“HAVE you got your feet up, watching Loose Women?”

I remember snapping back at a colleague who used to ask me that question every time I worked from home.

For years I regularly worked from my living room. Not all week, but part of it, and still do occasionally.

People who have never worked from home tend to see it as a cushy number. “You’re so lucky working from home,” a friend used to say.

And, fair enough, it is great to get up, make a cup of tea and turn on your laptop. There’s no waiting for buses on cold winter mornings or sitting in traffic jams. And you don’t have to worry about how you look - you can spend all day in your pyjamas if you want to.

If you have small children working from home offers the luxury of being able to work around nursery or school drop-off and pick-up times.

But it’s not all a bed of roses.

With a renewed focus on homeworking to help minimise the spread of coronavirus, workers from across the globe who are working from home have shared their tips on navigating the practice.

Taking to Twitter, the thread was kicked off by scientist Emily Lakdawalla, from California, who wrote: ‘There are going to be a lot of people newly working from home starting this week, and it will be a difficult transition for some.’

Asking for advice, she continued: ‘If you are experienced at working from home, please reply with tips for working effectively and avoiding distractions!’

Emily was inundated with replies from staff in similar situations. One joked: ‘Refrain from having children’, while another advised: ‘Make a cat-proof barrier around your keyboard’.

Had I been commenting, I would have cited both of the above as being detrimental to home working. Children pester parents no matter what.

My dad worked from home. His office overlooked the garden and how he concentrated in the holidays with us kids making a racket I will never know.

And cats have a magnetic attraction to a keyboard. I only have to open mine and one will jump on it and try to lie down or trample across it. I have even had work wiped due to cats.

Being surrounded by your usual domestic paraphernalia also doesn’t help. Working a hop and a skip from your kitchen, you think ‘I just need to stick this in the washer’… ‘I just need to peel these potatoes’…and so it goes on. You need a lot of self-discipline.

People always seem to call too. Whether it’s taking in a neighbour’s Amazon parcel or being told that your drive needs resurfacing - when you’re trying to work the world and his wife seems to knock on your door. Living the dream it isn’t.

Working at home can also be a lonely existence. You miss the office camaraderie and having someone to turn to when you encounter a problem. If your broadband connection goes down in the office it’s sorted by the tech team. At home I end up sitting at the bottom of the stairs with my laptop, hoping things will improve nearer the router.

As for productivity, despite the interruptions, you probably do more than you would in the office. I think home workers feel the need to justify the privilege of being at home, so often end up working long into the evening.

One of the Twitter users wrote: ‘One of the best things about working from home is being able to have a powernap after lunch. Makes you so much more productive in the afternoon.’

No true: if I went to sleep after lunch I would never wake up.