For some of you, working from home is not an option. Too many distractions. Too much noise. A stupid cat who chews on bubble wrap for no good reason when you’re trying to write something important.
(I wish he knew how to change my printer ink.)
For others, working from home is non-negotiable. You can’t possibly be productive in an office because you are the master of your own time and energy. Nobody is gonna tell you what internet sites are okay to visit. And you’ll be damned if someone tells you when you can or can’t raid the fridge.
For me, I love working from home but the biggest drawback is that I work longer hours. (Also, I care too much. And I take on too much ownership. Whatever, you know what I mean.)
Let me clarify: I am always writing, doing a load of laundry and messing around on the internet. That’s fine for my style because my time is bundled into a large retainer agreement. My work outcomes are measured. Nobody complains. Well, nobody complains to my face.
There are a whole host of good and bad reasons why some jobs aren’t structured like mine. FLSA. Cranky bosses. Leaders who are paranoid that you’re being paid to work while looking at internet porn on your home computer and squeezing one out.
(That fear is true. I’ve had this conversation.)
The founders of ROWE will tell you to ignore the noise about location and start looking at outcomes. If you can’t do the job, you can’t do the job.
Many business leaders will privately say — we don’t have time to look at outcomes because we just need some butts in seats in our offices to accomplish x, y and z.
That’s why work sucks, by the way.
Me? I think that just because you can have flexibility to work from home doesn’t mean you are built to work at home. I can go a few days without washing my hair (yikes, I know) and feel very productive in my yoga pants. Some people really need to get up, make coffee and get moving.
I think we need to be careful to fetishize work-from-home arrangements. I think we also need to remember that commercial real estate is the heart and soul of some local economies. If you don’t have a cubicle farm in a building on downtown Main Street, how do you create other jobs and opportunities? And doesn’t a community thrive when you bring people together to eat, work and socialize with one another in a common area?
Lots to think about when it comes to working from home. Imma be right here thinking about it in a sports bra and some comfy pajama pants.