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Working From Home - Pros & Cons

FastCompany just publsihed an article that in part stated that "A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that part of the issue is that more people are working from home than ever before."

Are you part of that telecommuting community and how do you feel about it, not only for yourself, but other areas of the company?

Is it freeing you to be more productive or are you losing touch with the realities of your workforce, customers and vendors?

Answers

Janella Crum
Title: Consultant
Company: Tier One Services
(Consultant, Tier One Services) |

I am fortunate to be a part of the growing trend that works from home. I worked in the corporate world prior to having my kids and took a break from working to raise my babies before they became of school age. It has been an adjustment getting used to the modern technology that bridges those gaps of working from home vs. going into the office, however, working from home provides me the ability to have a balance of home and work life. Technology makes it easy to be connected all the time and that accessibility does make me check my email more often during off hours and doing work at night but that's ok I think. I get to do my work during my time and I am thankful to be a part of the company I work for that provides this kind of flexibility.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Yes. I get to do the 60 mile/day round trip commute. To say nothing of wasting three to four hours commuting to other locations for two hour meetings three or four days per month.

I could do much of my work from home. And, I do that whenever I can find an excuse. I have all the tools needed there via an internet VPN connection and a cellphone. However, it would be detrimental to my staff for me to not be present much of the time.

In my more than 30 years of management experience, I've been involved with the "work from home" situation a couple of times. There are only a small percentage of people with sufficient self discipline to do this effectively. And now, I'm not a theory X manager!

I know of one fortune 200 company that went as far as subsidizing sales and customer service related employees into setting up home offices and minimizing their time in headquarters downtown. Their motivation was two fold: 1) You should be out in the field with our customers, not sitting in a downtown office and; 2) It cost considerably less to help them equip a home office than it does to provide office space in the headquarters building at more than $8/sq ft/month downtown. Such office space can cost almost as much as the employee occupying it each year!

But, some folks still think it's important to be able to list your address as

XXXX Main Street
Well Known City, Special State

:-)

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

That's why the "rent an office" concept, whether an actual room, access to a room or just an address has taken off.

Silly waste of money 75% of the time.

Anonymous
(Senior Manager, Outsourced Financial Services) |

I am fortunate to work for a company that encourages flexible working arrangements. Here are some thoughts regarding my experience:

1. Technology today makes it very easy to do this in a professional manner. I have a soft phone, VPN connection, ability to do video conferences and share documents for effective collaboration. This enables me to appear as though I am working from a traditional "brick and mortar" office environment.

2. Working from home and avoiding a 2 hour daily commute makes me more productive.

3. Our corporate offices are an open work space environment. I find that environment distracting and less effective in many ways, especially for phone and/or video conference.

4. While I believe that most functions (including management functions) can be effectively performed remotely, a periodic in office presence is still indicated due to the habits and expectations of many people.

5. I do find that staff, management and peers are more likely to consult with me when I am in the office vs. when I am working remotely. Some of this is cultural in nature and I believe will change as businesses embrace a remote workforce.

6. There are some functions that are most effective in person and flexibility in that regard is critical to success.

7. Working remotely is not right for every person, whether due to ability to maintain work focus or socialization needs.

Anonymous
(President and CEO MobileAccountantAZ) |

I work from home but it's with my own accounting services business. My day is get out of bed whenever I wake up which is usually by 6 AM at the latest anyway... make coffee.... go to the sun room and watch some news while checking my phone and tablet.... hit my home office, reply to emails, check LinkedIn, check Facebook, update clients files... at the pool by noon :) Once every other week I might have an appt that takes me out of the house but that's actually a nice break for me to get out and about and see some of my clients. I can travel cross country when I want (which is usually a couple times a year) and my clients usually never know I am not at my home office unless I tell them so they'll know my days of flying and I won't be able to reply to emails or calls while in the air. I also never take appts before 10 am or after 3 pm so I can avoid rush hour. Been this way for 7 years now and I have had a few job offers that were very tempting with extremely good pay and benefits but when I weigh the drive time and the aggravation of dealing with people every day it's a no brainer. I can actually work longer than I had planned to over my official retirement at least part time

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