I met an aunt today after long many years and she was asking me about my office, work hours and said she would kill me if I say I am busy at work. We are working for what we are paid and she is right. But the expression she gave me when I said that I have an home office was totally undigested. She sounded that work from home means no work getting done. Probably after spending decades running to office every morning, the concept of home office is a not the zing thing for her. And equally not to many of the people who still think work from home..is a paid holiday. Give me a break guys!
There are two sides to a coin always. The few positive sides of being in a virtual world of technology, connected from anywhere remotely is also huge and equally are the negatives of our lives in this environment.
The Biggest advantages of having a home office and also have a corporate that support the work from home culture are:
1. Save on the travel time - commuting during peak hours of the day.
2. Stay connected at different time zones. Be it IST, EST, GMT or what ever...You are there for the clients
3. Reduce operational costs for Corporates by not consuming a full office, with parking, electricity, phone usage, transportation and security costs involved.
4. Ensure safety of women working in odd shifts and giving them flexibility as diversity employees
5. Enhanced productivity that comes with alertness of being online for the full business hours
6. Less distraction and cafeteria chat timings and giving more time to work.
7. Better work life balance with giving more time to work and personal things
8. Staying virtually connected 24*7 helps in regular team collaborations, meetings, conference calls and there is no difference in the way we work
9. People who work remotely are more engaged, focus on health and have lower stress levels
10. More alert to work requirements, productivity, flexibility and availability increases at work force
The other side of the coin, where the pitfalls make work from home equally painful are:
1. Need continuous attention and keep increased watch on alerts for calls, meetings and deadlines making it stressful
2. Distractions in case the home office is not isolated from the main living spaces and visitors
3. Feeling of isolation when looking for business solutions that need brain storming and expert guidance
4. Lack of people around to share moments of anxiety, team collaboration and participation
5. People who cannot draw thick line between personal and professional priorities have difficulty to separate work from home
6. Working hours are usually longer with very few or no breaks to refresh and work productivity
7. Work place developments that are usually heard through grape vine is not available in home office
8. Danger of losing the visibility at work place by less presence in groups and office get together
9. Work from home needs loads of self-discipline, proactive work atmosphere and learning to handle distractions and self-pity of being lone and working long
10. People usually think that those working from home, are either jobless or lost their jobs and hanging at home, creating a embarrassment for families still living in running to work culture
However, like every situation that throws at us several advantages and disadvantages, Modern Home Offices are also still evolving with its own dimensions. When people are high willed, strong determination with integrity and good professional values, working from anywhere doesn't really matter, as long as business outcomes are the same, client value is delivered, milestones are met and deadlines are not extended.
Making your professional lives shine is all in the game of how you handle your visibility, performance, attitude, team work, stretching that extra mile and doing one bit more than others to prove your value adds to the growth of you and your organization.
Appraisals are not what your managers decide for you and what companies give to you. It is what you give to yourself for the money you are getting paid. It is what you feel at the end of an hard working day fulfilling your obligations, responsibilities and duties both as a professional and also as a individual makes you what you are.
Numbers, Money, Promotions, Awards or any other form of recognition is just another aspect in our lives. Self-Satisfaction of doing your best, feeling the pride of achievement and sense of belonging-ness to your team, your company and your family is what makes you successful. As long as these basic things are in place, it really doesn't matter, where you work from...Be it a multi-storeyed tech park, or an isolated factory shed, or from the couches of your home....what matters is business and its outcomes at large!
Happy Home Officing!