Working from home can be a low place at times. It's essential for many staff, particularly these days for many working for software houses and also increasingly for people working as managers in social housing. I know you can get a lot done at home, mostly more than you can after wasting 40 minutes driving into the office. Sometimes I forget to take my lunch. Its nearly 3pm until I grab a sandwich or raid the fridge. Personally, I thrive on it, Skype and Cuppa Soups a proper life-saver.
One of the dangers of working from home is you can easily be regarded as the house chore master. You are in all day, so can you tackle a lot of the jobs in your spare time, or so our partners think. I have been asked to 'nip down to Homebase' on more than one occasion. Of course I refused and said 'hey I am at work here'. Just because you are in the house longer than usual in the daytime, that cannot make you the dogsbody for chores, if it gets in the way of the work you are trying to get done. If it gets really bad, go into the office if you can.
A great thing about going to work in a traditional environment, is there is usually a set 'uniform' to wear and that delineates work from non-work. At home that is far more difficult. At home it's good to have a particular room or place to work, that becomes a surrogate office. When you are there, or you have your Skype headset on, you are working. Your working space should be sacred, a little shrine. Get some tee-lights, LED ones or a jostick or two for it, to balance your chakras, if you like.
Structuring the day works for me. Up by 8am, shower and probably replying to emails by 8:45. I am more likely to be in plain clothes by 8:45 than in the PJ's, as I am sure it puts me in a productive frame of mind. If weather permits, I might take a lunchtime cycle to break up the afternoon. That burst of exercise and fresh air works a treat for my motivation and clears my mind. After that, its easier to find new solutions to the problems I am trying to solve. If you don't cycle, others have suggested walking a dog can work just as well.
I often have meetings close to home, I am lucky to have a few great places on my doorstep. As many of my readers will know, I am away from home a fair bit. In many ways I cannot win if I am at home too much, or maybe away too much. Perhaps you cannot really win with your partner on that one, so don't beat yourself up too much about it. If I am at home or away, I am actually working, so paying the bills etc, it's not a holiday in Jacuzzis in luxury hotels, more likely overnight in a PrenmierInn, with WiFi.
Sometimes I find myself still immersed in work into the evening or at the weekend. Deadlines are deadlines and if it needs to be done, I will be still doing it. Your family need to understand sometimes this will happen and they will need to accommodate you.
You can get quite low and isolationist at home, that's sometimes a downside. Try to get out occasionally and I promise you, working from home will be an easier gig.
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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