Ever thought about waking up and walking in to your office in 2 mins? The reality of working from home has hit home with thousands of people in the last few years and it's not always your choice. What are the benefits and also the pitfall of working in this way?
Some of us have to work at home; others see the idea as the perfect solution to a noisy office, endless interruptions, or a long and expensive commute. But if you are seriously thinking of leaving the office on a permanent basis, is it really time to work from home, or is it a case of the grass is always greener.
The relaxed and comfortable atmosphere generated by your home environment may sound good for morale but it is also a key reason for you to question your motives. Make sure you're not looking for an easy option, because this is not it. And make sure that your physical absence is not going to leave your business in serious trouble. Can you maintain the work/life distinction?
Working from home offers flexibility but it also requires self-discipline and organisation. Making a mental and physical distinction between your home and your working life is essential, both to resist distractions and to prevent work from wholly consuming your life.
Creating a dedicated working area is essential, while separate telephone lines for home and business could help you to maintain the boundary between 'work' and 'home' time.
Remember this is your work. Do you have a dedicated home office area where you can leave paperwork out overnight safe in the knowledge it will be there in the morning - without coffee stains or having been blown around when the front door opened.
Take the creation of your home office seriously. It needs to be comfortable, well-lit and properly equipped with computer, proper desk, filing and of course a suitable office chair. Working at the kitchen table is rarely conducive to an efficient frame of mind.
Also, one thing a lot of people forget is that you may need to revise your insurance policy to cover business equipment in the home.
It is one thing to be disciplined yourself, but you are also going to need the support of those around you. Does the household reappear at 3.30pm when school's out? If so then it's incredible difficult to take calls or be "unavailable" just when the children get home and want to see you.
Getting involved in the day to day running of the household is also one of the main bug bears for those that work at home. From the postman knocking to putting out the bins, or quickly washing up - constant interruptions will spoil your ability to be work focused.
As a practical tip, a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the office door can work wonders.
More and more people are now working from home and taking advantage of the extra time saved from the commute and the additional time you spend with your family. Whether you're in a large company who allow homeworking, or want to start a new business, it's easy to see the benefits, if you're someone that can handle the balance of home vs work life.
You may find the world of working from home a little overwhelming as there are so many opportunities available. You need to be sure that you are undertaken a task provided by a reputable firm or that the advice you’re receiving is the best around we have provided reviews of some of the UK's better work from home sites, be they offering business opportunities or jobs from home. There has never been a better time to work from home and start your own business and all the help and advice you need is only a few clicks away.