Indeed, you need a real sense of responsibility to tell your friends that their visit coincides with your working hours, especially if they have brought along a cake to surprise the new home office worker. Situations that would be completely absurd in the traditional workplace will present themselves at home. Also, people who believe that they can juggle the kids with a workday at home soon recognise the error in their thinking. With that said, working from home can also have significant advantages.
These are mostly quite obvious: no troublesome commute and no more rush-hour traffic or late trains or crowded rides in the underground or frozen car door locks in winter. At least none that raise stress levels prior to work and ruin your day, particularly if you are not a morning person.
Circadian rhythm is another key word: our internal body clocks are proven to tick differently. Whereas a “night owl” is better suited to evening work, the same work hours would mark a productivity slump for an “early bird”, who would work most efficiently during the morning hours. The time-consuming aspects of the commercial office, the pointless rituals and polite conversations in the hallway, are absent from the home office.
In short, a home office allows you to work when work needs to be done. Having to finish work for your unorganised co-worker is as unlikely at home as a dress code. Wear socks or tracksuit pants: the laptop at the window won’t chasten you for not wearing a suit and tie. Also, you do not have to spend your breaks in a cold courtyard surrounded by Soviet-inspired concrete buildings, nor drinking the stuff from the coffee machine at work. Instead, you can spend your breaks gardening, cooking, jogging or cycling. Even dentist’s appointments, overdue car tyre changes and visits to the hairdresser fit into a lunch break, so they do not have to occupy time on days off nor be taken off your overtime balance. And finally, the biggest advantage of the home office is that it is possible in every household.
At this point, it is necessary to address the practical implementation of a home office. It should already be obvious that not all types of work can be moved to the comfort of home. A surgeon will continue to operate on patients in a surgery just as a social worker will continue to work at schools and youth centres. However, a doctor sending invoices, ordering medication or writing patients’ reports should, in theory, be able to do this from home. The same applies to a community worker, who could write their reports from home. Creative occupations such as communications design, architecture, journalism and photography, and technical jobs like systems administration and programming, allow almost all work to be completed from home (certain details and meetings may require a physical presence in lieu of video conference). In any case, work from home calls for reliable internet connection. And the faster your internet speed, the better.