Today at work there was a short discussion on working from home (WFH) regarding a blog Virtual Working Tips. There was several points made regarding trust, technology, security, personal choice, and perception. I decided to make a few quick opinionated comments on the subject.
I’ve been working remotely for six years. I agree it takes a tremendous amount of discipline on both ends of the spectrum but it takes the right career, role and project. First you have to be responsible, productive, leverage technology to bridge gaps, exhibit good communication and writing skills, and work extra hard to make connections with people. I’ve found I work longer and have more productive days WFH then I did when working from an office. The other end of the spectrum is being able to walk away from the office, close the door so to speak. This can be a big challenge and takes discipline too.
Let me clear something up quickly … Working from home is not a vacation or party!
I believe there is a difference between WFH a few days a week, few times a month, and 100%. People who WFH consistently a few days a week are more productive, happier, and eventually really understand what it takes to WFH. People who WFH a few times a month do not really understand and in my opinion think of this time is for errands, watching TV or just laying around. Now, that maybe harsh, but there is some truth to that. People who WFH 100% of the time are really productive and truly understand what it takes.
My personal work setup allows me to be way more productive then I could be in the office. I have my own home office with a door, books, fan, couch, fridge, good lighting, 2 windows, and most importantly 2 laptops, 1 desktop, 4 monitors, and access to all my VMs and home servers. There is a double edge sword so to speak. I do not have the constant distractions of a huge room of people. However, at the same time I do miss out on the office networking, getting pulled into to those spontaneous conversations, on-site client interaction, and benefiting from non-verbal queues. I have found teams adapt to remote resources, it becomes second nature to pull them into the conversations and interact via communicator and video.