The Seven Rules to Working From Home


This lot keeps me company at work

Some people work very effectively from home, while others are absolutely useless at it. I am fairly useless at it. You see, I am not averse to pushing back projects in lieu of spending time watching Ellen. My addiction to all things featuring caffeine sees me down at the café several times daily, where sometimes I will run into a mate and boom, there goes an hour. Wasted whining about whatever needs my attention.

I do not write checklists. I do not have a special computer program that tells me to when I need to invoice clients but I certainly will click over onto any email alerting me to a super sale that is currently on.

Instead of writing a post or researching an article, I will spend hours trawling the Internet planning a non-existent holiday to Thailand. I will actually go through all the motions, selecting my seats on the plane and upgrading myself, until it comes down to the part where you have to put your credit card details in.

A credit card that is maxed out.

Because I have not been invoicing anyone.

So seeing that I am suitably unsuitable to dish out advice on this particular topic, I feel that I should anyway. There are 7 popular rules to adhere to when working from home.

Rule 1: Have a dedicated space to work

This means a room. With a desk. And one of those wire contraptions with the seven hanging balls which sway back and forth on your desk so you can be taken seriously. Put up a thought provoking saying on the wall to inspire you. Do not work in bed under any circumstances. Unless it is really, really cold.

Rule 2: Define work hours

This will of course depend on the amount of work you have on. In my case it is certainly feasty and faminey and that is just in a 24-hour period. So I cannot really define them, but if I could choose them, it would be from 11am till 1pm, with an hour off for lunch.

Rule 3: Dress Up to Boost your Spirits

What a lot of rot. I have a special outfit that I work in. My winter uniform is a pair of grey tracksuit pants, a t-shirt, a pair of fluffy ugg boots and a camel coloured nasty cardi with a hole in the side. Summertime, particularly if it is super hot, undies, bra and a t-shirt. I keep a pair of shorts at the front door, should I have an unexpected caller.

Rule 4: Keep away from distractions

Never going to happen. I eagerly seek them out. I listen to Em Rusciano until 8.30am when I listen to Wendy Harmer and then I have discovered that I don’t HATE Chris Smith over on 2GB except I disagree with most of his views. Actually, all of them but at least he is a bit polite about them. I must call in soon. MYSOGENISTIC CULTURAL NORMS!

Rule 5: Communicate your work hours to your colleagues and boss

I work for myself so I do not have to worry about this, but when I used to have a boss, I would do the old “Send an email at 8.55pm” trick so that she thought I was putting in a big day. In the end she just concluded I was really very bad at my job.

Rule 6: Treat your lunch hour as you would when at work

Lunch hour is all day every day. I can spend up to 30 minutes looking in the fridge willing it to offer up something nommy.

Rule 7:  Stop work as planned

No problem there! The school run rings in the time to knock off. Anything not achieved can be put on the one meter wavering pile that will make up the next days tasks. The trick to the pile is to take from the bottom.

What do I miss about working in an office? I miss the politics of everything. I miss the gossip. I miss crying in the bosses office and watching him squirm in horror. I miss the receptionists and the cheery gals in customer service. I miss being able to use free stamps and envelopes for my personal use. I miss the plastic cup of warm cask wine that you were allowed to have when the Melbourne Cup was on. I miss walking past my immediate manager’s office and flipping her the double bird with so much vigour that I could have easily given myself an injury. I miss having someone who could come and fix my computer within minutes and I even miss the lift which always smelt of fart and Lynx.

And because I am curious, I have some questions for you!

What do you do?

Where do you work?