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7 things that I like about working home alone and 7 that I don’t

Little Tryfan

Things I like:

  1. I can work my own hours; be at my desk 5 minutes after getting up, take an early lunch, work late at night, or time it around a squash match
  2. I can sing, dance, drum the desk, talk to myself and fart as much as I want
  3. There are far fewer distractions and interruptions
  4. I can switch between projects if I’m not “feeling it”
  5. I’ve replaced my chair with a Swiss ball without reprimand
  6. Nobody tells me what, how or when to do it
  7. I work on the things that I want to work on

Things I don’t:

  1. I don’t have external input or people to bounce ideas off
  2. I have to motivate myself entirely
  3. I sometimes go stir crazy sat alone at a desk all day
  4. It sometimes feels like, and people sometimes think, that “I’ve been home all day” (which isn’t “working”)
  5. My life and consciousness revolve too much around the internet
  6. I have no gauge of productivity
  7. No one pays me for it


Fellow home-workers, how do your views compare to my list? Employees, can you relate to these things?

About the Author

Tim Moss has supported over 100 expeditions across all seven continents. He has climbed new mountains, crossed a desert and recently cycled 13,000 miles around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society London and a Guinness World Record Holder. He aims to encourage more people to live adventurously. Read more...

Comments (6)

  • Neil

    As a fellow homeworker, I can relate to *everything* you wrote! Sometimes I really wish I had some colleagues to bounce ideas off.

  • Michael Halls-Moore

    Out of interest, you refer to it as “work”. Is this how you see it?

    There are a million and one opinions about productivity and working at home. My take is that motivation is the key factor. Identify what drives you and the rest will take care of itself. On projects (i.e. a degree, businesses etc) that I am sufficiently motivated by, I have done multiple weeks of 12 hour days. It was tough, but not as tough as the consequences of giving up! On the other hand, sometimes I only manage 3-4 hours in a day on projects which I have zero interest in, but “need” to do (by need I mean exchange time for money). Motivation is all that matters.

    Regarding the bad points, 1-4 could be eliminated by meeting people in a structured environment designed to help idea generation (two separate weekly evening meetings about a topic/subject) or by simply taking the laptop to a coffee-shop every once in a while and making that latte last a few hours!

    Point 5 is only a problem if you wish to be doing other things that do not revolve around the internet OR if you can be more productive, for the same task, by not using the internet. People who complain about others spending too much time on the internet generally spend too much time watching X-Factor. I would rather spend 2 hours reading Wikipedia on useful subjects than watch Simon Cowell make more money from bad singing.

    Point 6 is potentially a symptom of not having a concrete (set of) actionable goal(s) to work towards. Motivation will lead to the goal(s), which will lead to actionable steps, which will have measures of success associated with them. If a day at the desk is not measurably and directly contributing to these goals, then why sit at the desk instead of climb a mountain? Don’t put the cart before the horse!

    Point 7 is an entire blog in itself… :-)

  • Alastair Humphreys

    working in your pants? definite bonus.

  • Tim

    Neil/Mike – you should check out each other’s websites:

    Mike, some good points. Hope you don’t mind the Re-Tweet.

    Finding other people to work with is key (and I look forward to our next laptop session!). You mentioned goal setting before and I think I need to be more disciplined with this.

    And Al, you still go to the trouble of putting your put pants on, eh?

  • Neil

    Tim – Thanks for the pointer to Mike’s site.

    Mike – You should consider adding a RSS or ATOM feed to your site :)


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