Work From Home Tips

The pandemic has meant many more of us are now working from home rather than in an office.  I was based in an office for nearly 40 years until I kind-of-retired. Despite being a semi lady of leisure I also took on quite a  bit of freelance work so let me pass on some words of wisdom about working from home.

I read all the advice about getting up, dressing for work, having a dedicated work space, creating a timetable, taking set breaks etc etc. All that is far as it goes.

Here are the tips those articles never included.

Tip One: Never, ever tell your family and friends you are working from home. They are convinced that you roll out of bed when you feel like it, make coffee, gather snacks and switch on the computer with a box set playing on TV while still in your pyjamas. They will visit when they feel like it, phone you at all hours of the day and write you emails that require an instant response. 

Tip Two: If you are caught out, LIE THROUGH YOUR TEETH. If a friend turns up on your doorstep hoping for coffee and cake say, "What a shame. I'm off out the door for a meeting, and I'm already running late." 

Tip Three: It may seem cruel but isolate your pets, otherwise you will be trying to type a 1,000 word article with a cat lying across your keyboard or sitting on your head.  Or your dog will be continually begging for food or shaking a lead in your face every two minutes because he wants to go for a walk.

Tip Four: Lock all your snacks in a box and give the key to your spouse/partner/neighbour,  otherwise you will be nibbling on crisps, peanuts, cakes and biscuits all day long and will end up so fat they will have to winch you out of your bedroom in a crane when you die.

Tip Five: Try to get outdoors at least once a day. If you are confined to your house 24/7 you are in danger of ending up with a complexion as pasty as a zombie and will have to shield your eyes from the light when you finally make it across the threshold. 

Tip Six: Resist the temptation to do two things at once. You may think it is possible to do the ironing with one hand while simultaneously jotting down ideas with the other. Take it from one who knows, it isn’t. Things get burnt

Tip Seven: Never take any notice of those work from home tip lists - apart from this one, of course! I read an article that advised having the History Channel on low volume while you worked, especially if you were used to working in an office surrounded by the chatter of other people. I tried it and found myself suddenly fascinated by the sex lives of Victorians and consequently got no work done for an hour.

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  1. Fun list of tips. i had a business in my home for 10 years and for me there was a miss-perception about people who work from home...from the customers who came more than my friends who'd think that hours posted were just a suggestion.

  2. I hear you about getting out. There's something about being stuck in your house for days. Just a walk around the block clears out the cobwebs.

    As for noise, I don't work well with noise, so I would totally get drawn in to a TV program. I don't even do music.

    But, I'm not working from home. I get to go into a classroom and be with kiddos all day. Sigh.

  3. I'm glad I never had the kind of job that could be done from home, I know nothing would have got done and I'd have been fired within a week.

  4. I'm retired so can't comment on the above! However I just wanted to say how much I will miss your page in Devon Life. You always make me laugh and I used to look forward to reading it. I shall continue to laugh here instead!

  5. I do some freelance writing/editing from home, and I do it in a dedicated office room. The worst distraction I ever faced was from a siding crew next door which played heavy metal music at top volume for three days straight. I was on a deadline, the job was big and incredibly important, and even with the windows closed, I could hear every lyric clearly. Horrid.