In my decade of working from home, I've learned the hard way that technology has feelings, too. My cable Internet modem, for example, is very sensitive to heightened anxiety levels in my home. When I have a particularly tight deadline for an article, or am about to conduct a very important interview on my Internet-powered phone, the modem senses my panic and responds the only way it knows how: It crashes.
Just a few months ago, I found myself knocking on my neighbors' door at 10:30 p.m. to hijack their Internet connection so I could upload and e-mail an important file. They seemed less than thrilled to see me.
If you are going to work from home, you need a "plan B." There are any number of mini-crises that can erupt at home and threaten to derail the workday: loss of power/Internet service, unscheduled playdates, or a neighbor chopping down a tree a few feet from your office window.
So, you need an alternative workspace. It should be someplace close to your home with a reliable Internet connection where you can work in peace. It can be a friend's apartment, a library or even the backseat of your car parked within WiFi range of a coffee shop (useful for after-hours emergencies).
For lots more tips about working from home and striking a healthy work-life balance, see the related articles on the next page.