A lot has been written recently about working at home — from management having tools to know what you are doing when (cloud computing and collaboration creates a transparency which lets everyone see who’s doing what when) to a level of disrespect from colleagues who view people they can ‘see’ as higher performers.
The tide seems to have definitely changed from ‘work anywhere’ to more companies requiring face time. As we’ve said in the past, that’s partly a result of more agile styles of development and an overall accelerated pace that most companies operate in.
I have worked in a home office for a number of years and what makes it work is absolutely zero distractions and the right ‘set up’.
So many times I’ll talk to a candidate who’s working at home and they let it slip (like I didn’t pick up on it in the first 5 seconds) that they are actually watching the kids, running an errand, or working with a contractor. That’s a PTO day with a little work tossed in.
Making a habit out of never doing household chores, and keeping a strong separation between family and work, will go a long way towards highly productive days, often more so than in an office environment.
Having a great space with the right tools is key as well. Camping out at the dining room table works well if you live alone. Otherwise, a quiet area where you can concentrate, the right tools (including cell phone repeaters, all-in-ones, multiple monitors, a great desk and chair) is imperative to success.
Finally, spend a few bucks and make it great. In my home office, have a very fun leopard print area rug and some beautiful cream leather club chairs that put me in a good mood. A TV is present but it’s rarely on. Finally, I make it a point to buy flowers every week.
Working at home is a privilege that just might be becoming a bit blurred by our ability to multitask. Just because we *can* listen to the con call at the little league game doesn’t mean it’s a great idea.
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