Last Friday was declared ‘National Work From Home Day’ by Work Wise UK. Homeworking is a practice that is becoming more and more popular. Last year the Trades Union Congress estimated that the number of people working from home had gone up by a fifth over the previous decade. It may become even more popular if proposed measures to bring in diesel congestion charges across many city centres are introduced.
However, whilst working from home may be regarded by some as an easy option, it can cause its own problems in comparison with working in an office environment. Just ask Professor Robert Kelly, who shot to fame in March when his homeworking difficulties were witnessed by millions during a live BBC interview.
Making a success of homeworking, like most things, involves some dos and some don’ts.
- Create a dedicated work space by setting aside an area of your home that can serve as a self-contained office.
- Make sure you have a laptop ready, a mobile phone and a good internet connection.
- Make arrangements for childcare – although as Professor Kelly found that doesn’t always prevent some interruptions.
- Take a break. If you were in the office, you would take a lunch break and you should make sure to do the same at home.
- Keep in touch with colleagues in order to avoid any feeling of isolation.
- Grab your laptop and go back to bed.
- Start posting on social media or playing online games.
- Sit watching television.
- Binge eat.
- Fall asleep.
If the ‘don’t’ list sounds just like what you have always imagined home working to be its probably good news that in terms of the legal position, there is no right to work from home. Employees with 26 weeks’ service or more may make an application to work from home and as a flexible work request the employer has to follow a reasonable procedure, and give it careful consideration. But the request can be refused on business grounds.
This blog post was written by Nuala Murphy. For further information, please contact:
Nuala Murphy, (working from home) associate, Employment
T: 020 7653 1662