Imagine a world devoid of the daily commute, where the working day wasn’t bound by the nine-to-five, and office politics were a thing of the past – imagine a world where you could work from home.
Now imagine if the reality wasn’t quite the carefree employment existence you’d imagined – the commute has been replaced with a lie-in, the working day stretches well into the evening, an the office politics are replaced by the distraction of daytime TV.
You see, not everyone can cut it when working from home, it can take a lot of drive and discipline that you just don’t need when working in an office.
So before you hand in that remote working request, work out whether you can actually cope with working from home…
Do you have the discipline?
The first thing you need to consider is whether you’re the sort of person who is easily distracted – for instance, could you see yourself dropping a spreadsheet to sort out your bedspread? Or do you think the ‘tele’ in telecommuting stands for ‘television’?
If you answered yes to either, then remote working probably isn’t for you.
To really make a go of remote working you have to be able to do your job as effectively from home as you can do from the office and this takes a lot of discipline – you’d be surprised just how much just being in the office where everyone can see you can spur you on to get your work done.
Where are you going to work from?
If you think working from home involves nothing more than sitting on the couch with your laptop and simultaneously catching up with emails while watching daytime telly, then you won’t last long as a telecommuter.
So you need to set up a proper workspace where you can lock yourself away from the rest of the outside world, and the distractions that it brings, while you get immersed in your work.
Do you have everything you need to do your job?
Although many employers will kit you out with all the equipment you need to work remotely, there’s a chance you might need to provide some of your own equipment and all of it needs to be kept in your designated workspace.
If you’re unsure what you might need, check out Top work from home tech.
How do you handle interruptions?
Working from home is fraught with interruptions – the cat wants feeding, people knocking at the door, cold callers on the phone, the list goes on – and anticipating and managing them is key if you want to successfully work from home.
And you’ll also need to cope with distractions – setting a work schedule and adding browser apps that prevent you from surfing certain sites and wasting time will help – and make sure you can keep distinctions between your home life and work life.
Can you hack being home alone?
Working completely alone isn’t as easy as you might think, there’s no nipping across the office to speak to colleagues or going for a quick cuppa – things can get lonely.
Of course you can keep in touch over the phone or via video call, working from your local coffee shop can keep you in touch with the rest of the world and you can always pop into the office every now and again.