I’ve been working from home for the greater part of a decade, and it works for me. But, being home enables me to focus on my two boys. And, I have a great circle of friends and colleagues to shoot the breeze with when I start to feel isolated. Working from home is ideal for me, but I’m starting to think I’m not in the majority. More and more, I’m hearing from others that telecommuting wasn’t quite the dream opportunity that they thought it would be.
Now, I’m starting to wonder if we’ve been sold a bill of goods when it comes to telecommuting. Does it really give us more time for other things in life? Or, does work take over your life, because you’re never more than a room away from it? Does it give you the ability to create your own schedule? Or, does the lack of structure perpetuate overworking or, in some cases, not working enough? Can virtual relationships replace the bonds you develop with coworkers in an office? Or, does not physically being around others create an environment that promotes reclusiveness?
…All questions I have.
No doubt, technology has advanced to the point that many jobs can now be successfully executed at home. Nearly every office job can be shifted towards telecommuting. And, many companies, evaluating the possible overhead cost savings, have enthusiastically embraced this new business model without considering the downside.
While I think it’s great when a company gives employees the opportunity to telecommute. I believe this must be an option and not a mandate. Telecommuting isn’t for everyone, and it can be a slippery slope to failure for many who really need face time with coworkers, structure in their day-to-day life, and the ability to leave their place of business when the day is done.
Instead of just assuming that telecommuting is good for everyone, companies should realize that we’re all individuals with different sets of requirements to achieve success. If they did, they could leverage the best of both work environments and maximize their employees’ strengths.