Reasons I like working at home:
- Lots of natural light
- I can play music out loud instead of wearing headphones
- The cat keeps me company
- Really nice chair
- I can go to work in my pajamas
- I can make fun lunches in the kitchen
- If I go for a run or bike ride at lunch time, I can just hop in the shower afterwards
Reasons I like working in the office:
- The people are nice
I could fulfill all my requisite face-to-face interactions and meetings in one day per week in the office, but in my new position I suspect the number and length of meetings with continue to rise. Which is probably just another argument for staying home…
Does a decision really need to be made?
The important part is the “working”. Where will you be most effective and can’t that change from day to day?
People get really weird when it comes to tradition and convention and it stops them from looking at a situation practically.
I love it when I ask people why they can’t have a meeting virtually instead of physically and the answer is that there is “something” about meeting face to face.
If you can’t define it, does it exist?
I’d love to be able to work from home occasionally. That said, I get a lot out of working together in an office with other people; I learn from my co-workers and they learn from me. I overhear other people’s conversations and they listen in on mine, giving all of us an awareness of happenings that we would otherwise not have. I am a more effective worker spending most of my time at the office than home alone. Of course I work 20 minutes (walking) from work so there’s really no reason I can’t still come home for lunch, exercise, etc…
And just because you can’t define something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. But it’s true, there are definitely plenty of meetings that can probably be made “virtual” instead.
I would suggest that even that interaction could be replaced virtually.
When I say they can’t define it, I REALLY mean it. They believe it is there, but they don’t know what “it” is or the vaguest notion of how to describe it.
Personally I think “it” is a sense of control and the prejudice that if you are working at home then you must not be working. If something is easy then it must not be effective. Balderdash, hogwash and humbug.
There are many things we can’t necessarily clearly define that are nonetheless important. Colleague interaction and shared learning can be one of them. If you work in a situation where you are collaborating with others, being in one room with a whiteboard can often be incredibly productive. When it comes time to get down to the coding, being far away in a hermetically sealed chamber with no outside distractions can be equally if not more productive.
Currently, I am the only person in my office doing what I am doing, and what I am doing does not often require much collaboration or interaction with others, and what is needed can often be handled by email. But in the building I am moving to, a lot of people putting a lot of work into tons of different projects can often be hard to pin down for what *we* need, and so being able to drop by their office or meet in the hallway and chat is, apparently, often the quickest way to get results.
Now whether that points to a failure of communication or organization or planning, I don’t know, but it is what it is.
I’m taking advantage of working from home as much as I can right now, knowing that as soon as I move into my new department such opportunities will probably be severely curtailed. Alas.
All I am saying is that “I think you should work from the office because I feel better about it” is a really lousy reason and is based in culture and tradition rather than in reality.
People should work where they are the most effective.
Agreed. It goes beyond “putting in your 8 hours” and becomes about being productive and achieving results, regardless of amount of time spent chained to one location or another.
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