Working from your home – not all its cracked up to be
Between putting on a load of washing and starting dinner while answering your emails, it can appear that sometimes workign from home can be filled with distractions and be less productive. But is it really? Do the benefits outweigh the perceived drawbacks.
Did you know that Yahoo has banned its staff from remote working? There have been many predictions about the work from home boom which was on its way, and yet it is not the norm.
We are surrounded with technology and ways that we can “appear” in the office while we stay at home and telecommute – but is it relly the best way to be productive?
Yahoo and Google believe not, with as few as possible of their staff being allowed to work from home.
Do we sacrifice speed and quality when working at home?
It has been found that speed and quality are often sacrificed when people work from home. Spontaneous ideas and insights which come from impromptu meetings in the tea room do not occur when staff are at home looking in their fridge for something to snack on.
So while we are surrounded by smart phones and tablets, web cams and high speed internet – we would think that remote working would be more appealing than ever. Right?
We beat the traffic, we work in the comfort of our homw. Fair enough, those who are in a retail or manufacturing environment are not able to work from home, but there are many office workers who could. Telecommuting, or remote working, is defined as
Technology helps us in the telecommute
Use of personal computers and phones to enable a person to work from home while maintaining contact with customers or a central office
In our effort to find a work life balance in a busy world, there is an increase in employers offering a work from home option. The number of organisations offering telecommuting is on the rise. In the US, 24% of employed people report working from home at least some hours each week, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
Are there drawbacks to working from home?
But are there drawbacks? If you are not seen in the office, does it affect yoru chance of pay rise or promotion? Out of sight, out of mind?
Does it affect performance evaluations? Do staff who work from home have a perception by other employees that they are lazy or not pulling their weight? Does this pressure or perception force workers who work from home to do additional hours in order to make up for the perceived lack?
In an age where there is increasingly less face to face time in an office – how often do we email our colleague not ten feet away rather than get up to speak to them?
Out of Sight Out of Mind?
There is the argument that managers prefer to have their staff where they can see them – able to ask them questions immediately or to be able to monitor their work.
It would seem that a combination of both working from home as well as office time would be the most healthy and productive. The image problem associated with working from home still exists, and while time and forward thinking may help to eradicate there may still be continuing problems with the telecommute.
If you choose to work from home, or are offered the option of the telecommute consider the pros and cons and work out what will make your life work balance work best for you!