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The Experiment: #1 – Working From Home

The Experiment: #1 – Working From Home

So here I am on a very wet and windy Wednesday on what is the first day of our experiment to chart the advantages and disadvantages of working away from a centralised office.

For anyone stumbling upon this blog for the first time ΓÇô the reason for this experiment is a small fire which has put our regular office space temporarily out of action.

But in true style, far from being down-beat, we have seized the opportunity to gain some first-hand experience of alternative workspace solutions ΓÇô beginning with the troubles, tribulations and triumphs of working from a space within your own home.

Undoubtedly waking up this morning knowing that I had to create myself a home-office for the day was a little daunting ΓÇô particularly given that one of my roles within this project is to have little or no access to some of the tools and resources I take for granted one a day-to-day basis when based at officebroker.comΓÇÖs head office.

The first task was to select a place to work (pictured), a mobile laptop and Wi-Fi connections are all very well but a solid platform from which to work seems essential. It may seem simple, but right from the off setting up to work within your own home was odd and naturally distracting – it is after all normally a place for relaxing!

But choosing the right spot for your workspace is important ΓÇô with good lighting and sufficient daylight shown to increase productivity by up to 20%. So good light and a view that was not an internal wall was what I needed ΓÇô so I opted for a table looking out on the garden ΓÇô and the torrential rain ΓÇô but also within easy reach of the kettle.

Next step was to ensure I was actually ready to work, react to requests and deliver a productive days work. Again this seems simple, but so many of the tools that would normally be found on a system computer in the office were not ready to go ΓÇô a highly likely situation if you were forced to work from home following an incident such as the fire we experienced on Monday night.

My main priority was to make sure I had contact with colleagues ΓÇô primarily my manager Liz and fellow lab-rat Jo. There are of course a host of options open to us, with programs such as Skype and Microsoft Messenger both available to download and begin using with the minimum of hassle.

With Messenger already in use by the management team at, this is the program we opted to use. The real advantage is that it provides real time, instant messages ΓÇô again I know this may sound basic to some but the ability to engage in real time was almost as useful as being sat next to the person ΓÇô conversation was easy.

In contrast, part of the experiment means I will have to access my email via an external webmail link ΓÇô a process which has thus far proved a bit frustrating. While I can access everything, the fact that it appears via a browser makes it hard to keep track of whatΓÇÖs coming in. With each and every ΓÇ£pingΓÇ¥ notifying me that a new email has arrived and forcing me to trudge back and forth between the Browser to check if the message is important.

This whole process has been distracting so far and I feel sure that anyone working in this situation would lose time and patience ΓÇô I know I have and it has only been around four hours!

Keep up-to-date with our experiment via the blog or by following us on Twitter by visiting

Author: | November 17, 2010 | 0 Comments

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