Posts Tagged ‘Work-at-Home’

Dog On LaptopAs I post this, it’s after 2:00 a.m. Thursday and I’ve already put in 38 hours for work this week.  That is due in part to working from home Wednesday where I sat on my keester in my recliner for at least 14 hours cranking out tasks, nearly emptying my inbox, and getting more done than I could in 2-3 days in the office.  It makes for a long day, but there is great satisfaction in what gets accomplished when working from a quiet place where the only interruption is the dog’s occasional request to go outside, crawl in my lap, or throw a ball across the room.

On days like this, I waver between stopping at some reasonable number of hours versus going on and on to get as much done as possible.  In the end, I usually keep going.

Is it healthy to put in nearly 40 hours before you even go in to work Thursday-Friday (and some on Saturday)?  Not if it’s an every-week occurrence.  But as I’ve shared before, I love what I do and it is certainly not an imposition to sit in the comfort of my ugly lounge pants and t-shirt with my favorite beverage and man’s best friend curled up beside me, even if it is for 14 hours of nearly non-stop work.  Scratching another task off the list every few hours makes it worth the time.

The day has gone so well, in fact, that I decided my final task for the night would be to schedule every Wednesday as a work-at-home day for the next couple of months to try to get in the habit of a mid-week work-fest to stay on top of things.  The long hours are offset by the pleasure and comfort of being home and the fact that I will not be in the office more than two days in a row for a good while to come.  My thanks to a very understanding manager who allows me this flexibility and who does the same when he knows he has a lot on his plate and needs a respite from office distractions.

Leap year lesson #339 is Working at home can be time-intensive, but satisfying.

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;
  • convenience;
  • 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.