The work environment has changed a lot over the generations.
From the cheery local shopkeeper who knew everyone, to the zero-hours contractor who lives from day to day.
From the days of rows of ‘worker bees’ in hot, sweaty factories, to, well, ‘worker bees’ in air-conditioned, open-plan offices.
(Video: See how the working world has changed over the generations)
Perhaps that’s why so many people nowadays choose to work from home, even if only for part of their week.
People work from home for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps they want more freedom and want to fit their work around their lives more, perhaps their employers feel they’ll be more productive, or maybe they are self-employed or a freelance.
Figures to mark 2016’s National Work From Home Day last month found that a record number of over 1.52m people now work from home, an increase of a quarter of a million over the past decade, with women accounting for 65% of the increase.
We asked some of our favourite bloggers to tell us their top tips for working from home, why they recommend it, and how to ensure you get the most out of it.
Sally Whittle, who runs the super Who’s The Mummy blog, told us how important it was to make sure you’ve got the right environment to work in – and not just sat at the dining table: “Invest in a good, adjustable chair (even if you use it at the kitchen table), a decent worklight, ergonomic mouse and a proper screen to plug a laptop into.
Gina Caro, whose Gypsy Soul is one of our favourite lifestyle blogs, agrees: “Have a designated work space, whether that be a small desk in the corner of a room or a complete office. It’s really important to have an area that is purely for work.”
The temptation to let your mind drift when you’re working, and conversely to feel that you’re ‘always on’ day and night – is something you may need to avoid.
Sara Williams from the incredibly useful Debt Camel blog has this advice: “If you need to get something done, stop checking your emails and social media.”
“After many years, I ditched my laptop at home because the temptation to be “always on” was impossible to resist” added Sally Whittle.
“With a desktop computer on a desk in a single room, I’m a lot less likely to be distracted while I’m cooking dinner, watching TV or whatever.”
Gina Caro recommended getting into work mode as soon as possible : ”Always get up, get dressed and ready for the day as if you were going out to an office. It helps you to feel more motivated and stay in work mode.
And how about balancing flexibility with deadlines? Sally has this to say: “I generally do religiously keep evenings free between 4 and 9 when my daughter is around, and then I know I do have those ‘spare hours’ if I need once in a while to take a day out, or go to sports day.”
Sara Williams adds: “What I love best is no commuting – and being able to have a dog.”
Gina also told us why she loves working from home: “It gives me the flexibility to work around my children without the need to pay out for childcare.
“I love being my own boss and setting my own targets, although you do have to be self motivated which some people can struggle with.”
So there you have it – to work from home you need to be motivated and disciplined, but it can be rewarding both in time management and family life.
Do you work from home? Share your tips and recommendations with us at @ExperianExperts and we’ll re-tweet the best ones!