Its definitely a change in company culture and personal habit and while I’ve worked from home occasionally in the past, to do it on a more regular basis is going to take a bit of thought and planning.
There are definitely advantages for both me personally and also the company, but I think there are also some downsides to working from home too.
I love the fact that this morning, instead of just getting up, showered, dressed and out the door and off to work, I flipped open my laptop and started work. Today, I started work at 6.30am, in bed, with the dogs. I grabbed a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea at 8.30am and effectively stayed in bed until 11am. This saved me over an hour just by not having to go anywhere for work. I did a couple of Lync (like Skype) calls with colleagues, a phone call to a customer etc.
Then I got up, showered and had a 10 minute lunch break while I checked my emails. Then decided that a change of scenery was in order and moved my office as far as the conservatory couch to continue my work (dogs included).
At the end of the day, I also then saved around 45 minutes due to not having to commute.
There are a few other advantages I can see immediately –
- Less interuptions (or distractions such as chit-chat) so its much easier to do the same work in less time – productivity is much higher
- Not such a requirement for a “work” wardrobe
- I get to stay at home with the doglets! (best workmates ever, except they snore!)
There are also some disadvantages and depending on how you work, different things may work for you. Some of my colleagues prefer a home office away from the rest of the house as their “workspace”, I personally prefer to roam around the house with the sun. Some say you should get up, dress and put on makeup. I think, what is the point of that? The dogs don’t care what I look like!
Others find they have to do set hours 8.30am-5pm with an hour for lunch to establish a set routine. Personally, I’m a “start as soon as I wake” worker as that’s my best time of day to work. I then work through with a short lunch and finish up early afternoon. The later part of the day, I just check my emails and respond to calls as required – to meet with my workmates schedule.
I don’t have neighbours, family or friends who would call in during the day but this could be an issue for some people. Likewise, my home phone is unlikely to ring – and if it does, I can and will ignore it.
Household chores I found used to be a distraction when I first started working from home, now I’m more used to it, I can easily ignore these, or work a quick chore into my day as I grab a cup of tea or toilet break. I also use this a macro pause – a short 5 minute break about once an hour.
On cold, wet winter days, there is no doubt that its warmer in the office.
I will exercise less, as I often bike to work but I can live with this, as I’m sure I will still end up in the office at least 2-3 days a week.
I don’t think I could work from home permanently, I’d miss the human interaction that I get with my colleagues. Also I think face-to-face discussions are very important, and while Lync is good, it’s not the same as being in the same room with someone. But perhaps that is something I would get used to?