I agree that many people can do very productive work from home or other location
remote from the office, but I wonder if this finding may be skewed by natural
selection. Many people who are allowed by their employers to work remotely are
the ones who have proven themselves to be productive in an office setting first
with little or no supervision. Those who are less productive in the office may
not be given the chance to work from home.It's kind of like all
the studies that show a college graduate earns so much more than a high school
graduate without taking into account that the kinds of people who make it
through college have high achievement characteristics that will naturally cause
them to excel in any environment. Not that college is bad (I went), but it
isn't the only factor.
I have worked in an office setting. But for the last 15 years, I have been an
outside sales Rep working from my home office remotely. There are fewer
distractions, I can go to my kid's game or concert and work during time
outs, or make up the work in the evening after the kids are asleep. I work
while my co-workers are still commuting. I am engaged because I highly value
the flexibility the job affords me, and make sure my efforts are seen by my
employer as valuable to the organization. Is this any different than a cube
dweller, living to punch the time clock? I think so.
Lots of good comments here, and I have to agree with 2 Cents, it won't work
with every job, and comparing those jobs at the office and those that can be
done at home is not a real comparison.But how about this one? My
company employs 8 regional Sales Managers, of which I am one. We all cover 5 to
7 states. 7 of us work from home. But the guy who lives near the corporate
office works out of a cube there.When we have quarterly sales
meetings, which guy's numbers are consistently under budget? You guessed
it. Now, it may be that the rest of us are better at our job. It may be that
his market is saturated. It may be a number of things.Continued....
I don't believe this story in its entirety because it is not based in
comparison to like tasks or working conditions for all at home workers. You
can't compare jobs that are one of a kind or very specific in nature with
one of common task jobs most business would allow to home working jobs.Most work at home jobs are mobile, independent, and not tied to 8hr
supervision. Work at home jobs are the elite and independent contracting CEO
jobs a company hires so they cannot be counted as work a home. They are a home
business and a completely different breed of job.This is not the
future of American, its limited and experience intensive that is not comparable.
My idea of a work at home job is being a skilled worker who
doesn't' have to work to get paid. Your knowledge is your value. Some
jobs can't be done at home and to fool people with these rare contract jobs
is and injustice to the claim. I'd bet too that these WAH jobs are
disastrous on health, stress, family, and home life.
The modern workday is filled not only with distracting co-workers but also with
an incredible amount of non-core, time-wasting tasks like "Diversity
Training". Working remotely often allows you to avoid these productivity
robbers and actually allows you to get some real work done.
I am an engineer for a fortune 50 company. I work from home on rare
occasions.Tekakaromatagi is right. No long winded employees chewing up
your time.Employers also don't have to pay for office space, heating,
cooling or electricity when an employee works from home. I have worked from home
in order to get hot projects finished on a tight schedule. I don't have to
waste time on the road (parked) and I can work far more hours because I will not
be driving while dead tired.I know an outside salesman who was laid
off. His employer forgot an important fact. The salesman used his own cell phone
for work. His cell number was even printed on his business cards. He took the
cell phone with him (over his former employers objections) and all his customers
along with him to his new employer.
There seems to be an advantage to working without the daily commute which saps
your energy both directions. Having more energy each day allows you to be more
productive. At least that is what I observed when my husband was working from
home versus when he has had to go into the office each day.
I work remotely for the most part because I own my own accounting firm. On the
days I do go in house I only work from 11 - 6 with my major client. I get alot
done on those days as well but the difference is when I work remotely I am able
to work at 9 at nite or 6 in the morning without an actual office being open
Tekakaromatagi: Just curious. Do you answer calls from the United States?
I can think of two reasons for this: 1) no visits by longwinded co-workers who
talk forever about office gossip, 2) no meetings. I had a supervisor who could
talk forever but he talked in vague terms. So he talked, but he answered no
questions and he raised additional questions.