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?


  • Working from home means I NEVER LEAVE WORK! But here I am right now trying not to get distracted from writing about breastfeeding and YOU pop up in emails and away I click because that’s the joys of being one’s own boss… now I must away to see if the fridge as automatically grown some tasty fare for me to consume before I head to the P&C meeting, an afternoon tea at the kindy and then supermarket and then dinner #everyfuckingday xxx

  • Fiona Caroline Morris

    I work from home and am currently trawling the internert…hence why I am here. wearing trackies and a t-shirt and laying in bed. Might add I am eating maltesers which I sent my husband out to buy for me. Personally I feel I am winning at life right now haha

  • Bee

    Ideal work hours you have Mrs W.

  • Erika

    I do server support, but because of health issues (specifically ME/CFS), I do it from home with remote access to my work desktop. I’m pretty disciplined about it and the boss is happy. The dogs think that this is the correct world order, and for me, it means the difference between being able to work or not. So, definitely love it.

  • mummamoo

    I’m a farmer, so work is non stop. If the weather is bad, I’m in the office. If its lovely, I’m outside. Sometimes those two are reversed, and I’m working in pissing rain or stuck inside while its sunny! Bonus is the flexibility, so I can manage school stuff, P&C, junior AFL, agriculture field days/ learning days without needing “time off”.

  • I work full time from home, and by that I mean between 10-2pm I faff about making cookies and binge watching Netflix, before doing the school run, throwing sandwiches at the kids for dinner and rushing to meet deadlines I knew about weeks ago. Besides the change in location and sudden Nigel no friends aura, it’s not much different to my old jobs!

  • Since being ‘medically retired’ – AKA lost my job due to illness – I’ve freelanced from home. In all honesty, it suits me much better than regular office hours, so my RA did me a favour. Although, I’d love MORE work. Such is the financial climate that the bottom’s fallen out of the arts – I used to do oodles of arts writing, for journals, galleries, artists – LOVED that. But there just isn’t funding for writers any more. So most of the writing I’m doing is pretty basic web copy and marketing text for businesses – pays a few bills, but is pretty tedious. It comes and goes too, so I don’t have regular hours, although I’m trying hard to get a routine going so I do more of my own writing – like keeping my blog posts regular…
    The one real challenge I have is that Dragon Dad also works from home – and he’s not always very good about remembering that, like him, I need to concentrate when I am working, so constantly interrupting isn’t helpful. And since we moved to a smaller house, my office is a corner of the living room, which isn’t ideal.. This too shall pass, I guess.

  • So much benefits from working at home.

    • Rohin Grover

      how are you going to support me to work from home – i need real life support – 2 legs 2 hands real life support and real life interaction – online so called support does not help but only confuses – [email protected] / noida near New Delhi india

  • I’m a teacher so my hours are very set from 9 – 3.30… but of course no teacher ever finishes when the bell rings, so I get into work around 8ish and stay after the bell till about 5 ish, before dashing to the shops to pick up what ever we need, and getting home a little before 6. After the whole dinner/bath/bed thing with the kids, I’m back to work, sometimes in front of the tv, but mostly not. Weekends I try to ignore anything non urgent (but of course it is all urgent). I love being in the classroom. I hate the enormous amounts of paper work that have come into teaching, and the constant having to justify what you’re doing. I know so many teachers who are burning out due to the stress and overwork… maybe I need to find a work at home job… you make it sound very appealing 😉

  • Dianne Childs

    Hahaaa, love this! Also don’t know why I haven’t thought of the emergency pair of shorts by the front door trick? Some days I’m lucky to get a bra on by the time the courier visits, meaning I’m forced to hold my boobs up (whilst wearing a t-shirt mind you) while signing for my parcel. LOL.

    Di from Max The Unicorn

  • Keeping the shorts by the door in case of visitors. I love it. That’s me. Although these days I also have to pop a tooth on a denture in as well.

  • Rohin Grover

    real world life support incl 2 legs 2 hands- does online so called support help? not yet for me [email protected] / noida is near new delhi india

  • Jenny Martin

    I love this post. I have just started a Digital Genre writing course at University as one my subjects and our first task is to comment on someone’s blog… oh the joy the sheer joy of finding yours. I love your writing style and sense of humour, pretty much how mine is. I have a mix of study at uni and study at home and your thoughts on working from home ring soooooo true:)

  • Hilarious…..I too try to work from home but I am also a Customer Service Supervisor at a national supermarket (Check out chick at Woolies) I am hopelessly disorganised when it comes to working at home and cannot work properly unless my desk is tidy which it never is! I can watch hours of Nine Life instead of writing something!

  • merilyn

    I like your style mrs woog!
    pretty daggy around here too! especially when i’m painting! I’ve got a mess from woe to go!
    I hate schedules and lists and i’m so abstract and nebulous it’s the way I create!
    I don’t have to answer to anyone and deadlines make me physically sick!
    by some miraculous force I still manage to pull my work off and into order
    and sell some paintings!!! it’s beyond me! maybe it’s the universe in control hun!
    I stand back and think did I do that???
    I love working at home! … it’s different when one’s livelihood depends on it!
    much love m:)X

  • Ha! I work 3 days in a city office and one day from home. I actually very a lot more done on my day at home because nobody stops to chat to me! I also don’t lose 2.5 hours to the return commute…

  • Kate

    I work from home 2 days a week and in the office for the other 3. I love it and my work from home days are usually my most productive days. I have to allow for 10 minutes of Mr 4 going to work with me and helping me with my work each morning, but once we have typed his name and written a few post it notes, he rejoins his little bro and mummy and I am generally full steam into it. Most of the time I work in my PJs if I don’t need to leave the house. I have a functional office set up to meet our company requirements and I barely come out of it when I am working.

    I also try to discourage others from booking meetings with me on the days I am working from home. It really does allow me to get so much more work done and so much of that is work that would probably never get done if I was in the office 5 days.

    I don’t tend to listen to music or podcasts while I am working as I get distracted with my work and end up tuning it out and have to re-listen to it.