“From the perspective of a worker in an oxygen-deprived and boss-infected city-centre office, working from home can sound like paid retirement.” – telegraph.co.uk

The day your employer says ‘ok, you can work from home’, sounds like it must be a sweet day indeed, right? It actually is! BUT only if you’re pro enough to handle it, and only if you heed the wise and stay away from that tempting couch. If you’re not careful, by Friday you’ll be fighting deadline anxiety as you realise you’ve spent the entire week on youtube.

Working from home has become pretty normal these days – and a very short time ago it definitely wasn’t. It’s only going to get more and more standard to go to meetings via your computer, with optional pajamas below the waist. Who’s gonna know right?

And it’s not just a fashionable, google-y type thing to do either. Working from home makes heaps of sense for both your company and for you. The reason your grandad thinks the idea is so millenial? No computers in the dark ages. It’s quite hard to work remotely when the most advanced means of communication is a tube.

Here’s the top 5 pitfalls of working at home that you’ll wanna go ahead and not do:

  1. How do I concentrate when my flatmates/partner/parents get home?
    Unlike your office-bound colleagues, those that live with you aren’t going to have any problem bursting into your ‘office’ to tell you about the latest in their love lives/office dramas/feuds with nemeses. It’s easy to let boundaries between work and everything else slide, mainly because a decent chunk of ‘everything else’ is in the next room.
  2. ‘You know what? I should treat myself for once. I’m going to get up at 9.30’
    Danger! Next thing you know, you’ll be answering emails from your bed between naps, shamefully posting a fake breadcrumb trail on social media: ‘Feeling really productive today woop! #bringiton #lovetuesdays’
  3. You know what? I should treat myself for once. I’m going to work from the couch today. By ‘work’ I of course mean watch History Channel till 3pm then try to make it look like I’ve done something useful.’
  4. Concentration is impossible when the fridge is 15 paces away.
    Ah, the calling card of the true procrastinator, who can’t seem to get his head around the concept that nothing delicious is likely to have grown in the fridge since you last looked 10 minutes ago. Of course, the true procrastinator has a variety of life growing in his/her fridge, but don’t eat that.
  5. Oh my god drop everything. I need to wash my hair.
    Home also happens to be the place where there’s an absolute bounty of not-done chores that suddenly become incredibly urgent and appealing. The point is that distractions at home are manifold.

If though you can resist the urge to slack around in your undies, the benefits of working from home are many too. Here’s a few techniques:

  • Plan your day, and try to stick to a routine. If you just allow yourself to drift through the day, they tend to slip through your fingers. See: deadline anxiety.
  • Goals, goals, goals: make sure you have clearly daily and weekly targets.
  • Make time for actual humans: being at home by oneself can start driving one a bit, well.
  • Plan work, but also plan breaks. Try to mimic the routine you were in at work, at least while you’re getting used to a new one.
  • Padlock your fridge.  

 

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