9,335th day of working from home

Zarywacz | communications to attract attention in print, online or at events | copywriter | journalist | proofreader |

Zarywacz started on or near 1 September 1994 after Robert Zarywacz resigned from his corporate role on 31st August. He has been working from home ever since, joined several years later by brother, Simon. Now they work remotely from Ilfracombe and Wilton respectively, and have worked for clients across the UK and internationally. Robert describes the development of home working over 26 years.

Home businesses are serious businesses

In 1994 it was unusual to run a creative business from home. There was still very much a view that a professional business needed an office with all the associated infrastructure . . . and costly overheads.

I’d been working in, what I considered to be, a sick building on a business park for a company whose management I no longer respected. I’d already purchased an Apple Mac and inkjet printer, and had started doing some freelance work, and so I decided to make the leap.

Equipped for business

The first thing I did was to buy a laser printer so everything I produced looked crisp and professional. It amazed me that years later many businesses still used poor quality inkjet printers. Then most clients would still receive printed drafts and proofs, even if they were faxed, so presentation was paramount.

I also produced the DL leaflet above, printed by a photocopying specialist I had previously used as a supplier. Colour was still expensive in those days, but the high quality black and white copies demonstrated that we were professional.

One Saturday, my wife and I were just about to leave to visit an Apple exhibition in London when a tax refund from my PAYE salary landed on the doormat. We were going to the exhibition because I wanted my wife to understand why I needed to spend money purchasing various equipment. The rebate enabled me to buy a good scanner that day and lug it home on the train.

Comfort for productivity

I preferred working at home from the start. I found I was far more productive. The company where I had worked had cut staff and those of us who were office based spent lots of our time sorting out the problems of those who were on the road. When copywriting and creating publications, I needed peace so I could concentrate, and at home I found I could achieve so much more.

At first, I worked in our spare bedroom, but soon realised I needed to redecorate and buy a large desk, which I still work from. I have a messy desk and use all the space on it.

In those days I had separate business phone and fax lines, although the fax has long gone. As use of the internet developed, I had a dedicated line-of-sight wireless internet connection installed. Use of email increased and use of couriers to collect and deliver artwork stopped.

Flexible and healthy

The main downside of working from home was that I didn’t go outside much. I wasn’t much of an outdoors person then and in the winter I could stay inside our front door for two or three days at a time. The remedy was to expand the business by recruiting a dog. Our first cocker spaniel, Felix, transformed me into an outdoors person overnight. I lost half a stone in weeks and developed a teenager’s appetite. Felix is sadly now long gone, although still remembered fondly, and sprocket Barley now looks after my mental and physical health.

The joys of working from home mean that we can walk on the beach early in the morning or the afternoon then work throughout the day or evening. This ensures I get enough vitamin D in the winter when we walk in the day and work at night.

Create your own lifestyle

Over 25 years on, it’s weird to see people talking about the challenges of working from home. My view is that people either like or loathe it. For me, it is the ideal way of working and enables me to live how I want. I can see it will not suit everyone or every job role. However, I believe many people can take the opportunity to remodel their lives for their own benefit by working from home.

Zarywacz | | copywriter journalist editor proofreader

The first 25 years of Zarywacz

Where did that go?

What? 25 years in business.

It’s hard to believe that Robert Zarywacz set out to provide copywriting services way, way back in 1994 . . . before the internet, social media and mobile phones embedded themselves in many people’s lives.

Simon Zarywacz joined in 1997 and together as the two Zed brothers, we have written, edited, proofread and published millions of words in print and online for clients ranging from small businesses to universities, magazines and international corporations.

Robert’s very first freelance work was as a proofreader at Safeway Stores’ head office in Hayes, leaving his corporate job on a Friday afternoon and starting work for this first Zarywacz client first thing the following Monday morning.

Our relationship with Safeway continued for 10 years until the company disappeared after being taken over, although we build long relationships with most of our clients, who know they can depend on us.

Thank you

We’d like to thank all our clients, both past and present, as well as all our suppliers and connections, not only for your custom but also for the many friends we have made.

The business world is very different from what is was in 1994 and while technology is a much bigger driver now, we believe that what’s most important in business remains the human touch.

We continue to be approachable and accessible, always happy to discuss a piece of work or project and to offer our professional advice on what we think is the best way to achieve your business objectives.

Zarywacz to exhibit at BBxpo

Zarywacz will be exhibiting at the BBxpo exhibition on Thursday 24 October 2019.

BBxpo is developing into the largest business-to-business event in North Devon and is co-organised by Robert Zarywacz.

For full details of exhibitors, presentations and the free networking buffet, visit

To register for free places at BBxpo, visit

See you at OPEN FOR BUSINESS on Friday 2 March

OPEN FOR BUSINESS | COMBEbusiness Ilfracombe Devon

We are delighted to be active in organising this year’s OPEN FOR BUSINESS event for COMBEbusiness in Ilfracombe, Devon on Friday 2 March.

Support from the local and wider Devon business community for this year’s event has been fantastic and we hope everyone gets tremendous value from this year’s event.

Robert Zarywacz has been busy:

  • selling stand space
  • organising the speaker programme
  • preparing and managing production of the printed event guide
  • publicising the event in press releases and social media

He’ll be busy helping to keep the event running smoothly on the day and pleased to speak to as many people as possible.

If you need support with your business communications or organising events, please say hello.

You can register for your free place(s), including free lunchtime networking buffet at

Robert Zarywacz presents award

Robert Zarywacz presents Pluss Employer of the Year Award

Robert Zarywacz was delighted to be invited by Pluss, which supports people with disabilities into employment, to present its Employer of the Year Award in his capacity as Business Editor of the North Devon Journal. Robert is pictured (right) presenting the award to winner Ryan Brend of Brend Hotels with Marise Mackie, cluster manager at Pluss.


Judging 2016 newspaper business awards

Robert Zarywacz is delighted to be one of the six judges in the 2016 North Devon Journal Business Awards.

A veteran of these awards, Robert is particularly pleased that one award category – Made in North Devon – was created as a result of his suggestion for a Made in North Devon campaign to raise awareness of all the manufacturing and innovation that take place in the area.

Organiser of OPEN FOR BUSINESS 2016


We are very pleased to be one of the sponsors and organisers of OPEN FOR BUSINESS 2016, the business conference and exhibition hosted by COMBEbusiness for the Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe business community on Friday 4 March 2016 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Along with co-organisers Flint Hosts and Hashtag, we are arranging the business exhibition and organising the programme of speakers for the day-long conference.

The event is free for business visitors from North Devon and beyond and businesses can book exhibition space now at

We look forward to a successful event and hope to see you there as an exhibitor or visitor.


Let’s get out of our heads

Lately I seem to have spent too much time in business meetings and on committees, discussing and making plans.

Now planning can be valuable – it helps us identify what we want to and can achieve, recognise our limitations and spot possible risks and how to deal with them – but it can also be a powerful excuse for putting off action:

“We can’t do that until X does this, Y does that and Z has been completed.”

Planning takes place inside our heads, a comfortable environment where we control the results: A leads to B, which leads to our goal of C. Once we take a plan out of our heads and put it into the real world, F, G, H and Q can intervene, some of them completely unexpected.

It’s much safer to run a plan in our heads than risk it all going wrong when put into action, but this means we won’t achieve our objectives.

I’ve never been happy just to sit on committees as I like to see action. So that’s my focus at the moment: getting plans out of my head and into the real world to achieve what I want and maybe encounter adventures along the way.

How about you?

Posted via email from z2zine

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