AIBU in thinking employers who do not embrace working from home possibilities are short sighted?
indulged · 02/05/2011 20:21
It seems wasteful to go into a workplace when you are just doing exactly what could be done at home. I drive 1 hr each way to sit at a computer and do exactly the same as what i do at home. I waste petrol, I chat, i have coffee and lunch. I am less productive at work.
I am amazed in this day and age that more employers arent embracing working from home. Less rental/room fees, green policy, lower utility bills. Why isnt this taking off?
Hatesponge · 02/05/2011 20:26
I would love the flexibility of working from home - all my work is computer based, and I am in a paperless office so my post is scanned on every day - if I had a networked computer I could easily (and FAR more effectively!) work from home.
However my employers have openly stated that working from home is not possible for 'security reasons' and therefore not permitted (I'm contracted to a major insurer incidentally, not MI5!)
NinkyNonker · 02/05/2011 20:41
Posted too early.
I had a hefy commute, so I used to be up and out of the house just after 6 if going to London, just after 7 if not. Then home either around 2030 or 1930 depending on where I had been working. My commute cost me a minimum of £3k per year.
When I worked at home, which was a regular thing, I could get up at 8, log in, shower, tea, breakfast etc then be at computer by 0830. Clock off about 1800, with a nice cooked lunch at the table with laptop.
Result? Same (if not more) hours worked, with no distractions from chatty colleagues etc, easier to concentrate, more sleep, less cost. Well, I still had my season tickets but you get the drift.
I guess some people would take the mick, neither I nor my colleagues would have done because we were well paid and took our jobs seriously. It was a good company to work for, but they expected their pound of flesh in return which was fine.
I could access everything from home due to network, was on equivalent of MSN for instant access, had office number re-routed to mobile etc so was just as accessible.
SardineQueen · 02/05/2011 20:52
" I chat, i have coffee and lunch"
Which is why I like to go into work!!!
Working from home doesn't suit everybody... I am much more motivated when in the office, and the experience of going "out" to work is something that I really love.
I don't mind doing it a bit... Just not too much.
Horses for courses innit?
SardineQueen · 02/05/2011 20:54
Whoops - from an employer perspective?
Face to face meetings and conversations are still very important to a lot of organisations I think. It is hard to bring teams together who really work together if they are rarely in the same place at once. That sort of thing.
I agree though I can't see any reason that most employers don't have it a bit.
pointythings · 02/05/2011 21:02
I think employers are definitely missing a trick - if I were an employer I would want to see my staff some of the time, but as long as they were meeting their deadlines and getting the job done, it shouldn't be a problem.
My boss is happy to allow it - there are rules in place, you have to state clearly what you will be working on and when you will produce it, you have to be contactable via mobile and email to deal with any emergencies requiring voice contact, but it works really well. When we had the snow, my boss actively encouraged everyone to have a home working plan prepared so that she could close the office for everyone's safety if it was needed.
I can also work from home when my DCs are not well, as long as I ensure that DH pulls his weight in terms of taking time off for them too (he is allowed to use his sick leave to care for dependents), so if they are not well in the usual way (not ill enough to justify carer leave but too ill for school) I can be at home with them and still get a full day's work done.
I too find that I am more productive and focused at home, which is why I work from home on specific projects that demand high levels of concentration and attention to detail. My boss gets this because she does it too.
Seriously, it's easy enough to spot a piss-taker - if only because they will also be taking the piss when they are physically present.
Hatesponge · 02/05/2011 21:05
I'd be happy with a split - 2 or 3 days a week working from home, remainder in the office. I do have to supervise a team, and whilst I could do a lot of that remotely (by auditing and reviewing their work, which is how I do it now) I would still need to have meetings etc - although tbh they could be done by video/telephone conferencing......
MarshaBrady · 02/05/2011 21:07
Yes when I was at work one of the best resources was an out of office freelance computer whizz who would turn around projects in an amazingly short amount of time. Used him when we needed to.
Was really good.
So now have convinced others to take me on in this way. It took a few weeks but now they admit it is excellent. Keeps costs down (or to nothing when not needed) and I just go in for briefing etc.
I am also amazed at how long it takes people in work to talk about something. I am on a different time (fast, toddler time ).
kitbit · 02/05/2011 21:16
If as an employer you are able to shift your focus from 'hlirs worked' to 'prodictivity' then you're 99% there and this avoids the problem of colleagues being suspicious of each other's hard work at home.
We have time-based goals. Once you put that level of trust in people you are often greatly surprised, but then again if X has to be complete in 2 weeks and I do it, everyone is happy, so my boss doesn't mibd if I'm online 6am-12 and then go shopping as long as I produce what's been agreed.
But it depends on the nature of the work, obviously.
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