Working From Home

October 4, 2013     / /

Following a recent article about Yahoo! no longer offering home working, it prompted us to review our experience this Summer of working from home.

We needed to move offices and were leaving our old place at the end of June with our new office being available early August.  This left us a gap of about 5 weeks to find somewhere to base ourselves.  Our new landlord kindly offered us use of an office near by which was very convenient.  We arranged for BT to install broadband and duly waited in all day, glued to the door buzzer.  Only to be let down by BT who said they came but…..yes, before you ask we did check the buzzer was working…. yes, more than once.  We were then told that it would be up to another 3 weeks before a new installation date could be set – at the earliest.  No good to us. By this time, we would be a few days from moving again.

With our hand slightly forced we decided to work from home where we all had fast and reliable broadband connections from a variety of London postcodes.

So, was it a good thing or a bad thing or somewhere in between? Read below for some of our thoughts

Pro’s

  • It was very hot at the time so great not to be travelling in on hot trains/buses
  • Due to not travelling, we were  more productive earlier on.
  • A feeling of being more organised  – can put a wash on whilst you make a cup of tea.
  • Forces more planned work day – arranging catch up calls with colleagues, using google drive more fully for shared documents
  • Nice for a change.
  • A relief to be away from all the dust and noise of the building work in our previous location.
  • Using other technologies that help with working from home and investing in some decent headsets!
  • Last but not least – it didn’t effect our high customer service levels.

Con’s

  • Start early and finish late because there is less of definitive  “home time”.
  •  Don’t leave your desk as much/have breaks/less cups of tea.
  • Spontaneous communication is much harder – need to arrange a call or “chat”.
  • Communication takes longer and is lacking in face to face.
  • Not leaving the house – gets a bit stir crazy.
  • Missing the exercise of cycling to work.
  • Not being together in the office lacks team synergy

A fairly obvious mixed bag of comments.  It seems that the lack of face to face spontaneous communication and not spending time on the vagaries of travel were the most commonly mentioned negative and positive points respectively.

Will we use home working as part of daily pattern?  Yes but we agreed that it depends on what stage of the project cycle you are at – the earlier parts needing more collaboration, the middle part being most suited with heads down and the final parts needing input and discussion with colleagues.

Here are some interesting articles about remote working on Econsultancy and The Guardian.

If you have any experiences to share – let us know!

 

 

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