So, you want to work at home?

Pitfalls & perils of homeworking

The opportunity to work at home can be attractive; no commute, an extra hour’s sleep and a better work/life balance. Sounds perfect but what are the pitfalls?

Let’s start with the basics, your own motivation. Are you really self disciplined enough to work productively on your own and surrounded by distractions? The absence of having others around you may be enough to start you daydreaming and then there’s the added distractions of homelife such as the contents of the fridge, housework, and online shopping to name just a few. The distractions don’t stop there and are easily compounded by noisy neighbours, family interupptions and the inevitable knock on the front door.

So if you think you have what it takes mentally then what about the physical? Ideally you’ll need a quiet space like a study or spare room, a desk and ergonomic chair to maintain good posture, good lighting and also  access to natural light. Laying on the sofa or perched at the dining table all day will soon send you to the osteopath with a bad back.

Now that you’re sitting comfortably, have you got technical capabilities, like fast, reliable internet, a printer, a scanner and what happens if your broadband connections can’t cope with video calls or your IT starts to play up?

There are operational considerations too. Additional heating, lighting and even coffee costs, household insurance policies should be reviewed and perhaps upgraded and the mortgage company or landlord should be informed and covenants checked for restrictions on home working. Be mindful too that business rates could apply for a space that has sole use as an office, even a spare room.

For freelancers and contractors that just about covers it, but as an employee your employer still has a duty of care and it’s their responsiility to check the suitability of your workspace and even arrange home visits for health and safety assessments, electrical equipment testing and one to one meetings.

So working at home isn’t quite as simple as getting up later!

Using a nearby NearDesk location instead gives a clear separation between home and work, free of home distractions, provides the right working environment alongside like minded people who can help when your IT plays up or you just need inspiration, and for a small hourly charge avoids all the oncosts of working at home.

Now that sounds perfect… ..

The Quality of Working Life

CMI’s research on The Quality of Working life has just been published. Its findings show a strong correlation between longer working hours, high connectivity, a difficulty  in ‘switching off’ and stress levels. It concludes that empowering people to work how they want, not be held accountable by digital presenteeism and improving health and wellbeing by removing a long hours culture will all help to reduce stress and improve life quality.


What we’re reading: the latest on flexible working

A quick round up:


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What we’re reading: the latest on flexible working

a quick round up:

  • An article in explores why working at home can be bad for you .. stating the blurring of lines between work & home makes it harder to shut work off, often resulting in longer hours plus increased stress levels, and how a clear separation strategy can be vital. Work close to home we say!
  • Jason Downes, Powwownow’s  Managing Director tells how flexible work can benefit business through lower absenteeism, greater productivity and improved company culture.