Years ago pundits predicted that most white-collar employees would be working from home by now. Why isn’t that the case?
Source: The Real Reason You’re Not Allowed To Work From Home
I always enjoy Liz Ryan’s articles, and this is another gem. All of the reasons that she’s listed here is exactly why the fear exists. Some of it is founded, but most of it isn’t founded. Managers don’t seem to always understand that people are not goofing off when they work remotely. Sure, they might be able to take a moment to rotate the laundry instead of a long coffee break, but what’s the harm in that? Most studies have shown that remote workers actually get more done and put more actual work time in than if they worked in the office in most cases. In a day and age when you can talk to anyone globally via Skype or similar conferencing tools, text, IM, email, or even phone someone, why restrict them and force them to come to the office if they are being productive and creating the output you need? I find this especially true for technical communicators, and I know this to be true of 99% of the work I’ve ever had to do.
What do you think? Include your comments below.
Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog, TechCommGeekMom.com, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/daniellemvillegas, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog.
All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.
View All Posts
One thought on “The Real Reason You’re Not Allowed To Work From Home”
I also enjoy Liz’s articles, but in this case I think she oversimplifies. Trust is probably the biggest issue, but it’s not the only one. There are advantages to having the team together in the same physical location: casual interaction is easier, we’re more visible to people in other organizations (like engineering and tech support), and everyday “water cooler” conversations help increase the sense of shared mission.
My manager lets us work from home but asks that we be in the office at least three days a week. She’s happy to make exceptions for special circumstances (sick child, etc.). A few members of the team live in other cities (including two in India), and the rules are different for them. I think everyone is happy with this setup, and we get the best of best worlds: the human interaction in the office, and the convenience of working at home. The key, I think, is flexibility: the rules can accommodate special circumstances, and we know that our manager trusts us to be professionals.