While there are advantages – less time in traffic or crowded public transport and more time with loved ones – there can be pitfalls too.
A two-year study by Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom researched 250 Chinese travel agents who were given the opportunity to work from home. It found that while productivity soared due to fewer sick days, less time off and shorter breaks, and the attrition rate fell, about 50 per cent of workers reported feeling isolated and did not enjoy working from home full-time.
If you do decide to try working at home here are some tips for maximising your day:
Resist the urge to lounge the day away in your PJs. Pull on some pants, a skirt, whatever. It puts you in a more professional mindset and you’ll avoid embarrassment if there’s an unexpected conference call.
Try to stick to your normal routine
Of course there are distractions at home not found in the office – catching up on Game of Thrones before the new series, rearranging your T-shirt drawer – but matching your usual routine lets you clear the decks early and will make it easier to slip back into office mode when you return.
Upgrade your wifi
It’s time to make sure your wifi is the best it can be. It’s frustrating and unproductive to have to shuffle off to the library, local coffee shop or your techie mate’s house when the wifi crashes. If you deal with clients it looks unprofessional, and you can waste valuable time if you are up against deadlines.
Take a break every hour. In a standard office environment you get up to consult with colleagues, grab a coffee or go out for lunch. Keep moving at home as well. If you need motivation invest in a fitness tracker and find some exercise routines on YouTube.
Get out of the house
Return to the real world at least once a week even if it’s just for a coffee with friends, FaceTime with colleagues or dropping into the office. Chatting with the postie does not count.
Photo: Getty Images.