Rachel Segal Hamilton | Contributing Editor | Monday, 24 August 2015

How To Work From Home During The Tube Strike

How To Work From Home During The Tube Strike

The Debrief: There’s another Tube strike this week. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely slack off if you’re working from home...

Working from home. Those three magic words are essentially a license to sit around in your pants, eating pretzels all day while pretending to do stuff, right?

Wrong.

Take it from a freelancer: working from home is bloody great. No sweaty commute, less stress and more time. It’s like you’re suddenly in control of your destiny – even if that’s just for three days during a tube strike.

But the fact you’re not surrounded by your sharply-turned-out colleagues doesn’t mean you should turn into an antisocial slob. In fact, it’s a perfect opportunity to work smarter. This means getting more done in less time.

Read on for our guide to making the most of your temporary freedom from office life while being as productive – if not more – than you are in the office.

 

Get dressed

Not dressed dressed. Like, you don’t have to slap on fancy foundation and strut round your kitchen in a pair of heels, but at least change out of your PJs, have a shower and put on some clothes you’d be happy to go to answer the door to an ASOS delivery man in. Oh, and put a bra on. The bra is very important. As a wise and successful journalist friend of mine who works from home every day says, ‘Constrain your tits and free your mind.’

Keep normal-ish office hours

Working from home gives you an instant lie-in, because you don’t have to trek for half an hour/an hour/several hours to your workplace. Spend that extra time in bed. Or start earlier, but factor in a quick run or a post-lunch power nap. But don’t spend too long away from your laptop. Remember, other people in the world of work, most notably your boss, will be firing off emails to you as if it was a normal day, so you need to at least appear to be around.

Have a dedicated workspace

I sometimes start my day checking my inbox while in bed. I always regret it. Beds should be joyful places where you do joyful things like sleep and read and have great sex. They’re not for writing boring emails about invoices.

Work at a desk in your room or, even better, set yourself up with a mini-office space in the front room or kitchen. Sure, this isn’t always easy if you’re living in a rowdy, messy shared house with five mates, so if you get really desperate, decamp to the library or a find a café with wi-fi.

Don’t get (too) distracted

One of the best things about working from home is that no-one knows if you get spend 20 minutes watching GIFs of baby sloths.

One of the worst things about working from home is that no-one knows if you spend 20 minutes watching GIFs of baby sloths.

The best way to beat procrastination is to indulge it – within certain parametres. I swear by the Pomodoro Technique for tricking myself into working. You work for 25 minutes straight, then take a five-minute break. During that five-minute break you can check Facebook, talk to the cat, do whatever you like but when the timer goes off, you need to be back at your desk, working. After four, you take a longer break. In the office you probably can’t get away with this because people might wonder why you keep wandering off.

Leave the house

Spending all day indoors is guaranteed to make you feel like an awful, weird, worthless person. So: meet up with someone for an afternoon coffee. Go to the shops. Walk round the block. Do star jumps in the garden. Whatever you do, just get the hell out the house. Trust me, you’ll feel a billion times less shitty for it.

 

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