More companies annually allow employees to work from home. Obviously, not all jobs can be done from home, but many that focus on the services of knowledge workers and especially online activity can be done from anywhere – home, the beach, coffee shop, hotel – wherever there is Internet access.
Consider the advantages to working from home:
- no commute time, resulting in more productive time in your day and fewer pollutants in the air;
- no transportation expense for you;
- no office space expense for the employer;
- usually a flexible schedule to switch between work and personal matters as needed.
There are also some dangers of working at home:
- failure to separate work from personal time;
- feelings of isolation apart from coworkers;
- the temptation to do other things around the house besides work when you should be working;
- potential technology issues that have to be resolved without someone coming to your home to help.
I’m sure those who work from home can easily add other advantages and disadvantages.
As I consider the work that I do as a community manager on the social media team for a Fortune 100 company, there is very little I do from day to day that requires me to be in the office. I post to and monitor others’ posts to our external social media properties – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. I serve as the community manager for our internal social network shared by about 20,000 employees, monitoring, promoting, reporting and assisting others. I identify and write potential editorial content. I discuss with coworkers our strategy and plans to implement that strategy.
Yes, we have face-to-face meetings, but those could happen just as well most of the time virtually. Perhaps a compromise is in order – coming in to the office one day each week or every other week for things best done face-to-face.
As companies look for ways to attract and keep talent and to cut overhead expenses, as workers look for more ideal situations, it’s time to get serious about encouraging more work-at-home arrangements. It would work with my job and perhaps yours as well.
Leap year lesson #124 is Companies need to encourage more work-at-home arrangements.