Let’s consider the holy grail of work flexibility: working from home. It sounds like a miracle in itself. People being allowed to work from their couch, in their pajamas, without anyone supervising them. Without having to commute long hours, you’re able to take back all that time and spend it the way you want and not stuck in traffic. With the ability to step out for quick appointments, or errands, the possibilities seem endless. But, have you taken the time to consider how all of these perks could actually be hurting your career? Today we’re going to look into some things to reconsider before deciding to pack up your cubicle belongings.
Things we Forget to Consider
The first thing we hear from veteran telecommuters is that “you have to have a lot of discipline”. This may seem like a moot point, but we don’t realize how much discipline until we are in that position, and we find out how easy it is to get side tracked doing chores, errands, or straight up avoiding doing work. When working from home, employees will need to be more disciplined, perhaps, more than when they are in the office. The sheer freedom of having nobody watching you at work can be liberating, but also threatening to someone’s productivity.
Another thing that we should consider is the type of work you do, and the type of person you are. If you are an extrovert who craves constant chatter in the office, working from home may not be the right option. Many people who are in roles that require a lot of collaboration or positions that gain more ideas from being around their peers should also maybe reconsider the home office idea. Those who loved conversations by the water cooler, who started to work from home always mention feeling lonely as one of the main reasons why they decided to go back to the office or did not enjoy their time working from home.
When we work in an office, we take things for granted. There’s an IT department, who can fix things for you if something goes wrong, but at home, there’s nobody there but you. Another fact of it is, is that you may not have all the proper equipment to work effectively from home. The expensive software that your company pays for, you might not have it on your own home computer. Make sure your employees have the best work from home tools to optimize their WFH environment.
When working from home, employee’s time management and organizational skills are put to the test. People who work from home argue that they put in more hours from home than when in the office because they forget to clock in, or keep track of their time working. This can become a problem when working from home was supposed to provide more flexibility, but you feel like you have to put in more hours than required to prove that you’re working hard, or because you procrastinated.
Is it Time to Reconsider?
In order for someone to be successful while working from home, we need to stop and consider all of the little things that we may have been avoiding. Even though working from home in your living room may sound like a great idea, take a second to reflect on the type of person you are and if this is the right fit. If you have difficulties trying to find out what kind of worker you are, arrange to ease into working from home. Ask your supervisor if you can start by working remotely 2 days a week, then progressively increase the days if you feel it’s a good fit. And, for HR admins, it’s important to remember to set your employees up for success. It all starts with properly managing your remote workers.