I had dinner with a fellow home-working father recently. We spent a good 20 minutes discussing how a two-hour siesta is the assassin of effective afternoon productivity. It's fair to say his office-bound girlfriend thought we were entirely insane.
But we're far from alone, according to new research from The Children's Mutual, a leading Child Trust Fund provider, 24 per cent of fathers feel the uncontrollable urge to embrace flexible working. But there's one thing the survey doesn't tell us - they’re all bored out of their minds. I know it, because I have a lot of friends working from home, and when they're tired of talking to themselves they bore me on Skype instead.
The pace of life is different in my front room than it is in an office. It's like being retired without the pension and the memories. Of course I'm not entirely idle; I chat with my clients and I grapple with journalists, but there's no office gossip in my lounge, no irrelevant internal meetings, no discussing third division football with Bob in procurement. So I surf the Internet, Twitter something to an indifferent Twitterverse, do the washing up, vacuum a little.
There are rules of course - unadulterated fun is a definite no-no. So that bars daytime TV, trashy novels and lounging on the sofa. Home chores are acceptable, so long as they're short and tortuous. Basically you need to recreate the pain of an office, whilst wandering around in your underpants and a Che Guevara T-shirt.
But there's a great duality. Whereas you actually do very little work, your day is only ever about work. Even when you're idling you know you should really be toiling, so each day is an enormous guilt trip about what could have been.
So what about the fun in working from home? I don't think there is any. Of course you don't have to commute, but that's a small price to pay to become a member of the human race, to have something to tell your significant other, to have a reason to take a shower before lunch.
And when you do have lunch, you eat it at your laptop, so you never have the joy of returning to a deluge of important emails. You end up replying a little too quickly to messages, and complaining to other home-workers how it takes some people several hours to respond.
Of course, I always say "today will be different, I won’t have a siesta". But who am I kidding? Not only is napping sinfully fun, there’s hope that in the time I’ve been offline I’ll have received a flurry of really important mail that will keep me focused, happy and busy until seven.
But it so rarely does – and so I say to the hoards of fathers tempted to work from home: prepare to become Chairmen of the Bored.