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Friday Musings - Working from home

Chester-smells-treatsby Yvonne DiVita

I work from home. I've worked from home for more than 10 years. Granted, I work for myself... although these days there is a bigger presence in our lives - BlogPaws was aquired by Pet360 and I now work for them. But, they understand that, as the Co-Founder and major contributor to BlogPaws, I need to have a good working environment... which is here at home. Where I can give my dogs lots of attention, all day long. 

There's a bit of controversy going around the business world about the whole working from home idea. Back when the Internet began, we geeks were ecstatic that we now had a tool that would allow us to work from home and still be connected to the office. And yet, the numbers haven't changed all that much... people don't work from home as much as we thought they would. Flexible hours is not the norm, as we expected it would be. 

However, "According to the 2012 National Study of Employers, "between 2005 to 2012, employers have increased their provision of options that allow employees to better manage the times and places in which they work. These include flex time (from 66% to 77%); flex place (from 34% to 63%); choices in managing time.." and more.

Of course, there is more to flex time than just working from home. Employers who allow this may require time sheets or documentation on how much work was done and when. Some may require specific hours - 3 hours in the morning, 3 in the afternoon...etc. Others may leave it to the employee. Frankie-meets-Chester

For me, and folks who work from home at BlogPaws, we believe in trusting the worker - so, you have your tasks, your work schedule, the list of what needs to get done, and you do it. I don't look over your shoulder, nor do I want anyone looking over my shoulder. If I want to stop in the middle of the day and walk the dogs, I do. I make it up in other ways, later on or on weekends.

There's nothing better than knowing I have full control over my work day. I don't work in a world where I can turn off at 5:00 on Friday and then turn back on at 8:00 on Monday. Sometimes I work Saturday and Sunday... and not Monday. Sometimes I travel and have a totally screwed up schedule. No matter what, I get the work done because, in the end, isn't that the key? Isn't accomplishing the work, and doing it well because you are comfortable where you work... the most important thing?

Isn't it, Marissa Mayer?

Comments

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Lisa Pruitt

You have just described my every wish and dream and the sole purpose of every minute of the last year I've worked so hard on Bostonista byZoey. I don't think my wrist or elbow will ever be normal again LOL! Zoey may never forgive me for the lost frisbee time she'll never get back ;) I'm in a position in my life that I desperately need to work at home for several very serious reasons and I just hope at some point it all works out and I ulitimately achieve this. Inspiring article, there's a light, it can happen if I keep plugging away. Thank You.

Bruce Peteres

All good stuff. Also, consider the challenges of the leadership of an
organization to maximize "connection" among the team members.
How can this be effectively accomplished and yet provide the
flexibility desired and needed both by the individuals and the org.
What companies navigate this effectively?

caren gittleman

Spot on and I loved this "Isn't accomplishing the work, and doing it well because you are comfortable where you work... the most important thing?"

The other thing is when you work from home you really never leave your work. Whereas someone in an office might be working for 8 hrs (including their internet surfing time lol), those that work from home are EASILY working 10+ hr shifts!

Carol Bryant

I so very much love this post. I get way more done working from my home office, where I have an entire room devoted as my office indeed. I have a lot of home-based friends who are both employees and Independent Contractors, a few who even own their own business. Working from a home office takes discipline. I set a schedule, I generally follow it, and allow myself timed breaks and lunches. A work hazard has become easy access to my office, so not allowing myself to get sucked into the "drift" (as was talked about on the BlogPaws community recently) is elemental to my mental well being. I give my work the same respect someone working outside the home gives theirs.

I don't mind occasional travel and in fact, I highly encourage it to connect with the outside world and stay current. This is my 13th year working "remotely" - and my feeling is this: If you get the job done and get it done right, the location does not matter. It isn't for everyone, but it's my way and it works for me.

On a side note, when I did have to work outside the home for a few days recently I struggled to get caught up once I got back. I, like you, work at nights and on weekends. If I were to have to travel to an office to do that, I know I wouldn't be driving in at 2 am, but I often check in and do work later. It works for me. Business by being effective!

Great post.

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