Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Working from home - tips on how to make it work

The Shortcuts Blog on the Guardian Newspaper website just published an article about tips on working from home on Tuesday.  This was partly in response to a new Yahoo CEO recently banning staff from working from home in an effort to keep productivity from slipping away (possibly in its pyjamas).  Which I think is a bit of a shame...

My Scrabble score is getting better every day...
The article outlines 5 golden rules to make working from home work for you, since there are a myriad of advantages - childcare, spending more time with family instead of traffic gridlock, and the expense (and stress) of commuting.

As someone who did the Reading-London commute for 2 years, and even and Oxford-London commute for three months last year, working from home eradicates a major source of stress from my life.  I used to leave the office in a great mood - but arrive home grumpy, hungry, and exhausted, dirty from London trains and probably having picked up a bug or two by being stuffed in with millions of other stinky angry office workers.  When I started commuting I noticed I got sick A LOT in the first year, picking up every sniffle and flu bug around.

But since last January (2012), give or take a few temporary positions here and there, I have been full time working from home, self employed with Coryographies and loving it.  There are drawbacks though - I quickly become sluggish and unproductive if I haven't been out of the house or haven't woken up at a reasonable hour.  It's easy to sit and play scrabble all morning and drink tea curled up with a blanket because it's cold.

I know not everyone's situation working from home is like this - they may be a part of a team in a busy office, and be expected to take phone calls/Skype chats from 8:00 in the morning and will have therefore brushed their hair and actually gotten dressed, not even checking their Facebook until 5.

I know I could be more productive working from home, and the article pointed out some good tips for doing so.  The first recommendation though, is something I can't really achieve from home - Make a Sacred Space.  I live in a tiny flat, where my jewellery supplies are stored underneath a chair covered in a throw in the living room.  I sit on this chair, and that is my office.  I don't have a desk unless I use the kitchen table, which is where I do my crafts, but I'm often actually found on the floor with my computer in my lap, back up against the radiator because it's warm.  My husband is a student and has his desk in here too - it's not much of a 'scared space' as much as it is 'the only space'.

Back to work in just a minute, I just
have to finish this level!
Another recommendation is to Go on a Digital Diet.  Don't go on the internet too much.  Now this sounds great, but my work consists of 30% making, 70% marketing/blogging/photo editing/social media-ing.  I'm constantly online as part of my job, and so it's hard to stop yourself from JUST spending 5 minutes on Pinterest and not an hour.  When does it stop being 'promotion' and start becoming time-wasting?

I agree with the recommendations made in the article though, and wish I could implement more of them.  I really should schedule my time better, and I really should have an amazing soundproof light flooded well stocked gorgeous craft room.  But baby steps...

Coincidentally, I'm starting another temporary office position tomorrow, since February marks the start of the slow portion of the year for jewellery sales.  Maybe a 9-5 will make me more productive and on schedule, so that I can return to working full time from home in the future and be refreshed and ready to follow these golden rules!


  1. I agree it's tough to monitor your "digital diet" without overindulging! I start out promoting and get sucked into my personal interests so easily. Hope the temporary job is going well. Good luck!

  2. Hey, I'm a new follower :)
    This was definitely the kind of post that I needed to read, since I have been off from school to write a project. I'm going to try and follow those rules as well, cause I most definitely need it!

    - Camilla

  3. I had a hard time working from home last year for six months that I opted to be employed again for 7 months. But then when demand picks up in the digital marketing/blogging biz that I have been building up since last year, I resigned from my work and now I am back to job for working from home.

  4. Get the Great Daily Boutique Deals 70% off delivered to your inbox daily. The best Daily Boutique Deals for you. Daily cheap Boutique Deals, DIY.