Tips for home workers

The news that up to 40 per cent of public servants in the UK would be permitted to work from home for seven weeks as part of a bid to ease transport congestion during the Olympics - was greeted with derision by the private sector.

But those of us who work from home know it's not as easy. It requires organisation, self-discipline and experience. By following a few simple guidelines, anyone can make an extended working-from-home stint productive.

Create a dedicated work space: Set aside an area that can serve as a self-contained office. It doesn't have to be tidy, well lit, comfortable or airy. You won't be spending much time there.

Multitask: Power up your computer and open the following windows: email, official; email, personal; eBay; YouTube; spreadsheet application; Facebook; web pages related to your weird hobby. This comprises your work-life balance. Start juggling.

Don't just work from home - let home-working work for you: Take this opportunity to order all those goods that won't fit through your letter box. Learn the harmonica while typing with one hand.

Eat lunch at your desk: This will make you feel slightly hard done by, which will in turn make you feel like you have done some work. Also, you really shouldn't eat lunch in bed.

Tweet with care: Monitor the traffic all you like, but be careful about contributing. Sending a tweet that says: ''Best Cash in the Attic EVER!!'' will only alert office-based colleagues to the fact that you are at a loose end watching daytime TV.

Snack sensibly: Let's face it - you're probably going to eat a lot of biscuits, out of either boredom or a sense of entitlement. I can only suggest that you confine yourself to biscuits you don't really like. You'll still eat them, but over the course of seven weeks it will make a big difference to your overall intake.

Go outside: By virtue of having to commute and conduct personal business at lunchtime, most office workers spend at least a little bit of their day outdoors. The home-worker, by contrast, can go for weeks without putting on shoes. Make a point of going out to stand in the sun once or twice a day.