As the year is coming to a close it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll hit the goal of 2021km in 1 year. Which is a shame, however there are still some huge takeaways for me. The main one being that I’ve managed to get out for a walk significantly more than I had the previous year. I now know a little trick should I ever partake in this challenge again and that is…get a dog.”

Niall Baum
Paula Donnelly

Paula – CLAPA (Cleft Lip & Palate Association)

 

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) works to improve the lives of people born with a cleft and their families in the United Kingdom. CLAPA host events designed to increase awareness and help parents of children with such conditions as well as adults. Recently they’ve launched the CLAPA Lounge, a meet up on Zoom for adults over 25 to learn more. These sessions cover topics such as treatment, extra detail and more.

 

“I love challenging myself but for something as long-term as this, I really needed an ‘accountability buddy’ and I feel that’s what the team have done. We had a great start to the year but as with anything, motivation dwindles and staying consistent when we lacked motivation was always going to be the real challenge.

 

After fracturing my ankle at the end of March the challenge kept me focussed on recovery and given that my fundraising had been so successful to that point I really didn’t want to let anyone down that had already donated.

 

I learned that taking time outdoors during the working day gave me time to think, destress, and made my afternoons more productive so my walks turned into something I looked forward to (and something I’ll continue after this year) rather than something I had to do. With the end in sight, I’ve still got a way to go but I’m confident and determined that I’ll hit the target, and I’m really proud of the camaraderie the team have shown throughout this year.”

Jonny – Music Venue Trust

 

The Music Venue Trust is a UK registered charity which acts to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues. They hold regular auctions and fundraisers to help support local venues in cities across the UK. They have been especially important during COVID due to the impact on small businesses and small venues being closed. Recent auctions have focussed on rare posters and records being sold to raise money for Manchester venues.

 

“The charity challenge has definitely been that, a challenge. From walking about 55km a month to be expected to walk 150+km a month in order to meet the goal was going to need a momentous lifestyle change. Unfortunately the change in lifestyle wasn’t as big as it needed to be, and the goal now is seemingly impossible.

 

However I have impressed myself and gained a lot from attempting it, going for walks during the hight of lockdown was definitely beneficial for keeping me sane, and taking up 5-a-side football to get the extra steps in has definitely improved my fitness. Although the target will probably not be met it was still definitely worth the attempt.”

Jonny Tabiner

Daniel – CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

 

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) are taking a stand against suicide. That means standing against feeling terrible, standing up to stereotypes, and standing together to show life is always worth living. Recent CALM ambassadors such as Rosie Jones and Suzi Ruffell have spoken about their own problems with mental health, and many celebrities have worked with CALM such as Tyson Fury to highlight the mental health epidemic.

 

 

“Over the course of the year, I’ve found that the charity challenge has helped me get out and about a little bit more than I would usually find myself doing. Working from home can be difficult, and summoning the energy to go out and stretch the legs or even for a change of scenery can also sometimes be challenging.

 

 

Thanks to this challenge I’ve found myself getting out and about a bit more which has been great for my mental health and work ethic and would recommend doing something like for a good cause or even for yourself especially if you’re struggling working from home.


Why Exactly is Branding so Important?

Why Exactly is Branding So Important?

To customers on the lookout for what you’re selling; how you appear, what you say and the way you say it, all add up to a perceived value that they’ll weigh up in their head in comparison to your direct competitors. However, gone are the days where branding was simply an aesthetic pursuit, and it is now much more than a visual exercise.

 

For example, what is it exactly you want your product to stand for? What do you want it to say? How do you want customers to perceive your company? Potential customers can get at a glance all of this information and more to make a split decision on whether or not your product is for them. As Tom Goodwin states, “brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of people”.

Love at First Sight

 

As the saying goes, “you only get to make one first impression”, and it is an invaluable one in terms of whether or not you make a sale and attract new customers to your service.

Keep in mind that branding is for the outsider, the customer, who does not know what you know about the product. It has to speak to the skill, care, and quality you know went into the product but they have to absorb at a glance. If you have a particular target audience, it needs to reflect their values and interests as much as it shows off your product.

For every bottle of gin there are another fifty looking to take your customers, for every pair of trainers there are ten other brands looking for that money too. This means you’ve got to appeal, and you’re constantly competing for your customers’ interest. Your brand is what makes you appealing. If the branding is to a high standard, and reflects the message of your product effectively, then customers will tend to assume the product itself is made to the same standard. In a world of instant access and endless choice, it is being able to stand out via your brand that helps get you the sale over your competitors.

Your Branding Journey

 

However, the journey to reaching this ‘high standard’ is not as simple as you may think. Firstly, the branding needs to be in tune with what sets the product apart and the message it’s trying to portray to customers. It is essential to get to the heart of what difference the product is going to make to people, and the tone it seeks to project to potential customers.

Sometimes this can mean going deeper and more intricate than some people realise you can be with a product, because anything can convey a message. Effective branding simply aims to let the customer see the energy and purpose that brought the product to life in the first place.

 

Once the message that lies at the heart of the product is found, a natural progression through the branding and later design process can begin. This holds true for any product as some of our past work shows, from gin bottles to revolutionary apps for the construction and utilities industry. They all start from the vital place of what it is exactly that makes you as a company or product special.

It is this unifying aspect of branding that means it can be a lightning rod for the desires, future plans, ethos, and message behind a company that employees and customers can rally around. As such, a well defined brand can not only guide advertising and marketing but also engage and align employees with everyone working towards a common goal and idea. Ultimately, employees are no different from customers,  They want a story. They want to know what they do and why they do it. They want to know what’s expected of them by both customers and their leadership. All of this can be helped by effective branding.

In an ideal world, your brand will change how people perceive your brand, drive new business, and increase brand value – but it can have the opposite effect if done incorrectly. Take for example GAP. In 2010 they attempted a rebrand at an estimated cost of $100m as they felt they were in need of modernisation and were suffering from “brand fatigue”. However, the new branding lasted just six days before public outcry forced a reversion. This saga highlighted an often missed aspect of branding which is the emotional connection it makes to your customers. As a classic, the old GAP branding is still in use today for this very reason.

 

After all, the branding of a product is all about the connection to the consumer, what catches their attention, and what sets you apart from your rivals. The ability to realise a branding solution that works not only for you, but effectively projects the message you are trying to convey is what makes a product ultimately a success. When the branding of a product is in harmony with the message behind the company, ethos and atmosphere it seeks to create, great things are possible. Just ask some of our happy customers!


Charity challenge - 2021km in 2021

When we came back after the Christmas break, like many we all had our New Year Resolutions fresh in our minds and the general consensus was to be more active. Now, personally, I thrive off competition. but more than that, I tend to stick to something more when I’m accountable to someone else. Something we’re really passionate about at Layers is achieving things as a team not just as individuals. We genuinely believe we’re better together and so was born our 2021 challenge.

 

 

The Challenge

 

The aim is to cover (walk, run, cycle, surf, swim or anything else self-powered) 2021km for every member of Team Layers. At the start of the year, we had 5 people on the team (James, Chris, Niall, Jonny and myself – Paula) so our collective total for the year was 10,105km (2021 x 5). That was until Daniel joined the team at the beginning of February. We’ve pro-rated his contribution for the year based on the month he wasn’t with us and his total comes out at 1850km, hiking up our total (pun intended ????) to 11,955km to collectively hit before the end of 2021.

 

To put that into perspective we’ll have done just shy of 48 marathons EACH by the end of the year, or collectively we’ll have gone to the North Pole and back, and then back to the North Pole again. Luckily we won’t be stranded there at the end of the year ????

 

 

The Reason

 

Most people fail their new year resolutions by February, but we don’t want to be most people soooooo we threw down a challenge that doesn’t seem too difficult when broken down into daily targets (it works out 5.5km per person per day) BUT with this challenge consistency is key. Sticking with it past February is necessary (especially for those who thought it was too cold to go for a walk in January ????).

 

Although this is a collective goal rather than an individual challenge, we all have our own reasons for doing it. As part of our efforts, we’ll be fundraising for charities that are near and dear to our hearts.

 

 

The Charities

 

James – Chron’s & Colitis UK

Chris – Macmillan Cancer Support

Niall – The Haemophilia Society

Paula – CLAPA (Cleft Lip & Palate Association)

Jonny – Music Venue Trust

Daniel – CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Take a look at our Team page on Just Giving, have a read of our individual pages and find out why these charities are so close to our hearts:

www.justgiving.com/team/Layers2021challenge

 

Stay up to date with our efforts here: Layers.studio/2021km-challenge

 

We appreciate any donations, shares and encouragement along the way.


Layers turns 5 - Birthday messages from the team

Birthday messages from the team

James

 

I have so much to say about the last 5 years but that would make a lonnnnng birthday message so I’ll save that for another post ????

 

For now, all I want to say is 5 years ago, I was determined to start my own design business and do things differently. Better. I truly think we’ve achieved that! I’m grateful to the team and the clients that have gotten us to this point.

 

I’ve never been as excited about Layers as I am right now and 5 years in, that’s a great place to be.

Chris

 

I’ve been with Layers almost since the beginning – worked on some cool projects, worked with some great businesses and had the privilege of working with some incredibly talented people. We’ve also made mistakes along the way but we’ve learnt from them and grown to be the team we are today as a result of them so I’m excited to see what we can do over the next 5 years.

Niall

 

Happy 5th Birthday to Layers! Can’t quite believe I’ve been part of this team for almost 2 ½ years, I’ve loved every second! When I think back to what I was doing 5 years ago, I was halfway through my Uni Degree, a lot of long nights procrastinating on assignments and playing video games, not too much has changed ???? All joking aside, I can’t wait to help Layers grow and I’m excited for what’s to come in the future!

Paula

 

Happy frickin’ birthday to us ???? There are certain birthdays that feel bigger than others and 5 is definitely one of them. It’s a huge achievement and although I haven’t been with Layers since day 1, I’ve known you from the start and have considered you friends for a long time. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of such an incredibly talented team and to get to work with the amazing people and businesses that are our clients.

Jonny

 

Layers is 5 years old and 5 years ago I hadn’t even finished my A levels! Layers is my first and only experience of working in the design world and being here full time for the past 4 and a half months has been great. Definitely missing the days in the office while I was on placement, especially the daily lunchtime crosswords (I can count my contributions on one hand ????️). In my short time here I have worked on a lot of projects and it’s always been a goal of mine to see my work and contributions used in a physical setting and it’s great to be able to see that happening.

Daniel

 

I’ve joined the team just as they’ve hit their 5-year milestone and wow what a start it’s been! The team here really know their stuff and they’ve welcomed me like I’ve been working with them for years! Their bespoke yet laser-focused approach to every project and the value they place on everyone’s views in order to achieve the best results for our clients has me really excited for the years to come, I can’t wait to see the amazing things we can achieve together!


5 Years of Business Banner

Layers turns 5!

Layers turns 5!

As far as milestones go, this feels like a big one, maybe more so because of the trials of 2020 and running a business during a global pandemic. Add to that the fact that 80% of businesses fail within the first 3 years and it definitely feels like a milestone that needs to be celebrated soooooo…

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US! ????????????

‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’

 

It was Einstein that said ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ and this is the ethos on which Layers is built.

 

Layers was born out of a belief that things could be done in a better way, so we challenge ourselves, our clients and our partners to explore the possibility of a better way to reach our goals rather than simply the way we know.

 

The way we achieve this is by involving our entire team from the offset and throughout on a project, so the solutions we implement and the advice we give is truly holistic in nature.

In keeping with this, our birthday series will feature insights from all 5 members of the team…

Keep your eyes peeled and have some cake to celebrate with us! ????

Hear from the team here:

Birthday messages from Team Layers


New Hire Origin Story Banner

Layers origin story : Jonny Tabiner

Hello, I’m Jonny. I am the Junior Designer and newest member of the team here at Layers Studio, however, my journey to this position has not been straightforward. You may have heard of this little thing called a global pandemic that’s affected many things, including my journey. 

 

From Intern to unemployed Graduate to Junior Designer, this is my story.

 

Span back to March 2019, I was in my third year of studying ‘Design for Industry’ at Northumbria University and was looking for placements. After tens of applications, followed by being ignored, being rejected, being accepted…and then falling through, my call was finally answered and I was invited to join the small but mighty team of Layers. 

 

My placement with Layers was my first taste of working life. I worked full-time for three months and from the start was working on a number of client projects. From branding, designing websites and apps, posters and brochures, all the way to…drum roll, please…designing PowerPoint templates (aka the stuff James didn’t want to do).

 

I was fully involved from the start and learning a lot along the way. My placement ended after 3 months, as that was the minimum amount of time required to pass the final module of my third year, however, my Layers journey didn’t end there. 

 

After an extremely impressive 3 months at Layers (definitely their words, not mine) I was asked to continue offering my services over the summer holiday and throughout my fourth year of University on an ad-hoc basis. I accepted and carried on working with Layers helping out in the office most weeks. I was even invited to the staff Christmas party! ????????????

 

After working part-time throughout my fourth year and nearing the end of University I was excited by the thought of finishing my final major project, graduating and the possibility of being offered a full-time position at Layers, the place I had grown to love over the past year. However, those thoughts came crashing down and a big COVID shaped wall was put in my path.

 

I was sent home from uni with the task of finishing my course remotely, and a return to the Layers office was far from sight. 

 

After submitting my final major project from my bedroom, receiving my graduation certificate through the post and watching a pre-recorded congratulatory video from my University, getting a job seemed like an impossible task. However I was informed that my contribution to Layers was still welcomed, and I was very happy to oblige. After the severity of the first wave and the start of a second, I was fully expecting to be waiting well into the new year to be able to find a job anywhere, never mind in the design sector. 

 

Fast forward to November I was made aware of the possibility of a full-time role here at Layers and after interviewing, the 16th of November was to be my start date, I gladly accepted the role.

 

That is where my 1st blog post ends, but my story with Layers (and as a designer) has just begun!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Jonny


Cars Grand Prix Illustration

Tips to help you hit your year-end goals

Strategy

noun

 

; a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.

When it comes to strategy, a lot of businesses use their year-end as an opportunity to reflect and set out their plans for the following year. While I agree that this is a great time to reflect and plan for the year ahead, I want to explain why a one-off exercise isn’t gonna cut it as well as highlight some useful building blocks for creating a solid strategic plan to get you closer to your goals.

Set SMART goals

 

Strategy drives decisions. Every decision made by businesses should take into consideration whether it takes them closer to or further from their overall goals so it’s important that you have clearly defined goals. I’m not bringing anything new to the party when I say be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound) about the goals you set but it is still worth highlighting. 

 

The main one for me here is measurable! If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. 

 

By focussing on measurable metrics, you can essentially work backwards and understand what output is required to hit your targets. 

 

For example, if I currently get 1 new client for every 10 proposals sent, to get 10 new clients, I either need to send 100 proposals or I can look at ways of improving my conversion rate.

Write them down

 

This one is short and sweet. People that write down their goals are between 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve those goals than those that don’t write them down. Please please please don’t just internalise your ambitions. Write them down, shout them from the rooftop and you’ll be more likely to realise your goals.

Break it down

 

So you’ve set your goals. Now what? Well, these goals can feel intimidating given the magnitude of what you aim to achieve and this is often the reason why many fail. Set yourself up for success by reverse engineering your goals into smaller more manageable milestones.

 

Then break each milestone down into daily tasks and habits. It takes an average of 66 days for an action to become a habit so start small and add one at a time. Small differences elicit great changes when they are repeatedly performed so be consistent.

 

| “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

Revisit your goals

 

Revisiting your goals is important but so too is the frequency with which you do this. There is little point in setting annual targets and then only checking in on them in a years time. Reflect on a quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily basis. 

 

When you revisit your goals, it gives you an opportunity to celebrate the little wins, evaluate your current strategy and assess how to move forward. Be honest with yourself and ask, have you been doing what you said you would? What could you improve? Are your daily actions taking you closer to or further from your goals?

 

Remember that your current position is less important than your trajectory so if you’re doing a lot of front-loaded work and you believe it will pay off in the long run then stick with it.

 

Don’t fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy though – just because you’ve invested a lot of time, effort and money into your current plan shouldn’t be reason enough to stick with it. If it’s not working, adapt the plan. You’ve already lost that time, effort and money so don’t expend even more unnecessarily.

 

| “If the plan doesn’t work change the plan but never the goal”

Be accountable

 

Humour me for a minute and think about a Formula 1 team. A Formula One driver is only one member* of a huge team (*there are 2 drivers in every team) employing hundreds of people, including the Team Boss, Aerodynamics team, Design team, Engineers, Commercial team and many more. A standard Formula One season will comprise of 20 Grand Prix races (+/- a couple). I’ll not mention the 2020 season! ????

 

Sure, they’ll have a plan for the entire season but they’ll revisit their plan regularly and assess how they are doing against their goals and what needs to happen in order to achieve them. From qualifiers to practice laps to the race itself, the ‘back office’ team are in the driver’s ear (literally) advising on what is happening on other parts of the course, when to make a pit stop, how their competitors are doing etc. That constant feedback loop is everpresent even when things are going to plan, or maybe everything goes to plan because of the constant feedback. 

 

Regardless, this means the success of the driver and the wider team is not down to the driver alone. To execute their plan, an F1 team requires a huge amount of teamwork and every individual is accountable for the overall success of the team. Likewise, in a business, a specific department or individual person isn’t the sole reason for the success of the business. Everyone has their strengths so by playing to them and striving for a shared company-wide goal, everyone is accountable and more importantly, everyone is valued.

 

| “For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack”

Make adjustments

 

Every call, every meeting, every project you complete, take a minute to evaluate the good and the bad. What did you do well and what could you improve? Get your wider team involved in this too – a fresh perspective could prove invaluable. 

 

The same way that Lewis Hamilton (other Formula 1 drivers are available) will receive feedback throughout every race, every lap, every corner he turns, we too should be evaluating our performance and making adjustments as we go.

Basically, what I’m saying is in order to execute your strategy well, you need commitment from the entire team. So, this year when you plan for the year ahead and set your goals, make sure everyone in your organisation is aware of them. Write them down so you and the team are reminded of them daily. Revisit them often and don’t be afraid to change tact if your original plan doesn’t work.


Aesthetics or Function Banner

Aesthetics or Function - what is more important?

Aesthetics or Function – what is more important?

You’ve heard the question ‘Is looks or personality more important?’. The truth is, most of us like to think we’re not as shallow as we actually are and that personality trumps looks every time, but that’s often not the case. 

For us to give someone a chance in the first place, there has to be an initial attraction, hence the inclusion of a picture on dating sites. Personality is essentially a secondary filter. Personality is what makes us want to see them again. Personality keeps us engaged…or, what makes us disengage! At this point, it doesn’t matter how much of a fittie they are, if you don’t ‘click’ then it’s probably not going to go any further which is why a lot of first dates never make it to a second.

 

Yeah, but why is this relevant to my business I hear you ask? Well, because there are a lot of similarities between your website and dating. 

 

It’s irrelevant how well your website functions and how seamless the experience is for your users if it doesn’t look great because if it doesn’t look great, your target audience won’t want to engage in the first instance.

 

Likewise, it’s pointless having a great looking website that doesn’t work when potential customers land on it. Clicking on buttons that don’t take you anywhere, filling in a contact form and realising when you get to the end that it won’t send, waiting for what seems like an eternity for a page to load and the list of poor experiences goes on.

 

When designing something, making it look good should be a given. It should be expected. It should never be a question. Something that is beautifully designed will invite initial engagement and great functionality, UX, UI, personality or whatever you want to call it will keep users engaged!

 

But, if the functionality is poor, it doesn’t matter how good something looks, engagement will drop off a cliff edge and no amount of aesthetics will be able to claw it back!

 

There has been a lot of noise recently around the NHS Track & Trace system and none of the outrage seems to stem from the aesthetics of the app but rather its functionality and the government’s slightly adapted Ronseal slogan ‘doesn’t do what it says on the tin’.

 

So, is aesthetics or functionality more important? To be perfectly honest they’re both as important as the other. A website that is aesthetically pleasing will invite engagement and good functionality will keep your users engaged. You don’t need to sacrifice one for the other. That’s why our ethos is to design and build purpose-driven solutions, not just pretty pictures!


Hikers Going Up A Mountain

Collaboration - why is it so important?

Collaboration

noun

 

; the action of working with someone to produce something.

Collaboration is the joining of forces (individual or organisational) for the purpose of achieving a shared objective.  It can and should happen within teams, departments, cross-departmentally, within organisations and between organisations.

 

Collaboration is so ingrained in the way we work nowadays that we rarely notice that we’re collaborating. Tools like Slack and Trello make it easier than ever to work together on projects. They allow teams to seamlessly share knowledge, even when working remotely and when we’re not on top of our game (which we can’t be 100% of the time) we could all use a helping hand.

 

The Premier League’s top goal scorers thrive when they have a good assist, Dolce would have been nothing without Gabbana, and Ben without Jerry is a thought I never want to have again ????

 

There are so many benefits to collaborating of which I’ve expanded on just a handful below.

Benefits of collaborating

 

Strengthens relationships

Collaboration removes the ‘them’ vs ‘us’ mentality that siloed or regional teams often have and it helps create one unified workforce that becomes a driver for your business to achieving a common goal.

 

Enhances your team

Trusted partners act as an extension to your team and vice versa, you will act as an extension to theirs. For smaller organisations especially, this can prove extremely useful when stacking up against larger organisations on pitches and increases the value you provide to your clients.

 

Improves learning

By encouraging collaboration you create a workplace centred around learning and development which in turn allows your team to learn from each other’s mistakes as well as their own.

 

Increases efficiency

I strongly believe in working smarter not harder so if someone has done it before and can teach you in a few minutes what would take hours to learn yourself then that sharing of knowledge isn’t just encouraged but essential to the growth of your organisation.

 

Expands opportunities

Think about music collaborations. Working with another artist opens doors for both parties. It widens your fan base by tapping into the other artist’s fans. From a business perspective, working with businesses that provide complementary services to yours means you both have a trusted source of pre-qualified leads.

Finally, we want to say a massive THANK YOU to the amazing businesses and freelancers we have the pleasure of collaborating with on a regular basis:

Nebula Labs – Native app development

 

50:50 Future – Diversity & Inclusion experts

 

CUBED – Business strategists

Lucy Kyriakidou – Illustrator

 

Jade Gillham – Digital Marketing Freelancer

 

Nicole Dixon – Pattern and Textiles illustrator

Team of Hikers Going Up A Mountain

“If you want to go fast, go alone.

If you want to go far, go together.”

African proverb


Tips for working from home during the Coronavirus outbreak

Tips for working from home during the Coronavirus outbreak

Paula DonnellyBy Paula Donnelly|19th March 2020|12 Minutes

As we navigate through these unprecedented times, be aware that although you are having to negotiate unfamiliar, and for some, scary scenarios such as working from home and homeschooling, know that you are not alone!

 

It may not be a cure for Coronavirus but if it helps with your current situation then I’d say it’s worthwhile sharing. So in the spirit of ‘we’ll get through this together’, here are some tips on working from home ????????????

Stick to your routine

 

That means getting up at your normal time. You’ll thank me when it’s time to go back to the office and it’s not like facing the 1st day back at school after the summer holidays! 

 

We’re creatures of habit so if you normally get up and go to the gym in the morning, how about opting for a home workout instead? Our friends at Gym Plan have a free app for those of you on Apple devices with lots of inspo on workouts you can do at home without any equipment. If you normally battle through traffic, line up some toy cars and scream at them for a bit. (I joke ???? Kinda ????)

Photo by Henry Becker on Unsplash

Get dressed for work

 

Getting home from work and into my comfies is my way of distinguishing the working day from my home life. So the same reasoning applies to working from home. Dressing for work affirms a commitment to actually working and it translates into being more productive.

Comfort ≠ Productivity

Create a workspace

 

Although it’s tempting to work from your bed or recline on the sofa, best practice is to set up a work station preferably in a home office but if you don’t have this, your dining room table will do the trick. You’re less likely to get distracted by Frasier, Home & Away or The Chase (Personal fave ????) when you have a designated work station and it’s much better for your posture too.

Get away from your work station

 

It’s not good to be sat all day in front of a screen. You’ve probably gained an hour or 2 by only having to commute from your bedroom to your dining room so use them wisely. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, have a stretch and actively remove yourself from your workstation. We can only concentrate intensely on a given task for short periods of time so break up your day.

Stay in touch with your colleagues

 

Tools such as Slack, Zoom and Whereby make it easier than ever to keep in touch with your team. 

 

Don’t just leave it until you have a question though. Keep in touch throughout the day like you normally would in the office. 

 

Check-in with everyone and see what they got up to last night (Likely not a lot considering the current situation), get Netflix recommendations, find out if they have any tips for staying focused etc.

 

Stop for team (virtual) coffee breaks:

Female and male colleague having a cuppa over a video call

Separate ‘home jobs’ and ‘work jobs’

 

Yes, you could very well just put a load of laundry on and get it out on the line. It’s a nice day after all with great drying (God, I sound like my Mum!). Maybe just wash the bed sheets and give the bathroom a quick clean while you’re there. Maybe just run the duster over the living room. 

 

See where I’m going here? It’s never just one thing. 

 

Leave the laundry for after work hours. Make your bed when you get up as normal. Stick to your routine otherwise you’ll end up working at 10pm and seriously blurring the lines between your work and home life.

Stay safe and much love from Layers ????