Wednesday, May 22, 2013

REAL TALK: WORKING FROM HOME

 
Let's talk about working from home. To any employers or potential employers out there... this is for you.

I strongly believe that working from home one or two days a week allows employees to be more productive and increases motivation.

Let me break this down for you... a typical 9 to 5 job involves sitting at the computer all day, emailing, and sending documents to your boss. You do not need to be in the office to do this. In fact, it's a waste of time to force your employee to journey to the office every day because she has to get up early, shower, put on make-up and something that isn't pj's and then commute to work. Why? Is it  not just as effective to get on your computer at 8am and begin emailing and working?

"Well what about meetings?" you ask. Yes. Meetings.

Ok, if you are the type who works at an office at a computer I want you to take a moment to think about your typical day. How many meetings do you have? Are they all face-to-face? I had a meeting just yesterday that was over the phone. I could have easily been sitting on my couch with my laptop and been just as productive!

I come from a consulting background so I was very used to working from home for a few days a week. I loved it. I was extra productive. I could work in silence in my own home, or I could go to a coffee shop or put on music. The point was, I wasn't chained to my desk. I was in my own space without the distraction of other people around. It was AWESOME. I would blow through my to-do list!

The other thing about it was that I was grateful for the opportunity to be home. I found myself enjoying the days in the office even more because I wasn't there every single day. It became a treat to go into work and a treat to be home. It was lovely.

Currently I work for a non-profit and working remotely is not part of our culture. I find myself wishing I could take work home... ok not all the time, but if I have a Dr. Appointment in the afternoon and don't want to get behind it would be nice to be able to finish a task at home that evening. But I can't. So instead I have to stay late at my desk to catch up the next day. This my friends is not preferable.

You heard it here first: I think most companies (including non-profits) will move to this model of half remote / half in-office work in the near future. And why not? It saves money - you don't need a desk for everyone, you can rotate. It makes employees happier - they have the power to choose where they prefer to work two days a week. It allows for flexible schedules - which attracts new and highly desired employees. It promotes productivity - each employee can choose how he/she prefers to work (with music. in quiet. in the dark. near a window.) to better focus.

It's easy people. We all have the Internet on our computers, phones, laptops, tablets, cars, lawnmowers, everything! It's easier than ever to connect to people and work collaboratively from any location. Let's take advantage of that!

As I head into the office, all I can say is that my to-do list is 8 miles long and I wish I was working from home today so I could just get it all done!


#blogeverydayinmay

4 comments

  1. What is with the DC non-profit culture on this not-working-from-home business! It drives me nuts! I am SO much more productive when I choose my environment that fits my needs for the day and yet my non-profit also frowns upon this undoubtedly beneficial modification to the traditional work environment. Sigh.
    We should start a movement in DC, help get our DC non-profits on track!

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  2. My husband works from home and it's great!! At least it's great when I want to run errands baby-free. The one downside is cutting it off for the day. It's hard to define work/home lines when he works from our table. But he worked before in an office and still brought it home, so that REALLY sucked.

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  3. I work from home and I love it! I know I'm going to miss seating in my couch with my laptop when I enter "the real world" in a few weeks. :/

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  4. I'm very lucky to have an office environment where if you need to work remotely for a particular reason (ie doctor's appointment, etc), you can -- but I totally agree that a 50/50(ish) plan would really make everyone more productive all-around!

    That said, though, I do think that if I worked from home every day it would be hard to separate work and home, ya know? I have a hard enough time turning off my brain at the end of the day haha

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