The Home Office


I’m piloting a remote working program at my company. It’s going well so far, and I’m hoping it becomes permanent. I’m able to get more done without the distractions, and I’m still in the office a couple times per week for meeting and such, so I’m not completely invisible.

When it comes to the concept of remote working or the home worker, I really think I align with Jay Fleischman, a blogging lawyer, of all things, when he says:

Make no mistake, I do work from home. I also work from the courthouse, the local coffee shop (what a cliché), my parent\’s house in sunny Florida, and the laundry room in the basement of my apartment building.

My office – to the extent that I have one – goes where I go. It resides online and in my head. It sits in the car with me, on the train and on an airplane. My office sleeps when I do, wakes with me as well.

But true mobility does not come from having a home office; all that does it tether us to a place, just like having an office in a downtown high-rise tethers us to a place.

So once again – I do not have a home office. I am my office, and it goes where I go.

While I do have an official office in my home, that is not necessarily where I am all the time when I am remote working. That is why we’ve made the differentiation between “remote working” and “working from home.”

I am a remote worker. I have a laptop, two blackberries, a bluetooth headset and an iPod. I have notebooks and pencils and pens and highlighters and manila folders. I take them where I please, and work my ass off when I get there. Does it matter where “there” is?

I’ve been reading a ton about telecommuting and home offices, and found some very good information. I used to be a freelance designer and elearning developer, so I’ve been here before, but this time it’s a bit different. I have kids and a wife and a dog. It’s 2008, not 2000. It’s a lot different.

Stay tuned for more on this topic…

4 thoughts on “The Home Office

  1. Good luck getting your employer to make your new situation a permanent one. Most bosses are reluctant to allow people to work from outside of the office until they see the rise in productivity. Keep at it!

  2. @ Jay – I definitely understand. I\’m hopeful our pilot will drive a shift in the company as a whole. Flex scheduling and telecommuting are just part of the bigger picture, which I think must include at least a partial shift towards Results-Only-Work-Environment (ROWE).

    While I\’m not sure Results-Only is the answer, I do think a variation of it might be the holy grail for companies looking at the inevitable baby boom retirement and recruitment of the next generation of workers, who want more than the normal 8-5…

    As one of my good friends always says, “I want to work to live, not live to work.”

  3. I work from home about 80% of the time. Within a one year period, I went from having a boss and 15 coworkers in the same office as me to having a boss in Malaysia, one coworker in the Netherlands and one coworker in London. After a couple of months it hit me that my one hour morning commute wasn’t buying me a whole lot since all my meetings and interaction was over the phone and I spent most of the day working alone anyway. Add the one hour commute back home each day and that’s one full work day each week spent sitting behind the wheel.

    I also have some early meetings because of the time difference. Seven AM is not uncommon and I have even attended a couple of 10pm, 2am and 3am meetings. Having my office here at the house makes being part of a global organization a whole lot easier and saves me a huge chunk of time each week. Throw in scheduling flexibility and gas savings and it’s a no-brainer for me.

  4. @ Russ:

    Absolutely – sounds like you have a great setup. Flexibility is key.

    Thanks for the comment – hope your experience only gets better!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.