The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Working From The Couch
Working from home has its many benefits. Millions of Americans do it and many corporations save millions of dollars a year by allowing their employees to remain at home rather than commute to work. Many people enjoy the great benefit spending more time with their families and not having to spend so much money on gas. The people who work at home normally have established places where they go to work, whether it be a specific area with a desk, sitting on the couch, or even sitting up in bed.
A company that allows employees to work from home normally hires employees who have prior experience working from home or puts them on a probation period and determines how much work the employee can get done while working at home. A company should trust the employee to do their job, but the employee should work hard to establish mutual trust and show they are capable of doing their job while working at home.
Establishing a home office and a specified work area will help to focus on work. Setting rules with family members on when they are allowed to communicate will also help. Emergencies and stresses may arise, but ensure the family understands that work means work. If you work from home, you are technically unavailable to your family and should not be bothered during those specified times. Set break periods so that you can spend a few minutes with your family every hour to every few hours, but ensure that your work gets done efficiently and effectively. For many family members, they see you as being home and available, but really, you aren’t technically home at all. Your mindset is and should be “at work.”
Most companies do not often monitor their employees from home by any computer software, but may measure progress by the amount of work performed and handed in. They may also determine the quality of the reports you submit. There definitely is computer software to monitor what an employee does and a company may even be able to view the screen.
If it is company laptop, they may ask the employee to send it in for updates, and they may check the browser and cookies to see what an employee is doing and how they are spending their time. It is recommended that any employee who finds themselves visiting websites use a personal computer, rather than the company computer. Working at home is still a job and the place of work is in the home.
Working from home is a great privilege, experience, and an opportunity that should never be taken for granted. If there is ever a dream job that anyone could ever have, it is just the fact that they can say, “I work from home.” Working from home is not for everyone. But for those who have the opportunity to be home and love it, it is like working a dream job, because you get to be home.
This infographic looks into what people are actually doing when they “work” from home.
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Clocking In From The Couch
A peek at what we’re doing when we “work” from home
Working From Home Is Becoming More Common
% of workers who primarily work from home:
2.3% in 1980
4.3% in 2010
33% of companies allow some employees to work from home on a regular basis.
10% of Americans telecommute at least once a week.
How Educated Are People Who Work From Home?
Bachelors Degree or Higher 35.6%
Some College 20.1%
High School Diploma 11.2%
Less Than High School Diploma 11%
Percent of employed workers, aged 25 and older, who worked at home on an average workday.
Why do they work from home?
48% Need To Finish Work
44% Fewer Distractions
35% More Productive At Home
35% Better Work/Life Balance
What Else Do People Do While “Working” From Home?
Surveyed workers fessed up to doing non-work activities while they’re on the clock at home.
43% Watch TV or a Movie
35% Do Household Chores
28% Cook Dinner
26% Take Naps
24% Drink Alcohol
20% Play Video Games
Putting in a load of laundry may not take any more time than a quick chat at the water cooler, but what do at-home workers label their BIGGEST distractions?
Ready for that Video Conference Call?
What are workers wearing when they log on at home?
49% Jeans and a T-Shirt
14% Workout Clothes
7% Underwear or Birthday Suit
Some People Are More Productive At Home
British company O2 asked 2,500 employees at its headquarters to work form home for one day. Employees saved an estimated 2,000 hours of commuting time.
Here’s what they did with the extra time:
120 extra hours to travel elsewhere
240 extra hours of relaxation
280 extra hours of family time
320 extra hours of sleep
1,040 extra hours of work
= 2,000 hours
Where Do People Think They’re Most Productive?
29% At Home
37% At The Office
34% Equally Productive At Home or Office
Most Bosses Aren’t On Board… Yet
When asked what their boss thinks about working remotely, employees said their boss:
Encourages it 15%
Tolerates it 35%
Opposes it 50%
Most common problems bosses have with remote workers:
49% Inability to talk Face-to-Face
26% Less Focus
22% No Accountability
22% Slacking Off
Is Your Boss Watching?
Computer and mobile tracking applications are spraining up to help bosses manage a remote workforce. These programs can:
Allow Your Boss To Monitor Your Web Browsing
Track What Programs You Use and For How Long
Monitor the Location of Field Workers
… Time to Log off Facebook and get back to work!
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Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.