By August 7, 2012 Read More →

Working from home in the media

My home office - Liz Proctor, charity fundraising consultantI’m late posting the blog today. This morning I started to draft a post in response to yesterday’s Woman’s Hour slot about working from home. One of the guests was writer Julia Llewellyn, who also had an article on the subject published in yesterday’s Guardian, which reiterated the point she made on the programme that home working is unhealthy. There was of course another guest who offered a more favourable view, but she annoyed us by slipping in regular references to one of her clients.

The same old arguments are rehashed in the press. Here is some of the feedback I received from readers – ‘no new insights’, ‘too narrow a debate’, ‘limited and polarised views’, ‘hackneyed’.

After trying for half an hour to write my post I’ve simply run out of steam. I don’t think any home workers who manage to be productive and happy, despite the gloomy pronouncements of Boris Johnson et al, would regard ourselves as being particularly revolutionary. But maybe that’s what we are in our quiet, heads in the home office laptop kind of way.

So today I’m celebrating the home workers who don’t lounge around all day in grubby pyjamas, eating cheese and watching daytime TV, but who just make it work for them and their families. We seem to know something that lots of others don’t!

I’ve posted a new photo on the latest Home Office Gallery. Liz Proctor has been interviewed on the blog about living and working at home, and is a perfect example of a mum who combines work, looking after her son and her hobbies, often in the same space.

Why do you think so many people fail to ‘get’ working from home? Is it envy, being stuck in the past, previous bad experiences they can’t get over? And how can we change it?

Posted in: News

18 Comments on "Working from home in the media"

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  1. Sharon says:

    I am happier and more confident since starting my own business working from home, my kids always know I am here if they need me & I am contributing to the family income. I rarely eat cheese and I have no idea what ‘daytime tv’ even shows.

    As with anything there will always be stereotypes and there will always be those who are jealous of the fact that homeworkers work around their life rather than live around their work. Only by blogs such as yours Judy can we hope to get the message across that we work damned hard & make a useful contribution to society.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Judy says:

    I intend to, Sharon, thanks! I do like your phrase ‘work around their life rather than live around their work’. I may well pinch it, with attribution, of course 🙂

  3. Liz says:

    I don’t eat much cheese but have been known to eat rather too much chocolate on occasion…

    However, what I do know is that I work harder and achieve much more now that I did as an office-based employee who spent more than half her time in meetings! As for your question about why so many people fail to ‘get’ home working, maybe it’s simply good old fashioned fear of the unknown.

    • Judy says:

      Just listened to a BBC clip in which a survey has shown home workers to be 12% more productive than their office-based counterparts – only 12%? 😉

  4. It’s the usual let’s write about a stereotype instead of using our brains and seeing what the reality is.

    Disclaimer: home working cheese lover.

  5. Judy says:

    Aka skiver in some circles 😉

  6. Zoe says:

    I work from home almost all the time – the biggest problem I have is that it is far, far too easy to say ‘today I will stop at 5.30’ and find yourself attending to the day’s tidy-up at 6.30!

    My job performance is measured by outputs. That means that while creating outputs takes X amount of time, X does not have a specific relationship to ‘8 hours’ (the standard working day). Actually, I can’t be productive for 8 hours straight – my brain gives way, if not during that working day, then definitely on the next one. Instead of messing around on facebook when my brain needs to do not-work (as happens in the office), I can unload the dishwasher, bring in the laundry, something that involves standing up and actually moving – I sit back down far more refreshed than I would if I was practicing presenteeism in an office space.

    I am definitely, definitely more productive working from home, no question about it. (And as a current member of ‘team pregnant’, losing the commute has really made all the difference!)

    • Judy says:

      Hi Zoe, thanks for an interesting contribution. I also like to mix household tasks with working at my desk, and find it helps to move around if I’m stuck and short of ideas. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and we look forward to hearing how a baby changes home working life for you 🙂