I had such a strong reaction to Yahoo’s memo eliminating telecommuting that you’d think I actually worked for the company. I find that telecommuting often elicits that kind of reaction and heated debate.
Some, like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, think it’s destructive – or at least not productive. One of my former superiors found even the idea of “work/life balance” so repellent that we were forbidden from pitching any related stories on behalf of our clients, no matter how relevant.
Others, like me, would be hard-pressed to return to an office full-time no matter how tempting the rest of the job seemed. At this point in my career, the ability to work from home is a deal breaker for me (although I reserve the right to change my mind on that if needed).
I love almost everything about working from home. I do miss talking with my friends at work about non-work-related stuff, but that’s probably not something bosses would include in their arguments against telecommuting.
I won’t cite studies supporting my support of telecommuting. There are plenty supporting both sides of the issue. I don’t need studies to tell me what I know – working from home allows me to do my best work and be the most productive, and that was true even before I became self-employed. Before J. Clary Public Relations, I worked for a virtual PR agency and have collaborated with some others since, and the results are tremendous.
I previously worked in offices with an open environment. I guess it’s supposed to help with collaboration and is also done for cost purposes. Obviously I got my work done, but that environment often made it more difficult. It was hard to write healthcare tech articles when everyone around me was talking. I always felt weird phone pitching in front of other people. And for the most part, I had really cool coworkers so the temptation to chat was hard to resist.
Yeah, I know, that’s office life and that’s fine. But for me, the argument that going to an office results in increased productivity is flimsy.
I am so much more productive working from home and working in ways that fit me and my personality. I’m less stressed about life in general and thus, more creative. The bursts of energy and creativity that come when writing or developing pitches are so much easier to harness. The technology available to stay in touch and collaborate has been more than sufficient and is getting better all the time.
Alright, I’ll be honest. Yes, I do laundry or clean my bathroom or go to the grocery store when I don’t feel like working or don’t have a ton to do. Then again – and I hate to spill the beans – even in an office, people spend a lot of time not working because they don’t feel like working or don’t have a ton to do.
What works for me isn’t right for everyone or every organization. Some of my friends love the idea of the flexibility of working from home, but wouldn’t want to give up the bustle and interaction of the office. Whether you work at home or in an office, results come down to communication, teamwork, personalities and management. Choose the option that works for you.
Article contributed by: Jeannie Clary | JClaryPR.com
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