I’ve worked from home, or from a corner table in a hole-in-the-wall coffee house, since 2000. It often makes me giggle when I see articles and stats that compare telecommuting to working in a traditional office because many times you can tell that whoever wrote those articles doesn’t work from home. Authors often write about it in an awkward way which let’s you know they don’t have much firsthand experience with it.
One huge distinction that not many people address when it comes to working from home is that there are two types of “work from home people.” There are those who are employees with a desk in a traditional office who just happen to be telecommuting, and then there are those who are entrepreneurs building their own businesses from home or some other remote location.
You really can’t lump these two groups of people into one category when comparing their work habits because the entire motivation and inspiration behind what they do is completely different. For example, I am on my laptop every day by 3:00am working, and I’ve been that way for a few years. I am hyper-focused on my goals, and I am passionate about what I do. I’m an entrepreneur, and I’ve been blessed with the ability to choose a path I love. Would I work this hard if I was a telecommuting employee working for someone else? Nope.
Regardless of that detail, I’m a huge fan of telecommuting for anyone. It not only increases productivity, it is better for the environment, it eliminates traffic stress and overall it makes everyone involved more happy. Several studies have shown that people would give up lunch breaks, salary increases and other perks for the opportunity to try telecommuting a few days a week.
In this cheeky infographic called Clocking In From The Couch by Online Degrees, it seems we do a little more than just work when we telecommute though. This information is based on an article about a new study which was published here on Bloomberg Businessweek a few months ago. According to that article, even though telecommuting allows people to be more productive because there are fewer distractions and stress, people are using company time to do other things as well. Watching TV, doing chores, cooking dinner, drinking alcohol, playing video games – and my favorite – taking a nap all made the list. I suppose it’s reasons like this which contribute to why 50% of bosses still don’t allow telecommuting.
My personal opinion is that in the future, we’ll all work from home. We’ll look back at how people used to get in cars and drive to an office as something that was incredibly inefficient and ridiculous for so many different reasons. If a person is telecommuting, there is a good chance he or she is putting in extra work hours during the day. I say this because if you work from home, you know that time gets blurred and you typically start earlier and work later than you would in an office. If that’s the case, does it really matter if that person does a load of laundry or has the TV on in the background? I don’t think so, but that’s just me.