Looking busy when working from home

I work from home. To some this seems like the ideal situation, and in many ways it is. My commute to the “office” takes 30 seconds, I never get caught up in traffic, there’s always good food, and I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing.

But there are many downsides to a home working arrangement too. You need to be self-disciplined and maintain a routine, otherwise you can end up working all hours of the day and night.

Cabin fever also begins to set in. There’s literally nothing new to talk about with the family. There’s no walking through the door in the evening and asking the family how their day was. Because you are with them all day and know exactly how eventful or not the day has been.

Perhaps, the one thing I miss the most is having the social interactions that you get when working in an office. Sure, communications are great, you can email, instant message, or video call colleagues. But it doesn’t replace the casual banter by the coffee machine or being able to bounce ideas off each other quickly and easily.

When you work from home, it’s very easy for the family to forget that you’re working. After all, to the untrained eye, all you are doing is sitting and staring at a computer all day long. So it becomes very easy for them to ask you to run a quick errand to the shops, or agree to attend a school meeting without checking first. Or the worst, is interrupting you when you’re deep in thought on work, or are in the middle of an important conference call.

So combat this, I’ve tried different techniques to illustrate when I’m busy so as to keep the kids from making me a viral sensation. I’d be lying if my techniques have been 100% effective. So interested in hearing from home-workers what has or hasn’t worked for you.