In a recent survey conducted by Reed Commercial of more than 400 home workers, two-thirds of the respondents were female. When asked what advice they would give to those interested in working from home, the responses were overwhelmingly positive, with a cautious undercurrent.
More than half of the female respondents said it is important to be disciplined when working from home, and one-third recommended those interested in working from home to “just do it”.
The female respondents identified a range of ways to maintain discipline. The first is to have a clear routine. You need to get dressed every morning and maintain a professional demeanour, as you would in a regular office environment. One respondent said: “Two things I do every day – I get up at the same time as I did when working from an office and get dressed. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can procrastinate.”
Your office environment is also important to maintain productivity. Many of the respondents advising discipline recommended keeping a clear distinction between your work and home life. This can be achieved by having a separate office space and making it very clear to friends and family that, just because you are at home, you are not available to run errands or have a quick cup of tea. Home workers should also set clear office hours so others are aware when you are in the office, and also to maintain work/life separation.
Financial disciplines is also recommended by the female respondents and many suggested hiring in business services such as an accountant to help balance the books and advise on the nuances of running a business. A handful of respondents also recommended thorough research to analyse whether your business idea is a viable option and building up a chunk of savings to see you through those difficult first few days, if you are setting up a business.
A minority of just 10 per cent identified loneliness as a downside to homeworking and recommended others to network and organise events where they can get out of the house and meet other people. One respondent said: “Make sure you have planned social activities otherwise it can get lonely.”
While discipline and a positive attitude were common themes within the answers given, the respondents also identified one key benefit of home working – flexibility. The ability to choose your working hours, ditch the daily commute and make your work fit around your family commitments (as oppose to the other way around) were identified by respondents as real positives to the home working experience, according to the OnePoll survey conducted by Reed Commercial, which surveyed 400 UK adults who usually work from home.