Tuesday, July 1, 2008

On Working from Home: Really?

I haven't done a post on working from home in a while, and an article in the NY Times this past week inspired me to do so. It's titled "Working Alone, In a Group".

A main point in the article discusses what drives folks to these shared workplaces that are seemingly becoming popular. "...my home is not always conducive to work." (Well, my friend, have you tried it with a renovation underfoot?)

But Ms. Belkin makes a really good point in a single sentence that outlines many of the biggest challenges of working from home, especially when it's a new situation:
But if you stay home, you lose the routine, the companionship and the accountability (napping is tempting).
I've gotten over the temptation to nap--well, only once or twice--and it was technically on a sick day or at the very end of my pregnancy while I was just trying to hold it together. So let's put that particular issue aside and stick with accountability. You still have to have a to-do list, an agenda for the day. Whatever you would get done in the office, you have to be just as productive at home. Period.

Companionship is an important consideration with work. There are folks who do best when left on their own entirely. It is true of many businesses, however--and I have found this to be validated in the marketing discipline--that collaboration brings inspiration, even if not necessarily crafted for that purpose.

When I work at home, I do have distractions, like the fridge. (That's a whole other post in itself...controlling your food intake when it's "free" and right nearby.) And I'm a talker. But I just re-channel that urge and call a client instead.

The routine she mentions is something you need to control yourself. I've said it before. I think you need to be far more disciplined at home than in an office.

With that said, maybe I'll try one of these sometime. However, if it's just a hipster version of cube-land...I'm already over it. What do you think?

1 comment:

Kwana said...

Great post. Thanks for the link. I'm still trying to find the right work space balance for myself. Summer will be tougher for me with the kids at home. I'll have to get creative. Maybe build a cube. These seem like an interesting moneymaker. We need to do one.