Today I worked from home, and it was fantastic. Working from home/telecommuting was all the rage a few years ago, but it seems like more and more companies nowadays are cutting the option or limiting it more than they used to, apparently over concerns that employees aren’t actually working when they’re working at home. Okay, I understand that concern, but isn’t there something employers could try that would curtail people slacking off at home, rather than disallowing it for everyone? Maybe have people track what they do all day, and show some sort of proof? Copy a supervisor on all emails answered/sent during the day?
I got in trouble last summer for working from home too much. Partly it was my fault because I did post to Facebook a few times while working from home… I specifically only did so over my lunch breaks, but I guess that didn’t matter. So anyway, in order to avoid further trouble and also because I was kind of afraid to ask, I didn’t work from home at all during the Fall semester or up until now during Spring semester. I can honestly say that in terms of productivity and well-being, it has taken its toll.
I think most people would agree that working from home can be extremely productive, as the constant interruptions that go along with working in a busy office take up a lot of time in the average workday. For introverts, I think this is even more pronounced. I have trouble concentrating in a noisy, busy environment with people stopping by to ask me questions, other people’s conversations making it hard to focus my attention on an email or project, etc. It’s so much easier for me to concentrate when I’m at home in the quiet. Yes, there are distractions at home too—the dog needs to go outside, the spouse says a few words to me, etc—but compared to the amount of interruptions and distractions in a busy office, at home they are quite minimal.