Working from home

So your boss trusts you enough to work from home, do they? There’s more to working from home than logging in and logging out from the comfort of your bedroom, so first work out if you can handle it.

boy working from home

Your bedroom...and your office

Should I work from home?

Before you embrace a working life in pyjama bottoms ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you honestly, hand on heart, tell us you won’t masturbate at least 12 times a day? And if you do, can you get all your work done in between?
  • Do you have a tendency to twitch and get into desperate in-depth conversations with telesales workers if you don’t have enough social interaction?
  • Does daytime television excite you?
  • Do you like to repeatedly open the fridge and check for nice food you may have forgotten about? Just in case you missed it five minutes ago?

Working from home sounds fab, but you do need to actually work. So, if you can identify with any of the above, it may be worth dragging your sorry butt into the office.

Working from home tips

If you think you can just about manage it, here are some tips for maximum homeworking productivity.

Create an office-y environment

Set up a desk and chair for your laptop or computer. Not only is this good for your posture, but whoever achieved anything noteworthy whilst lying on their stomach? Getting dressed could help you get into ‘business-mind’, too.

Try the pomodoro method to help you concentrate

Staring at your screen endlessly can lead to daydreams and internet shopping. Try downloading a pomodoro calculator onto your computer, which splits your time into nuggets for maximum efficiency. The aim is to work in 25 minute chunks before having a rest for five minutes. Give it a bash; it’s surprising how easy it is to concentrate when you know it’s only for 25 minutes.

Incorporate some kind of socialising

We are human. We need to interact with other humans to stay sane. If you work at home a lot, try and incorporate this into your daily routine. Whether it’s meeting a mate for lunch, or just offloading online with your Twitter pals, try. Gollum didn’t try, and look at the state of him.

Ban the internet in bursts

Ahh, the freedom of having a computer screen hidden from nosy colleagues. But with freedom comes responsibility… or something. If you’re tweeting/poking/justifying your pointless existence constantly through social networking your boss is soon going to catch on and pull you back into the office. Download software like Freedom, which blocks you from the internet for set amounts of time.

Can I ask my boss if I can work from home?

This depends a lot on what you do for a living. If you’re a shop assistant or heart surgeon, you kinda need to be there. But if all you need to work is a computer, phone and internet connection, it may be worth asking them.

If you’ve got children, you’re entitled to ask your employer for flexible working – though they don’t have to say yes.

The best thing to do is look around your office. Do other people work from home? Could you do your job as effectively, if not more so? Build a case to bring to your boss, but remember they’re not obliged to agree with you.

Next Steps

  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By Holly Bourne

Updated on 29-Sep-2015