We all dream of living the LIFE…of working from home.
No more long commutes to and from work. You can stay in bed longer, keep your jogging pants on all day, brew fresh coffee all day, put your feet up and listen to music with no boss breathing down your neck.
It sounds like the LIFE to me…is it a reality?
Is working from home worth it?
It may be true for some people…If this is your reality, I would love to hear about it.
Please leave a note below, but for the majority of telecommuting workers, that level of flexibility is not a reality.
In most cases working from home continues to be considered a privilege and instead of giving you more free time, work ends up consuming more of your time.
Studies have shown that telecommuters feel that they need to prove their worth even more when they are not in the office. They will do extra hours of work on their own time and fear to ask for overtime pay for fear of termination of their work from home privilege.
Work from home employees continues to have a constant feeling in the back of their mind that if they are not able to show a higher level of productivity compared to their work from office counterparts their boss will have them return to the office.
So telecommuters will work extra hours for free to meet or exceed in office workers. Add to that the use of mobile devices where telecommuters are always ON for their employer, again most times without any extra pay.
In the past when work was kept at the office once you clocked out and headed home you knew when your work day started and ended. Sure you needed to put up with your coworker’s banter during the day but at least your off time was yours.
That is no longer the reality with telecommuting and mobile devices. No longer do you think of something related to work in the evening and say I’ll follow up on that tomorrow. Now the telecommuter will stroll over to his or her laptop and do a quick tweak to this or that and before they know it they have spent 1, 2 or more hours completing work related items.
Another study has shown that work from home employees tend to skip or shorten their breaks. So, not only are they working longer hours but also working through their breaks. This happens as telecommuters worry that their boss may decide to check in at that exact time they decide to take their lunch or coffee break. They have a feeling that office workers view telecommuters as slouchers sitting in their pajamas doing little work. In reality, the office workers are likely spending most of their day talking and complaining about their work from home colleagues. All this banter at the office, not working, while the work from home employee plows through work without getting up out of their chair for hours is a common practice.
All the above-mentioned issues beg the question, is working from home worth it?
My answer is YES!
In today’s work environment work rarely ever turns off anymore. Now more than ever, with the introduction of mobile devices and laptops, work from office workers are seeing a blurred line between work time and off time. Add to that the need to commute to the office and deal with all the office politics there is no doubt in my mind that working from home is the better option.
The work from home atmosphere isn’t for everyone and can’t be available in all work environments. If it is an option, I surely suggest you take advantage of the opportunity or as it is still depicted by many employers…the privilege.
Employers will still present the work from home as a privilege to the employee. Even though the employers know that the majority of the employees will be working more hours for the same pay if they worked in the office. Even though the employer does not have to pay for an extra office or parking space along with some other savings related office services and equipment.
So for now, it is still being sold as a privilege, with time it will become a necessity as budgets continue to be tightened and office costs increase.
If you have the opportunity to accept the privilege of working from home…take it. The benefits of saving time commuting, saving the use of precious energy for doing the same job from your home.
Imagine all the vehicles staying off the road in one day when one company decides to allow their workers to work from home.
An example of 1 organization allowing 500 employees to telecommute can keep 500 vehicles off the road every work day. The organization can be saving an average 5000 liters of fuel per day. You can learn more about decreasing your carbon footprint from my blog, “What Causes Carbon Footprint Reduction?”
Although the hourly pay would be lower by working from home, there are savings in lower vehicle costs and less likelihood of eating out. Then there is the benefit of being present at home for the family.
With time, the present culture of privilege will eventually transfer to a culture of necessity.
If you have the opportunity to work from home, you will be considered a groundbreaker of innovation. Where the future work from home employees are no longer considered to be slackers.
I hope you enjoyed my schpeel. If you have any comments or experiences I would love to hear them. Please jot them down below.
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