The average person spends about 15,000 hours commuting between home and office during their lifetime! As a consequence, over 7% (2 million) of the working population are estimated to work from home at least one day a week, thereby reducing wasted time, stress, and fuel consumption.
The universal use of laptops, email and mobile phones has made home an obvious alternative to the daily grind and can even be therapeutic enough to increase productivity. But there are some guidelines that are worth considering if you are to make the most of such a new regime:
- Set aside a dedicated space so that you do not feel you are temporarily invading your private residence.
- Discipline can be a problem. Some people take advantage and abuse their “freedom” whilst others feel they are not “working “ if they are at home and compensate by overworking.
- Don’t let your work encroach on your family time. Separate work time from leisure time. Stick to set office hours and let the answerphone and email pick up messages out of hours.
- Keep your workspace tidy. By picking the right equipment and furniture, including cable-free connections, you can free up large amounts of space.
- Manage time effectively. Schedule and prioritise tasks – don’t let emails and post take over half the day. Allocate time slots to do certain things and set reminders on your PC if necessary.
- Check your home insurance policy to ensure you are adequately covered for business items and company property whilst in you home – from theft to sticky fingers!
- Ask an accountant to confirm which of your home expenses can be offset against tax.
So when you next think about moving, don’t forget to consider the possibility of working from home at some stage. That extra room could be invaluable!
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer