Homeworking – The New Normal

Like many other companies, over the last five months most  of us at Local Pages have spent a considerable amount of time working from home. Unthought of a year ago, we have now discovered that by changing our working practices and investing in new technology we can be more efficient while offering our team greater flexibility in how and where they work. 

There have been other benefits too. Cutting back on commuting and replacing face-to-face client visits with video calls has substantially reduced our carbon footprint and less people in the office means savings on space, heating and lighting. 

Five months in and we are still counting the benefits from a business perspective. But how do the staff feel about such a radical change? So, we asked them. Specifically we asked what were the best and worst bits about working from home. You can see from the list below that the positives far outweigh the negatives and where there are negatives we are doing our best to address them.

lp-logo-30px Best


  • Not having to spend time putting on makeup
  • Not having to sit in traffic every day getting to work
  • Saving money on petrol
  • Looking out over my garden from the office chair
  • Being able to work in casual clothes (but definitely notmy PJs!)
  • Having a well organised and ergonomically functioning office based around me.
  • Being able to concentrate without distractions
  • Greater productivity and accuracy
  • It’s quiet 
  • Not having to walk miles/downstairs to the printer/shredder
  • Having more ‘me’ time without having to commute
  • Being able to hang out the washing during the day
  • Feeling safe from coronavirus
  • Be able to accept Amazon parcels
  • The days fly by
  • Being able to spend more time talking to customers
  • Losing weight (away from the office biscuit tin)
  • Reducing our carbon footprint
  • Saving on paper
  • Greater efficiency with video calls replacing face to face meetings 
  • Enjoying the company of my dogs and cats

lp-logo-30px Worst 


  • It’s harder working on a diddy little screen
  • Missing the banter and interaction with colleagues
  • Using my electricity (offset by the savings on fuel)
  • IT issues more difficult to resolve remotely
  • Using a lot more printer paper
  • Missing the ‘buzz’ of a busy office
  • Connectivity issues
  • Motivation and moral is lower without the support of the rest of the team
  • Unlimited snacking
  • Loneliness if you don’t have a dog or cat to keep you company

Working from home is now the new normal with commercial, environmental and employee benefits. It’s just a shame that it took a global pandemic to force us into taking off our blinkers, opening our eyes and doing things differently.

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How to Choose a Tradesman

At Local pages you’ll find a wealth of plumbers, builders, heating engineers, roofers, window installers and many other trades.

There are so many that choosing the right one for your job could seem like a daunting task.

So to help you avoid the cowboys, below is a list of things to consider when employing people to carry out work around your home.




lp-logo-30px Check their credentials

  • Have they been recommended?
  • Are they a member of any trade association?
  • Check their website to see if previous customers have left feedback or testimonials.
  • How does their website look? If they take care of how they present themselves it’s a good indication that they will offer the same levels of care to you.
  • Ask for references regarding similar work to that which you want done. Don’t just phone the references, go and inspect the quality of the work and ask questions.
  • Don’t be pressured into employing the first person you speak to.
  • Don’t ignore your gut instincts. If something feels wrong, don’t pursue it further.
  • Never employ a tradesman that cold calls.

lp-logo-30px Agree the price

  • Make sure you ask for a written quote and not an estimate. A quote is a fixed price. An estimate can be added to with extras later on down the line.
  • Get at least three quotes so that you can compare and make a considered choice.
  • Before any work takes place, ask for a contract that sets out; start date, finishing date, the price and clearly states the scope of the work that needs carrying out. The clearer this is set out, the less room there will be for arguing should the work not be carried out to your satisfaction. You may wish to draw this up yourself.

lp-logo-30px Insurance

  • Check they have liability insurance to cover any damage should things go wrong
  • Check your own insurance policies to make sure everything is covered
  • A legal protection policy may be useful to cover any costs should you be unfortunate enough to be in dispute with a rogue trader. 

lp-logo-30px Agree how you will pay

  • A deposit paid before work starts is a reasonable request as there will be upfront costs for materials etc.
  • Never pay the whole amount until the work is finished and you are totally satisfied
  • Agree with the tradesman a plan for staged payments at different milestones and only pay when you are happy at each stage.
  • Even though you will have agreed the price upfront, insist that all labour and material costs are well documented so that you can ensure the work is not going over budget.
  • Pay by credit card if possible as this gives you extra protection in the event of the business going bust.
  • Before you make the final payment ensure that you are totally satisfied with the quality of the work carried out and that all the terms of your contract have been fulfilled.
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