There’s No Place Like Working From Home… Or is There?
By Erin Moir – Exclusive to the Dig Blog
During the past year I enjoyed the beautiful scenery, weather and laid back, but always pulsing with excitement, vibe of Vancouver. I have just moved back home to the Steel-city of Ontario (Hamilton) so you can imagine the transition. You’re probably sitting there wondering “What was she thinking?” and trust me I have thought the same thing. Even though the scenery does not compare to that of Vancouver, home is home.
As luck may have it I am close to another mining hub of Canada; Toronto. Mike, Chris and Nick at Dig were kind enough to let me continue working for the company when I moved back and I decided to test the “working from home” waters. It seems there is a stigma tied to working from home so I’m going to take you behind the scenes for a little sneak peak!
I think everyone can agree that rolling out of bed two minutes before you have to start work is the perfect scenario. Do I mind throwing my hair up in a messy bun, keeping my comfy pajama’s on and grabbing my phone and laptop on my way to which ever room I choose to work in that day? Not at all! When I consider how much time went into picking out an outfit, ironing, doing my makeup, hair and making sure I still caught the bus on time to get to the office, do I miss it? Nope.
I have the flexibility to shape my work day to my liking. As long as everything gets done… I’m golden. With Skype, G-mail chat, cellphones and basic e-mail, working from home has become a new phenomenon for more and more businesses these days. It all sounds good doesn’t it? But there is always a flip side…
Although my commute is only twenty seconds, I am finding it harder each morning to get myself out of bed to start my day. “Just 5 more minutes!!!” as I hit the snooze button again and again.
Besides this, the two most problematic things about working from home are separating your home/work life and the lack of in-person interaction with colleagues.
My cell phone and laptop are within arm’s reach at any time and I have found myself working much longer hours. I have been experimenting with this one by taking my set up to Starbucks for a different view. I have also starting scheduling a lot of in person meetings with clients to get into the city, sit face to face with people and discuss work for the “human” component of my day, but neither of these are quite the same as going into the office.
Of all these, I would definitely say that the lack of human interaction is the main reason working from home may not be all it’s cracked up to be. As I said before, I am more and more thankful every day for the existence of G-mail chat, Skype and phone calls to enable global communication. But there is something to be said about being a part of Thursday night office bowling parties, the delicious lunches Haley orders and Meredith’s Valentine’s Day chocolates shared by everyone present! Nothing says a great work day like being surrounded by a group of great co-workers.
So my verdict about working from home… I have tried to remain unbiased since I haven’t been doing it for more than a month, so I am still undecided. I have quickly discovered that success depends on one’s ability to stay disciplined and creating a personal routine that works. Perhaps working from home is not for everyone but I anticipate that most people in this generation will be giving it a try for one reason or another. My advice, definitely don’t discredit the value of those small human interactions that make your day awesome!