- “Work from anywhere” arrangements have grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Many professionals have chosen to continue this way of working because it has been successful.
- HP technology powers key products that make hybrid working more productive and collaborative.
Remote work has always been the dream of many, but it took the COVID-19 pandemic to finally make it commonplace across all industries.
Here are some UK professionals who are harnessing the benefits of technology to make their dream of working from anywhere a reality.
Rethinking face-to-face therapy
James Mallinson, the founder of Fix My Mind, is a successful British clinical hypnotherapist who has conducted over 5,000 sessions over his 10 year career. Until March 2020, almost all of his clients expected to see him in person, like any other therapist.
For Mallinson, that meant renting an office in London, hiring an assistant and commuting three or four times a week from his home in Winchester (100km away).
“Then Covid changed everything,” he said. “All of the media portrayals of hypnotherapy up until now were about people being in a room with someone during a session – but suddenly that wasn’t an option anymore.”
The widespread stress and worry caused by the pandemic meant that Mallinson’s services were needed more than ever – so to meet demand, he moved his entire business model online.
“I knew it would work because I had done online sessions before,” he said. “But it’s always been a pipe dream to make it the norm.”
Mallinson estimates he saves over £50,000 a year by not having a physical office in London. And giving up a commute has saved him more than 500 hours a year to spend with his wife and young son.
“I have pro-grade sound and lights,” Mallinson said. “And everything works.” He added that even two years after the crisis, online sessions are still incredibly popular.
In addition to his studio technology, Mallinson has invested in HP printing solutions for his business—”I like to print and digest my client’s notes before a session,” he explained—and is intrigued by HP’s new AI-powered noise cancellation technology, a key feature of the company’s HP Elite Dragonfly line of laptops. “They look amazing,” he said. “You definitely need peace and quiet for a hypnotherapy session!”
From London to Yorkshire… to Brazil
Technology has allowed Tim De La Salle, founder of marketing technology consultancy Fly, to also run his business on his own terms, albeit on the other side of the world.
Having worked for various companies in London for several years, the benefits of a work-from-anywhere company were attractive enough for him to start his own in 2011.
Having successfully run the business from the South East and then Yorkshire, De La Salle now works from Vitoria in Brazil, the hometown of his wife Samia.
De La Salle compared Vitoria to a smaller, more manageable Rio de Janeiro. “You are on the Atlantic coast, there are incredible beaches and mountains. The quality of life that we have here is incredible,” he said. “We’ll be rowing the bay, I can work fewer hours and then read bedtime stories every night. It’s the kind of life we could only afford in London if I ran a hedge fund.”
With staff in Brazil and the UK, Fly now has a global reach which is ideal for business. De La Salle said its lead developer — who handles much of the company’s technical work on his HP desktop computer — is currently considering using one of the many “digital nomad” visas currently available.
“I totally agree,” he said. “If someone moves to Thailand, for example, we could cover our Australian customers even more comprehensively.”
The next step for De La Salle and his team is to pilot a four-day working week from January – backed by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It’s another giant leap in their quest for the ultimate work-life balance.
“We couldn’t run our dispersed team as well without remote technology,” says Tim. “The whole business operates online, and technology is even giving us a way to deal with time differences. Asynchronous collaboration on projects is made possible by things like recording short explainer videos for each other and for customers too. These efficiencies mean we have a really good chance of making the four-day working week a reality.”
For Ken Okoroafor, founder of personal finance website The Humble Penny, the idea of running a business from anywhere first came to him on the early morning train from Dartford in Kent to London.
“I was working as a CFO for a venture capital firm,” he said, “and it was on my morning and evening commutes that I started a side hustle. It started as a passion project, but it grew and grew.”
With his HP business laptop perched on his lap, Okoroafor began and ended each day with financial advice for everyday people who didn’t know where to start. “I was a young black man in London with a family and I didn’t feel like everything that was written about online finance was written by someone like me,” he said.
Sensing trouble was brewing in the months leading up to the pandemic, Okoroafor began working remotely. But he soon realized that the challenge of trying to hold down a job, deal with parallel turmoil and be there for his family during the crisis was overwhelming.
So in April 2020, he quit the day job to focus on The Humble Penny — and never looked back.
“Turning the hustle and bustle into my main job has been great for my relationship with my wife, it’s been great for my mental health, and I now have time to be with my two kids every day,” Okoroafor said. . “It changed my life – besides, I now earn more than in my old job.”
On top of that, the “work anywhere” nature of his business meant he could keep The Humble Penny spinning when he took the family on a month-long world tour in August.
“I love the freedom that a laptop gives,” says Ken. “Every time we leave, my whole office comes with me in my suitcase. It’s loaded with software that helps me with everything from accounts and scheduling to video conferencing – and, of course, that means I can create new content for my blog, YouTube channel, and subscription programs, which are the backbone of The Humble Penny.”
As people adapt to a “portfolio” way of working with a number of different sources of income, Okoroafor believes that more and more people will give serious thought to starting their own business – or companies – instead of a grueling office job.
“Turning my side business into my main job has been very inspiring for me,” Okoroafor said. “And I would like people to believe that they can do it too.”
Find out how HP helps professionals in their quest to “work from anywhere”.
This post was created by Insider Studios with HP.