Sunday, November 14, 2010

Working from home

I spend much of my working week working from home.

Working from home is not easy, it requires discipline. You must resist temptation of the fridge next door, and other distractions you have around the house. You must ensure that the other people in the house live you alone. You must ensure you don't get distracted with other house work.

I manage to create a routine and discipline to enable myself to be productive at home. I walk in to my home office as if though I traveled to work. I shut the door and ensure nobody distracts me. The benefits are enormous:

  • I cut out an hour a day of traveling. That is one whole extra hour in that day I can spend with my family and on those little 'distractions' I managed to resist all day - guilt free!
  • I save on parking and petrol expenses and help reduce pollution.
  • I save my lunch money - lunch is just in that fridge I am trying to avoid for the rest of the day!
  • Lunch is whole other hour I can spend with my family - so I save up to whole two extra hours with my family that day
  • I am more productive, I close the door to my office and get on with work.

There are definitely work benefits to being in the office together with the rest of the team. Not everybody will be able to spend as much time working from home as I do. However, the option of working from home, even if it is used occasionally will bring many benefits to any business.

The SUSTEL project provided the following findings on effects of teleworking at BT:

  • 78% of staff say they are more productive - generally estimated at 10-20% more productive
  • 90% were satisfied with teleworking
  • 22% said they had worked when otherwise they would have felt too ill to travel in for a whole days work
  • BT say they have made £100 million per year space savings: teleworking staff are expected to give up having a permanent desk, and use touch-down areas when at the office.

Today, with the high penetration of broadband in the home coupled with advances in internet-based VoIP telecommunications systems such as VadaXchange, migrating employees from office workers to remote workers is not only cost-effective, it has also become a high priority with a large percentage of companies.

Your views and questions on working from home would be much appreciated - please leave a comment.

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