The widespread misconception that Umbrella Company Employees predominantly work from the comfort of their own homes has been dispelled by a recent poll from the PCG.

Contrary to the popular view that contractors who work through Umbrella Companies spend much of their time making sandwiches, mowing the lawns and gawping at daytime TV between short bursts of work, the PCG survey found that well over half of the contractors it polled (58%) worked on clients’ sites rather than from the living room. Just 32% reported that they worked chiefly from home.

On-site assignments are the norm and the option may be especially useful to novice contractors, who fear that they may find themselves distracted by that leaking tap in the utility room or that movie on digital TV. Until the arts of self-disciplined task-targeting have been mastered, procrastination is a lot easier in the permissive environment of the living room than in the business-like atmosphere of a workplace. As Oscar Wilde once put it, it is possible to resist anything but temptation.

For those contactors who do work largely from home and thereby expose themselves to the risks of idle distraction, however, the PCG has some useful guidance. Never roll out of bed and slump over the workstation dressed in your undies or your dressing gown, slurping a coffee: this is a recipe for slothfulness. Instead, get up, get showered and get dressed – and do it early.

This helps to cultivate a business-like preparedness, rather than the hedonistic slobbishness fostered by approaching the PC in jimjams, especially if you do so chomping a bowl of cereal with the TV remote in the other hand.

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