I find it ironic that today I’m writing about the modern office and telework as I sit on the floor of my kitchen working this morning. It’s not that I don’t like working from a traditional office or desk. It’s that at the moment at my home I have not a piece of furniture in my home as my family prepares to move. You see, telecommuting it’s the secret sauce of my productivity. It’s hard for me to imagine working in a traditional office environment, but many of workers still do.
Why I Telecommute and Work From Home
Office space is expensive. Add in the cost of utilities and software, having a brick and mortar office is seen by some (including me) as an unnecessary expense for your company. Our personal space at the office has decreased from 300 square feet in 1995 to 225 in 2014. In 2012, I thought I needed a grown up office to call my own and I invested in an office space in downtown. It seemed so glamorous as I could easily meet others for coffee or business meetings. The downside was time wasters like the commute and the added expense of paying for professional work dress as I live in jeans and a tee. I quickly found that my flexible lifestyle that incorporates business and personal is not conducive for a traditional office. On Friday, I took a couple hours off during the middle of my day to watch my daughter be an evil carrot in her first ever school play.
I manage my team and my business remotely. We chat by a number of different mediums and channels to stay in touch and meet our business deadlines without the hassles of having those drive bys from team members who tend to steal your work productivity. I have enough distractions in my life to have others creating others for me to manage and own.
My life is a constant mesh of business and personal which makes a traditional work environment so challenging. I thrive in folding laundry while taking that business conference call. This is my life. This is my life every single day. It’s a life that others desire which is why I was surprised that telecommuting would not have an even larger increase than 21 percent by 2016.
The ability to have work scheduling flexibility is important. It is one of the top 5 reasons that employees leave your company:
- Schedule flexibility
- Boss blames you for mistakes
- Difficult co-workers
- Work expectations during time off
- Your boss doesn’t trust you
Aside from cubicles and telework, the modern office has been driven by technology particularly laptops and mobile phones making it easy to work anywhere and at any time of the day. Seventy percent of workers use their personal cell phone and mobile device to access corporate data as part of their normal work day. Work like your personal life isn’t constant and the ability to telework and have a flexible work and personal lifestyle helps keep you happy and most importantly healthy to give your job, your business and your team the best you at work every single day.