Work at Home
Do our mentality and perspective interfere with the idea of working from home or are we slowly getting used to this lifestyle? If you have the opportunity to work from home, it‘s important to think carefully about all of the aspects. Although at first it sounds like pure enjoyment, it has some disadvantages.
The advantages of working from home
- You define your own working hours
- You don’t waste time and money traveling to the office and finding a parking space
- Working environment suits your needs
- You don’t waste time and energy on trivial “office gossip”
- It’s easier to focus on your job
The disadvantages of working from home
- It’s hard to define working hours – either you are doing too much or too little
- You don’t use breaks as much as you should
- Family and friends assume you are always available to type, take a call or have a quick cup of coffee – mixing your personal life and business during working hours weren’t a good idea if you want to get everything done on time
- If you have children, your workload doubles and it is hard for you to concentrate – you need to set boundaries
- You miss informal events in the company and lose contact with colleagues
- Not all “office gossip” is trivial – you might miss out on important facts and updates
Useful tips for working from home
- Organize your workplace – Write a list of deadlines and priorities and create “To-do” lists. Make sure you have a proper desk and quiet environment. Don’t mix household bills and receipts with papers from work, each should have a separate draw or file.
- Gain your boss’s trust – Your employer must fully trust that you will perform well from home. If you get the job done, working from home couple days a week should not be a problem. Always let your boss and colleagues know if you won’t be available for a few hours.
- Define working hours – Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you have to work all day. Work from 9am to 5pm, or 8am to 4pm as if you were in the office. Of course, if you have something urgent to take care of or client to answer, you won’t stick to define hours. Tell your family and friends that you are available after 4-5pm.
- Take a break – Try to make 5-15 minute breaks every hour so that you don’t lose concentration. Have a cup of coffee, go for a short walk or take some deep breaths on your balcony/window, have a private phone call, eat something!
- Do not be isolated from colleagues – Stay in touch on Skype, mobiles, social networks etc. It is important to know what is going on in the office, whether a colleague is sick, had a knee operation or broke his arm (get well soon guys!)
In IT companies it is easy to track employees efficiency since everything is online and transparent. Each branch is different so working from home is not always an option. It is a great privilege and shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you get distracted easily, can’t keep yourself motivated, or simply miss the office gossip and jokes – staying home isn’t for you.