From Office to Homeworking, back to Office!

By : Administrator
Published 17th December 2021 |
Read latest comment - 29th April 2022

Having been in business since 2005, and have very much rode the self-employed roller coaster, I think these last couple of years has had to be the strangest 

Until early 2021, we had a nice office at the beautiful Minvera Mill in Alcester. But after the first lockdown and work from home guidance, we moved to a homeworking and flexible model, with the team issue with a laptop and an IP (internet) phone. So our office was left empty for a year (still paying rent) and covid rolled on. 

To be honest the new homeworking model has worked very well, we have twice weekly zoom catch-up meetings, an ongoing whatsapp group for urgent collaboration or the good old phone, and occasional face-to-face meetings at the pub. No more traffic issues or fuel costs and everyone loves it, apart from one person... Me 

After nearly two years working from home, I have gone borderline stir crazy, struggling to separate the divide between home and work. So (and before good old Boris's latest advice), I thought it was time to open a new office and I've moved in this week. It's absolutely marvelous  

Just a small office in a business centre, but it's nice to hear hustle and bustle again and for me personally, it sharpens my focus and makes me more professional. We still utilise the Mill as our address and for mail, but the new office is walking distance from my house, in the centre of town. So a nice brisk walk and wind up into work mode, and then a nice wind-down and arrive in full home mode with work left at the office.

It's been interesting talking to lots of people about this, and I have an (unscientifically proven) theory, that the majority of business owners like to work from the office (with the ability of occasional flexible home working, eg it's really raining!). Whilst the majority of employees prefer to work from home or be more flexible with occasional days in an office.

If employees are able to work from home, then it makes perfect sense to offer it as a flexible option, but I think the drive and passion it takes to push a business forward, requires a more professional setting rather than a home study or dual-purpose spare bedroom.

So what does anyone else think?

  • Are you loving the homeworking opportunities and can't imagine doing it any other way, or have you gone a bit cuckoo like me once the novelty wore off?
  • Am I right in my suggestion that business owners are more likely to be office-based, or do you disagree?

Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

Great Article. 


Thanks for sharing your experience. I can relate.


Hi Steve… it’s been a while!

Well, after two years of COVID and the need to work from home most days, I was glad to get back in to the office.  However I then quickly decided to retire from the Probation Service in August last year… I had a week off work then took a Part time job with the Police. I now work 2.5 days per week.
flexible working is great but you have to become very disciplined when your wife is shouting upstairs to you “shall we go out for some lunch and a glass of wine” “I am bored, nobody will know you are not working anyway”

 in other words you need a supportive family who care enough about your work ethic! 

Ray Priestley

Great to hear from you Ray, longtime indeed 

Blimey, sounds like a big move and a big lifestyle change, good for you. Does that mean you are free to do a bit of ranting about the probation service now 

Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

Does that mean you are free to do a bit of ranting about the probation service now 

Never say never!

The Probation service has been absorbed in to the much larger Prison Service, they are now called HMPPS (Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service). Massively understaffed and desperate to recruit and train new officers they are clearly developing a new culture and way of doing things. 

Regrettably they don't seem to have invested much time considering why so much experience has decided to leave the service. I did almost 21 years with probation (more than any life sentence), would I go back? Yes, it is a vocation and even though you need a thick skin when working with some of the more interesting characters,  it is a very rewarding role. 

Will I go back? The jury is still out. I like my new job but I miss the old one too. I was hoping to take on sessional report writing with Probation (in my own time) but my new employer argues this would be a conflict of interest and they wont allow it.

My wife likes the new job (because I am less stressed) and she has decided I am never going back! I have decided that I am not ready to burn my bridges yet and will keep my options open! 

Watch this space.

Ray Priestley

This Thread is now closed for comments