Working from Home in 2013
2013 will see more telecommuters than ever working comfortably from their homes. The acceptance of flexible schedules and home officing has brought us a long ways towards having our work lives and home lives mesh in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a decade ago. Most of this has been positive but there are new challenges to consider as well.
Are you one of the many who consider your home your office? Do you have a designated office space for this purpose, complete with desk, filing cabinets, and a multi-function device for printing, copying and faxing? Or, are you taking the more relaxed approach and camping out on the couch with your laptop on your knees and Oprah on the television?
It’s not that either approach is right or wrong, but each brings a different dynamic into play. Let’s take a look. Naturally, if you have a completely dedicated home office, you are able to most closely simulate the work experience of showing up to the office. You can clock in, and stay at your desk, work at your computer then take a coffee break or lunch break, and generally speaking put in your eight hours in a fashion very much like in a traditional office.
If you are sitting in the kitchen on a barstool, listening to the dishwasher hum as it goes through it’s cycles, and keeping an eye on the roast in the oven, then you can accomplish just as much work, in theory, but you are given the added benefit of jumping up to throw a load of wash from the washer into the dryer during your coffee break, or preparing the evening’s dinner and popping it into the refrigerator during your lunch break.
For the most relaxed home worker, you might prefer reclining on the sofa with your favorite daytime television playing on the flat screen television while your laptop or tablet device sits on your lap, with facebook open in one screen and your work tasks open in another screen. This is valid, and work will get done, but not as efficiently as in the other scenarios. It just stands to reason that getting “too” comfortable is not conducive to productivity.
Still another scenario is those of us with little ones at home. In that case, we may try our best to stick to task and keep distractions to a minimum, but find ourselves jumping up from the couch to attend to a toddler or fitting in infant feedings between phone calls and other tasks. Multi-tasking is a reality for the work at home, stay at home parent, and often these folks end up putting in long days and many hours to complete all they must at both work and home.
Whichever your work-at-home style, for best results and to make the most of the opportunity, keep to a schedule and routine that works for you, your place of employment, and family. With a little practice and experimentation you can find the perfect way to make working at home, whether it be from your office or from your loveseat, work for you!