So, give or take a few days, many of us have been almost exclusively working from home for the last year. I know some organisations have allowed a staggered return, with minimal personnel in at the same time, but for the most part, many who work in the world of technology have been remote.
Prior to all this madness, not everyone had the opportunity to work remotely. Many organisations still felt that if you weren’t literally a bum on a seat from 9 – 5, then you couldn’t possibly be working. I had manager some years ago that didn’t agree with working from home as he said “if it was me (him) working from home, I’d be feet up watching the TV”….. well apparently he judged everyone by his own standards.
I’ve been fortunate enough over the last 4 years or so to run my own business and contracted, so the choice to work remotely has been more in my hands. Previously I worked at OVO energy, and they had an awesome view on this subject.
But the reality is, working from home occasionally is very different from working from home every day. Again, I’m very fortunate to have a separate Office cabin, so to some extent, it still feels like ‘Going to work’, but for many, working from home has been – working from the lounge, working from the spare bedroom, so I would imagine challenging at times.
Added to the challenges, is the lack of personal interaction. Yes we’re all dab hands at Teams, Slack and Zoom now, but there is still a gap. I know working in tech, and development specifically often meant it was good to chat things over with your team… bounce ideas around. Whichever way you slice and dice it, it’s not the same doing it over a video call.
On the other side of this argument is the subject of productivity. Personally, I find I am definitely more productive when not in an open office environment. Theres less distraction for a start. When I had a small team of developers, I would often get people coming up to ask them questions or just chat. You could almost guarantee that 5 minute chat lost 20 minutes of productivity, and if it disturbed the whole team, then……. well you can see the problem. So theres definitely less of that.
So what does the future hold for working from home? Well it seems (trying to give a cloud a silver lining) that for some organisations reluctant to allow people to work remotely, it’s been a blinding revelation. It’s very difficult to say “Working from home doesn’t work for us” when plainly we’ve all had to do it for. the last year! I really hope that for some it opens up this opportunity, that while it comes with challenges, definitely will give people a better work life balance. Cutting down on that commute. Cutting down on your carbon footprint! better productivity.
Whether you’re in the all at home camp or hybrid home/office camp, I really hope you get a good balance that works for you for however long this challenge goes on for.
p.s. these two numb nuts have helped