View Full Version : Working from home

21-07-2009, 06:11 PM
Hi Everyone

Havent written anything on the forum for a bit so thought id start a thread .

Dont know how many of you work from home but the probabillity is that nearly everyone on this forum is working from home and more than likely we all have the same problem of being focused whether it be something on telly or something else going on in your house or even family getting in your way.

So what i thought i would ask is what does everybody do to stay focused on their work ? also does anybody have any tips on how to set up your home office. I know there has been plenty of threads about this but feel it would be better if we had a more reccent one .

Look forward to seeing some of the advice and tips

21-07-2009, 06:51 PM
I guess it'll depend on whether the person's income is gained through passionate work or drudgery just to pay the bills.

22-07-2009, 08:48 AM
I understand where your coming from, had the same problem myself in the past. If possible it is best to use a room in your house as a dedicated office/work space and no TV in there unless you need it for work. I know not everyone has a spare room, so even if you can section a bit of a room off for a workstation works well.

Another tip for people struggling to focus at home (this might sound stupid) is to dress for work, as you would if you worked in a office for someone else. Working at home in your underwear or "house clothes" takes you away from business, if your dressed smart and in business clothing then this will help get you into the focused mindset that your at work and in business.


22-07-2009, 09:27 AM
That's actually a really good idea LionMoto :) I do a fair bit of working from home and have taken the drastic step of just doing away with a TV altogether. I'm such a fantastic procrastinator and so easily distracted that this was the only way I could really get anything done. It saves a good chunk of money as well and with things like iPlayer you can still catch the programs you really don't want to miss.

I also start my day with a bit of routine, forcing myself to get up at a decent hour and allowing myself a good half hour or so before getting down to work to do some email checking or reading up on news, etc.

In terms of other household distractions, like family, phonecalls etc. I get around this by either putting on headphones (listening to lyric-less music because the lyrics distract me :)), turning off the cell phone and finding an empty room in the house where I can hide away for a while with the laptop. I've still not figured out how to keep from getting dristracted by Wikipedia though. I find that I can often start by looking up something like doodlebugs and keep getting distracted by link after link until I'm researching the wind patterns in australia for no reason whatsoever :)

22-07-2009, 10:03 AM
Personally I have no troubles, I enjoy what I do and to be honest I work alot harder for myself than I ever did for someone else. I find it easy to focus when it's your responsibility.

No stop posting and start working ;)


22-07-2009, 10:04 AM
I know people that sit around in their pyjamas all day and still do a decent days work, whilst others need to have a 'proper' start to the day and get dressed in shirt and tie in order to get anything done.

I guess it all depends on what works for the person, the line of work you are in and whether you will be meeting clients (which may require a certain appearance) - but having worked from home myself in the past I'd say that it is important to have a seperate room or 'office' area devoted to work without too many distractions like TV.

For info, the following piece was in the Chartered Management Institute's 'Professional Management' magazine this month;

"More than 3.5m people work from home, according to research published by the TUC, which says there are cost and productivity benefits to be gained by organisations in adopting a more flexible approach to working in these times - helping to save on office rent, energy and transport costs".

Home working is one of the smarter working practices being promoted through the Work Wise UK campaign (www.workwiseuk.org)

Kaizen Print
22-07-2009, 10:12 AM
On a related note. Do you use a virtual address for your business or your home address

22-07-2009, 10:29 AM
Up to you really. Depends how much business correspondence you are expecting and whether you really need to make your address public, or could get away with something like;

Shell LiveWIRE
0191 423 6229

If you really don't want to publish your home address, you could explore the option of having a PO Box which the Royal Mail are currently offering from 62.85 for 12 months (http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/content3?mediaId=600006&catId=400040)

22-07-2009, 10:35 AM
I don't have any particular problems with motivation or distractions, I actually quite enjoy coming to work 95% of the time.

The way to avoid tv as a distraction is to have a rule that under no circumstances is it ever put on during the day - there is just too much of a risk of getting lured into a lengthy programme if you put it on. When I want a break I simply go out and sit in the garden with a drink and perhaps read a few pages of a magazine before going back to work. Or sometimes to get an eye break I go and put some washing on and do some small chore like that.

I tend to avoid reading Heat, it's too addictive and before I know it I've read the whole magazine and a full hour has passed.

Making your working environment pleasant will also help you to want to stay put. I pretty much stay chained to my office all day. I do believe that yes a dedicated space is pretty important to establishing a good commitment to daily working.

I don't dress for work all the time, it doesn't make any difference to my motivation levels to be honest personally.


22-07-2009, 10:48 AM
On the downside, working from home can be quite lonely if you never get to meet or interact with anyone (except your pet cat / dog / goldfish). You also need to check that your insurance policy covers you for having a home office. Also, try to have a proper system in place for backing up your data and protecting your PC / laptop against viruses...

BT have produced a useful little guide to working from home. Obviously a marketing ploy for them as you need to register your details to download, but you can opt-out of emails and it's worth a read.

http://www.insight.bt.com/guides/Home-working/?s_cid=btb_ppc_zed_google_startups_Flexible_workin g_Home_working_Exact_working_from_home

22-07-2009, 12:04 PM
Well Im writing this message from my bed, propped up in bed under the covers with my laptop on my knee, landline and mobile next to me, my diary and a lovely cup of tea and toast :-)

Have had quite a productive day, Ive spoken to the local papers about the playscheme, done all my emailing, typed up booking forms and consent forms for the playscheme which are ready to print, answered 4 telephone enquiries for the playscheme and taken address to send out booking forms, paid 3 invoices on my internet banking, approved 2 new dress designs for the Miss Fit Christmas collection sent to me by email and booked my train tickets for London on Thursday :-)

If Id been to work in an office today I would have had to get up at 7am to achieve this much, spend an hour getting dressed, drop my child off at a childcare facility, get to the office, turn on computer.... as it is, I didnt get up til 10am and Ive finished most of my jobs already and thats why I love working from home. My son is downstairs watching Nick Jr with his breakfast in his pyjamas and playing with his toys, he's happy to be at home too.

I do have a habit of procrastinating, especially come 12.30 when Loose Women comes on, but if its something important like disptaching a customers order that they've paid for, then I prioritise that and do it first. For me its about knowing what you absolutely must get done right away, and what can wait til later - for example I need to track my last parcel to China but it can wait til later, they're 8 hours ahead and the office will be shut now anyway, so might as well do it later :-)

Kaizen Print
22-07-2009, 12:22 PM
I could have sworn I posted on here!

My goal would be to work remotely from the Bahamas

-Skype taking all calls to the company number via my lappie/iphone
- Processing all online orders
- Communicating with clients on proofs via email
- Couriers collecting print from source & directly delivering to customers.

Actually, what am I doing here?

22-07-2009, 01:49 PM
With my company its part of our job to keep up with whats going on on telly e.t.c. Gotta say there is one great thing about working from home and that is the fact your saving tons of money on travel and using your time more productivly instead of getting up at 7am to make an hour long commute into london you can wake up at 9am turn your computer on and effectively you are at work.

Although i do agree that it does sometimes get lonely working by yourself at home maybe everyone could set up shell livewire meetings in their local area, when i first started using the forum in 2006 there was tons of them. maybe everyone get together at midday or something for a luch break.

Talking about using home address over a professional one i tend to have on my business cards , my email, landline, mobile and the companies website address a i dont really think anybody sends snail mail anymore due to the fact we want to do everything quicker. Just out of interest have any of you guys got pictures of your home office , Cause would be interesting to see what and where eeryone works from.

Sorry about the long message guys....

22-07-2009, 03:20 PM
Heres my home office (attached) although I am in the middle of doing the loft into a better working space now

22-07-2009, 03:41 PM
Very nice looking office your one of the lucky few who has a room dedicated to it what about other people like me operating from their bedrooms?

Also on the subject of working from your bedroom does anybody think this is a good idea? as i saw a programme on 4 learning earlier this year where a boy was studying in his bedroom and it was affecting his sleep due tothe fact that he is working and relaxing in the same room. Does working in your bedroom affect any ones sleep or stop you from relaxing?

22-07-2009, 03:57 PM
Obviously it depends on how much space you've got at home, but I reckon it's much better to have the office completely separate from the bedroom as the latter should be a place of rest and somewhere you can switch off and get away from it all. No-one can be truly productive if they are 24/7.

simms - juke
23-07-2009, 09:41 PM
well i work from home at the moment, i have always worked with either music or the tv on in the back ground as i cant stand trying to design or sew in a silent dead environment. Music actually inspires me design wise and keeps the blue moods away.
I get up at 7am every morning work untill 9am have breakfast, 30 mins in the bath, answer my emails then back to work. I try to go for a walk everyday to get out and about a bit or i would just stay at home locked away just me and my imagination...lol
I am looking into getting a seperate work shop as i have now started printed my own fabric so i need an out door space but as that costs i work with what i got.

03-08-2009, 02:04 PM
My personal approach:

I work from home, because my offices are 70miles and 90mins drive away. Its not worth 3hours of travel and 90ish a week on fuel. The fact that im not generating enough revenue at this time to pay myself 90pw is extreme. I do still head down at least once per month, but everything else is done through email and conference calls.

Now my business partner however operates from the offices, so in terms of post, it gets to me either way. Or if Im expecting something direct to me, I just change from
10 Cobham Court to
Unit 10 Cobham Court

I dont have people knocking on my door and the post arrives fine. I tend to turn the TV off and put I-tunes on for background noise (afterall my office would have some noise in anyway). When I get a call I pause or turn off the speakers.

Where I would usually have a 5min break at work, I ensure I leave my PC at home. Maybe go and sort some washing, do some dishes something to change the scenery.

When I need to go to a meeting, I dress accordingly, when I just need to sit infront of the PC, I will wear my work clothes, but its a casual polo shirt. That way if I get called out I can just get up and go, if not, at least I feel I went to work. I then usually change out of that when I turn off my pc at 5. (Though the biggest issue is I normally leave the PC turned on with the screen off, so 9pm ill go and check emails etc.


04-08-2009, 11:48 AM
Great topic!

A few things I like to do to keep my home space seperate from my office space are:

1) Banning myself from any social networking sites (facebook, myspace etc) as well as msn (i usually use skype during the day to talk to business contacts)

2) Get up sharpish - lying in is too tempting sometimes but i always set my alarm at ridiculous o' clock and stick to it. A cold shower usually wakes me up and brings me to reality pretty quickly

3) Dress smart (ish) - Reminds you what you're supposed to be doing

4) Lists! - Theres nothing better than a good hefty list of stuff you need to do to stop you wasting time and doing home-related stuff. Have it pinned up right in front of your computer/workspace where it's in your eyeline

And finally... I also have the added advantage of using my own software - 1DayLater, to track my time. Since it was designed to help stop people wasting time - it's fitting that I should use it too. It also means my brother (and business partner) can also see if I've been slacking from the comfort of his home office 10 miles away!

04-08-2009, 01:00 PM

I agree with LionMoto, I work from home and it really helps to have a designated office area. It means that you can seperate the working day from your time off and your whole house doesn't end up covered in papers and cables. I never watch the TV during the day as i'm pretty sure that would be a slippery slope but I do listen to the radio all day and both the dog and cat hang out with me in the office.


02-03-2010, 03:59 PM
I have moved the office round a bit and I put the gym stuff in the other end, as it is lazy being at a desk all day :-) one ends for business, the other for the guns :-)

My loft is still half done, although It will be another 6 months or so until I get round to finishing that

02-03-2010, 06:08 PM
I like it! Very nice! I especially like the lamp, very cosy :)

Mine is more 'utilitarian' in feel ... this is mine that I had installed in the summer last year....

Work area... and a photo of exterior when it was first erected.

This is where I chill out with a notepad when thinking up ideas. Or when completely dossing and procrastinating looking out the window into the garden, ha ha!

That's my kids sitting on the chairs. That wall behind them is now painted Mocha colour.


I'd love to see more of other people's office photos!


02-03-2010, 06:21 PM
I'm still using my bedroom as an office but its starting to get ridiculous with the amount of boxes. We have a downstairs office complete with desk, chairs and sofa but we use it for storage since we moved here 10 years ago! But these pictures are motivating me to clear that room out starting 2moro! I'll put a before and after picture up.

02-03-2010, 07:01 PM
Hey Amanda

I remember reading your website a while ago that you were having that new office, looks amazing. That is the ultimate home office :)

I agree it would be great to see more home offices and as they change, I thought I would post an update to mine as I saw how many views the post originally got.