More and more people are transitioning from the office to move from their cubicle at work to working out of their home or even at a coffee shop. Some people leave the office just so they can concentrate on a project or task. They need to get away from the constant interruptions that may occur at the office from colleague’s etc stopping by their office. Being able to focus 100% on writing a report means you have can get so much more done in less time. Some business people have made that transition out of the office all together. They no longer maintain an office. How do they give up the office desk and where do they work? We will examine this in some more detail.
Give Up the Office Desk – Working at Home
Working at home has many advantages for the employee as well as the company you work for. No more commutes to the office, no office space to maintain and a more relaxed atmosphere at home can reduce overall stress for everyone. Working at home takes dedication and commitment to doing one’s job without slacking off out of site of the boss. It also means being available all of the time with set hours and having the tools to do your job.
This usually means a separate phone line, a high speed data connection, printers, copiers, fax machine and a smart phone to be able to monitor messages all of the time and to respond to calls while out of the home office. The advantage is that you save that commute time which for many people can be two hours a day or more assuming a one hour one way trip to the company office. This is a huge improvement to quality of life for many people.
Working at the Coffee Shop
We often see people working on their computers at coffee shops and even in some restaurants. The key appears to be having access to the internet, although some will be working off line on reports or assignments if they are a student. If you are the type that can concentrate with all of the distractions around you in a coffee shop, you have it made. Otherwise coffee shops may be a bit difficult to work in. Especially if they are noisy and you are also taking calls from people at work or customers. Personally I have worked at my computer in a coffee shop, but it is not my favorite place.
Cheaper for Business
The jury is out regarding whether it is cheaper for business or not. Sure there are savings in terms of corporate office space that is not needed in a office building. You still have the communication costs that go along with having an employee, the benefits etc. The question is whether these savings are countered by people goofing off at home or elsewhere whey they are supposed to be working.
Most people will actually work more than they would at the office and get more done as well. Some will not and this is the group that manages need to pay attention to. In reality, every job should have a set of expectations and deliverables that can be measured in some way. If these are well defined, then an employee and the employer both know what the expectations are and can be measured accordingly.
There certainly is more flexibility for employees when they work at home. Taking the kids to school, looking after sick kids and dealing with other personal issues is much easier. Flexible working hours make this all possible and employees typically will make up these hours and much more. They actually put in more hours that they might otherwise if they were at the office. How many times have you been to meetings in the office, when someone gets up, apologizes that they have to leave the meeting. They have to catch the train home or their ride home. When they work at home, there is no train or ride to worry about. They can stay on the conference call until the meeting is concluded.
Always Available – Mobile Phones. PDA’s etc
With the tools available today, such as smart phones and PDA’s, everyone can stay in touch with the office. They can keep up with email and other productivity requirements almost anywhere. Get equipped with the latest gadgets and you will have the freedom to work almost anywhere.