A modern home office

Working From Home

Working From Home

“The main advantage of working from home is that you get to find out what cats do all day”

Here is a guide to the how, the why and the pros & cons of working remotely.

1. Lowering Your Carbon Footprint

2. Pros & Cons of Working Remotely

3. Minimising Distractions

4. Increasing your Productivity at Home

5. Persuading your boss to allow you to Telecommute

“The main advantage of working from home is that you get to find out what cats do all day”

Here is a guide to the how, the why and the pros & cons of working remotely.

1. Lowering Your Carbon Footprint

2. Advantages & Disadvantages

3. Minimising Distractions

4. Increasing your Productivity

5. Persuading your Boss

Lowering Your Carbon Footprint

Eliminate your daily commute and lower your CO2 emissions.

The David Suzuki Foundation in Canada found that “if a million telecommuters worked from home just one weekday a year, Canada could save some 250 million kg of CO2 emissions; 100 million litres of fuel; and 800 million fewer kilometres of mileage on our roads.” And that’s just in Canada!

By working from home, you’re not only reducing your CO2 emissions associated with your journey to work, but you are more likely to avoid disposable plastics & packaging associated with convenience food and office life.

A person working from home on their laptop

Lowering Your Carbon Footprint

Eliminate your daily commute and lower your CO2 emissions.

The David Suzuki Foundation in Canada found that “if a million telecommuters worked from home just one weekday a year, Canada could save some 250 million kg of CO2 emissions; 100 million litres of fuel; and 800 million fewer kilometres of mileage on our roads.” And that’s just in Canada!

A person working from home on their laptop

By working from home, you’re not only reducing your CO2 emissions associated with your journey to work, but you are more likely to avoid disposable plastics & packaging associated with convenience food and office life.

Pros & Cons of Working Remotely

The Pros

In addition to a lower carbon footprint, one can enjoy the following benefits:

  • + Save time on commuting to and from the office
  • + Save money on the commute and meals
  • + Flexible schedule. You choose the hours you work, rest and play
  • + Family time. See more of your family and arrange work around family commitments
  • + Custom environment. You can wear, set the heating and listen/or not to what you want
A 4 lane traffic jam in a congested city centre
A 4 lane traffic jam in a congested city centre

Pros & Cons of Working Remotely

 

The Pros

In addition to a lower carbon footprint, one can enjoy the following benefits:

  • + Save time on commuting to and from the office
  • + Save money on the commute and meals
  • + Flexible schedule. You choose the hours you work, rest and play
  • + Family time. See more of your family and arrange work around family commitments
  • + Custom environment. You can wear, set the heating and listen/or not to what you want

 

The Cons

However, there are challenges to working from home too:

  • - It can be difficult separating home and work life …” just one more email”
  • - Domestic distractions and interruptions, whether it be daily chores, a pet or family member
  • - There can be an isolation and loneliness associated with remote working
  • - “I must start this proposal, but Netflix just dropped season 3 of the Soprano’s”
  • - Sticking to a daily routine and lacking that work-based environment.

Having more time with your family is just one of the many advantages of working from home.

Minimising Distractions

Staying on-task in a workspace that includes children, pets, instant access to social media, and an infinite number of distractions can be tough.

Don’t let friends stop by. Instead use lunch as a time to meet with friends and if they do show up, politely tell them that you are working. Boundaries are only as effective as they are enforced.

Be clear about your working hours. Post your working hours on your door or desk. Also, indicate on your voicemail and email footer of your hours of operation.

Invest in noise cancelling headphones. Think of all the at-home noises that can disrupt your concentration. A ringing phone, a loud TV, kids playing, the doorbell, and even regular conversations can cause you to lose your train of thought.

Stay out of the kitchen. Staring into the fridge and aimlessly snacking wastes more time than you can imagine …we’ve all been there!

A lady checking the content of her fridge
A minimalist home office space

Increasing Your Productivity

Invest in creating a comfortable, motivating and efficient office space. To work productively you will need an office space that is conducive of working. E.g. a functioning printer, fast internet, a filing system or awe-inspiring décor.

Create a Daily To-Do List. Setting priorities is important in the office, and infinitely more so when working from home. Without a boss looking over your shoulder, it’s up to you to put your to-do list in order.

Use Cloud-Based File Sharing. Working from home can mean constantly sharing files with the office. While it’s possible to email back and forth, attachments can get lost in the shuffle, especially if you’re regularly updating copies. We recommend Dropbox, Google Drive, or Trello.

Stay on Task. Close your email, turn off all phone notifications, and check your messages and social media only at designated times throughout the day. If you can’t resist checking your favourite websites when working, then try using LeechBlock, an extension that allows you to “ban” time-sucker sites between certain hours of the day.

Get dressed. Taking a shower and putting on clothes can make the home office more like a real office, and tells and reminds everyone, especially you, that you are ‘at work’.

Take advantage of your flexible working hours. Find your focus wavering? Take a break with a run, swim, meditation or power nap.

Persuading Your Boss

Perhaps you like the idea of working remotely, but what do you do if the choice isn’t yours? Here are four steps to persuade your boss that working from home can work for you, too.

Ease into it. Begin by requesting to do so just one or two days per week from home.

Build your case. Your goal is not to convince your employer that you will be happier working from home. Instead, put your employer’s interests first. Demonstrate that you will be more productive and actually make your boss’ life easier by you working from home.

Be reliable and then some. Show that there is literally no risk involved in your boss allowing you to work from home. Be super-responsive via email and video calls. Perhaps most important, don’t just meet deadlines–beat them.

Keep a record. Log your productivity at home versus your time in the office. Record all those office distractions, time wasted commuting and more completed tasks at home.

The Cons

However, there are challenges to working from home too:

  • - It can be difficult separating home and work life …” just one more email”
  • - Domestic distractions and interruptions, whether it be daily chores, a pet or family member
  • - There can be an isolation and loneliness associated with remote working
  • - “I must start this proposal, but Netflix just dropped season 3 of the Soprano’s”
  • - Sticking to a daily routine and lacking that work-based environment.

Minimising Distractions

Staying on-task in a workspace that includes children, pets, instant access to social media, and an infinite number of distractions can be tough.

Don’t let friends stop by. Instead use lunch as a time to meet with friends and if they do show up, politely tell them that you are working. Boundaries are only as effective as they are enforced.

Be clear about your working hours. Post your working hours on your door or desk. Also, indicate on your voicemail and email footer of your hours of operation.

A lady checking the contents of her fridge

Invest in noise cancelling headphones. Think of all the at-home noises that can disrupt your concentration. A ringing phone, a loud TV, kids playing, the doorbell, and even regular conversations can cause you to lose your train of thought.

Stay out of the kitchen. Staring into the fridge and aimlessly snacking wastes more time than you can imagine …we’ve all been there!

Increasing Your Productivity

Invest in creating a comfortable, motivating and efficient office space. To work productively you will need an office space that is conducive of working. E.g. a functioning printer, fast internet, a filing system or awe-inspiring décor.

Create a Daily To-Do List. Setting priorities is important in the office, and infinitely more so when working from home. Without a boss looking over your shoulder, it’s up to you to put your to-do list in order.

Use Cloud-Based File Sharing. Working from home can mean constantly sharing files with the office. While it’s possible to email back and forth, attachments can get lost in the shuffle, especially if you’re regularly updating copies. We recommend Dropbox, Google Drive, or Trello.

Stay on Task. Close your email, turn off all phone notifications, and check your messages and social media only at designated times throughout the day. If you can’t resist checking your favourite websites when working, then try using LeechBlock, an extension that allows you to “ban” time-sucker sites between certain hours of the day.

A minimalist home office space

Get dressed. Taking a shower and putting on clothes can make the home office more like a real office, and tells and reminds everyone, especially you, that you are ‘at work’.

Take advantage of your flexible working hours. Find your focus wavering? Take a break with a run, swim, meditation or power nap.

A rooftop image of large air conditioning units and fans on the top of an office block

The Stats

Commuting contributes greatly to the second-largest sources of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions while company offices are part of the fourth-biggest contributor.    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

A rooftop image of large air conditioning units and fans on the top of an office block

The Stats

Commuting contributes greatly to the second-largest sources of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions while company offices are part of the fourth-biggest contributor.    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sources & further reading

✅ for peer reviewed research

  1. 1. “Top 20 tools for digital nomads” – Toggl – toggl.com
  2.  
  3. 2.How to become location independent V2″ – Rosanna Lopes – trello.com
  4.  
  1. 3. “The Four Hour Work Week” Tim Ferris 2007 – fourhourworkweek.com
  2.  

Sources & further reading

✅ for peer reviewed research

  1. 1. “Top 20 tools for digital nomads” – Toggl – toggl.com
  2.  
  3. 2.How to become location independent V2″ – Rosanna Lopes – trello.com
  4.  
  1. 3. “The Four Hour Work Week” Tim Ferris 2007 – fourhourworkweek.com