Working from home

I’m lucky. At least I think I am.

I work four days a week but my company are really flexible so working from home a day or two a week is never a problem. I was asked to contribute to a new Workplace ebook  by Furniture at Work, to talk about my experience of working from home and it made me think about what makes it work for me.

Now in theory working from home is brilliant. I can get up, get my son ready, get him to school and be at my ‘desk’ by 9.15 without worrying about battling traffic and wearing appropriate clothing. To be fair I have been known to work from home and never change out of my pajamas!

Working from home has revolutionised work for many of us. Giving more of a work life balance but the truth is, there are a few must dos before you can really get into the groove.

My must dos for a happy working from home day:

  • Make sure you have somewhere away from the washing and dirty dishes. It doesn’t have to be massive. Mine’s a space at the dining table with my back to the kitchen and no access to television!
  • Leading in from the space, make sure you have a comfortable chair. At work I have a specialist chair for my bad back. Yet when I first began working from home I thought a wooden dining chair was fine. It wasn’t!  Investing in a decent chair was such a godsend and means I can sit in comfort. I don’t use the chair any other time so sitting in it makes me feel like I’m ready for work
  • Set yourself times. No point getting side tracked by washing or tidying. Give yourself an hour for lunch and if you need to do a couple of jobs do them then.
  • Don’t let people make you feel guilty. For some people working from home doesn’t work and they think we spend our time watching Homes Under the Hammer. Truth is I probably do as much if not more because I’m not distracted by office banter, canteens and coffee breaks!
  • Along the same theme, don’t apologise for your choices. If it works for you then be strong and make it clear when you’re working from home. Cultures, particularly corporate culture needs to change to embrace changing working patterns and we can do our bit by working from home with our heads held high!

Working from home has given me a freedom to continue enjoying work while feeling I’m giving my best to my family as well. I’m currently pregnant and sometimes I just can’t face the fight to get to the office so knowing I can contribute as well while at home is hugely important. It’s given me balance and will hopefully show my children that work doesn’t have to mean sitting in an office eight hours a day.