Working From Home

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.

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2 thoughts on “Working From Home

  1. The Almighty Awesome G. says:

    Extrovert world? 😛

    There’s lots of people who slack off at the office, I’ve seen that in every line of work I’ve been in and concentrating your work force in one place when the tasks are individualised isnt conducive to productivity.

    I actually think it’d be a great research project to assess productivity in the output of staff who’re part time at home and part time in the office and compare and contrast output. I figure there’d be a lot of variables in a study like that which could eschew results but I think it would be worth it.

    Introversion and extroversion are factors in this for sure but I know extroverts, myself included, who have to exercise a conscious decision at times to isolate themselves in order to complete specific tasks, it can be even more difficult if you know for the time that you’re doing it and have to do it that you’re relying on others to carry out duties in your place. For the passive aggressive that’s an opportunity.

    The biggest factor I can think of is conscientiousness and responsibility, if someone is reliable and has proven themselves so over time its stupid to flag up a couple of posts on facebook. Its less time consuming that smoke breaks, water cooler breaks, commuter time, all the other stuff which cuts into productivity and which its a hassel and possible interface for conflict with staff when management has to address it.

  2. […] of most interest to me, since this is something I struggle with a lot at work. I wrote before about Working From Home, so I won’t rehash that here, but suffice it to say that conditions at home make me much more […]

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