BRENDAN MAGILL
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WORKING FROM HOME

Whether a person works from home as an employee of a large organisation or is running their own business, there are many ways in which they can learn to work more effectively and to minimise the impact of their home working on their private and family life.  If someone works from home, or is thinking of working from home, training and guidance in this area can make a big difference to their whole life, and thus to the effectiveness of their working.

At first glance, working from home can appear to be very attractive, with the flexibility of choosing one's own working hours, not having to travel to work and having control of one's own working environment.  It is true that these are real advantages, but there are also disadvantages.  Things like keeping work and home separate, switching off outside work time, avoiding interruptions from family and friends, coping with isolation and many more factors can make working from home less desirable than might be expected.  Learning to manage these factors can greatly improve the effectiveness of working from home, whilst still optimizing the advantages.

Although working from home is not just for people with disabilities, it is considered here in the context of the individual and their disability.  It is likely that a disabled person working from home will use family or friends as support workers.  Particularly for people running their own small businesses, this can lead to a blurring of boundaries, so it is important to distinguish between the natural supports that might be provided in any family business and the specific needs arising from disability.  This is much more difficult when working from home than it would be when in a conventional workplace setting.

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