Two things make home working a really viable prospect for a mediocre hack like myself. The first is a good, robust broadband pipe into the flat. Check. The second is a work-supplied mobile phone. Check.
These two in combination mean that I’m just as accessible at home as I am in the office. If I could only teach a few of my colleagues to use AIM or MSN Messenger, I’d be completely sorted.
Two more things make home working a veritable pleasure. The first is a laptop. My ageing but still useful iBook fulfils that role admirably. The second is wireless networking, in this case Apple’s Airport 802.11b solution. I’ve worked on the bed, on the sofa and in the study today.
What’s more, I’ve been more productive than I would have been in the same period in the office. No doubt about it: my work rate is much increased here. One of the common arguments against home working in the need for the social interaction that the office offers. I’m not going to dispute that because I do like the creative buzz you get in the office, especially the open plan environment we have at EG.
However, the two are far from mutually exclusive. A day or so of home working a week suits me just fine, because it allows me to get so much more done in silence. This is the key element, I think. Creative work in general, and writing in particular, is a solitary pursuit both out of choice and necessity. Away from the bustle and interruptions of the office, I can get a 1,000 word feature done in a couple of hours, while it may take me the best part of a day in Wardour Street.
As broadband becomes more readily available, this really has to grow.