Oct 23, 2023

Home Working Heroes

At YouFibre, we know that you can achieve anything you want with access to ultrafast, reliable broadband. To celebrate the launch of our 8000 Mbps package, and inspire you to do more, we’ve interviewed a series of successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople to find out how they’ve made their fortunes from the comfort of their own homes.

James Anderson, Director at Proserv, is a self-taught software developer who started his own business from home after working in operations at insurance brokers and software businesses. We sat down with him to find out more about his path to creating and running a successful business remotely.

  1. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do?

I am fundamentally self-taught in everything I do and have adopted a ‘learner for life’ mentality. I use AI, Automation and Analytics to help businesses harness modern technologies and boost their efficiency: maximising outputs while minimising inputs.

My role involves identifying unique challenges faced by various businesses and crafting bespoke solutions that align with their specific needs. I enable companies to streamline their operations, reduce waste, and enhance productivity. My approach is not just about implementing technology; it's about driving tangible growth and sustainability.

  1. How did you get to where you are today?

The position that set the trajectory for my career was working in an operational role for an Insurance Broker. My entire job was to generate MI reports throughout the day and disseminate them throughout the various departments within the business. I enjoyed working with data but disliked the repetitive nature of the work.

To cut a long story short, this sparked my interest in software development and I ended up automating my entire role. The owner saw the benefits of this and gave me free rein to identify and work on other projects to improve the business. I left that position to be an Operations Director in a start-up software company and following its acquisition I started Proserv to allow me to apply my skill set to multiple businesses.

  1. How has the ability to work from home benefited your career progression?

The biggest benefit of working from home is the ability to engage in deep work with minimal distractions. I don’t lose an hour of productivity a day that would have previously been spent commuting to and from an office and I get to choose the hours I work based on when I, personally, can maximise my outputs. I am also able to spend more time researching new technologies and learning how to apply them practically in a working business environment, constantly expanding my offering for my clients.

  1. How do you build relationships with your team whilst working remotely?

I catch up with my business partner every morning via Google Meet. We discuss what happened yesterday, what we need to achieve today and if there are any outstanding items we need to address. Throughout the day we will communicate on Google Chat for quick questions and answers. I think it’s important to make use of video conferencing when working remotely as it adds a human element to the conversations that a phone call or text-based conversation doesn’t. We are local to each other so we also get the added benefit of meeting up to talk business and life over a beer or two.

  1. What’s your advice for other people looking to build a career working remotely?

Focus on discipline and time management from the outset and, where you can, create a physical space in your home that is exclusively for work. Find a place that has minimal distractions and try to adopt a mindset that when you are in it, you are working. Don’t, for example, sit at a dining room table with the TV on. Working remotely requires you to build the mental agility to remain focused in order to be productive. I think many companies that offer hybrid or remote positions would benefit from providing training on this topic to their employees, but at present it is largely overlooked.

  1. What does your ideal working from home set-up look like?

I am lucky enough to have a home office that allows me to shut the door on distractions around the house and would honestly struggle to have it any other way. Being a tech nerd, multiple screens are a must for me especially when coding, there is nothing worse than having to constantly switch between tabs. Oh, and also, I’m looking into an adjustable standing desk - I’ve heard good things!

Check out more inspiring stories in our Home Working Heroes series.


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