Working from home. All the rage isn’t it? Or is it just a great idea, which in practice doesn’t work as well as it should?
My experience of working from home is a complete mix. I’ve had success in doing small bursts of work for a few hours at home, when I’m in a space where I won’t be disturbed. This keeps me focused, as I have a very simple mind which needs to concentrate on one task at a time. It still isn’t great though, as much as I like my own space and conditions to work in, I like to be available and around the business for whatever might need my input.
I’ve also had great frustrations in working from home as well, this is normally when I try working in a space, which isn’t dedicated for ‘work’. It’s actually what inspired this article to be written. Having come from the office a little earlier than usual, I thought I’d finish off a couple of tasks I had left to do, whilst keeping an eye on our bambino. In my mind this would be perfect, best of both worlds and all that…but in practice it just doesn’t work. I’d made the mistake of thinking our little girl doesn’t need the pretty much constant supervision that she does need now she is getting mobile, and wanting to get involved in everything…
So work went out of the window for a while, until I did get my own space, and away I went.
Whilst everyone is different, I find it near on impossible to work at home with someone else in the same room as me. Some might say that’s some kind of malfunction on my part, so what if is, I’m just pointing out what doesn’t work for me. Even in your own space, you will still have disturbances.
Some people will argue that allowing people working from home doesn’t allow ‘management’ to keep tabs on them, but that in itself is a different problem around trust and expectations. People having the right space and environment to work in, that’s actually the bigger challenge to overcome.
In an ideal world I think an ‘office’ down the bottom of the garden which is self contained would be great (I actually know someone with this setup – you know who you are!), but again depending on your role in a business, that still might not work from a team perspective. For me that’s something which might work well if I spent half my time there, and half my time at the office.
I read again recently about the ‘death of the office’ – but for me, having a good working environment which is dedicated to work is much more productive that having everyone sat on their own at home. The little things such as discussing problems, bouncing ideas off each other or simply having an instant set of fresh eyes on something is invaluable.
So where does all that leave me? Sat in my kitchen writing this, whilst I hatch a plan for a larger garden to get that home office deployed….
I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on any of this, feel free to comment or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written by Gavin Moorhouse, owner of Lucid Computer Solutions, an IT Support and Cloud Services business in Worcestershire. They have a dedicated office, and sometimes work from home too.