I was trolling around on Facebook last night and saw a post from my sister-in-law in which she bemoaned having to work from home. In it, she wrote, “I hate working from home, is that weird?”
In short: yes.
I love working from home, and while I realize that it’s not a work style that suits everyone, “hate” is a strong word. Okay, so perhaps I’m splitting hairs here – the word hate gets thrown around a lot on Facebook – but I’m still baffled as to how WFH could elicit such a strong reaction.
Maybe it has to do with the industry you’re in. Insofar as online marketing is concerned, WFH is a godsend. Some days I’m just tired and would rather work from my bed. Some other days, I start answering emails at 7am, and before I know it, it’s 11am, I’m still in my pajamas, and I have no desire to stop the roll I’m on. Don’t get me started on sick days – winter colds have been ravaging offices for decades, and people are still fixated on “showing up” to show their peers how dedicated they are. Look, unless you’re working in a restaurant or somewhere else where physical presence is a requirement, STAY HOME.
A company’s WFH policy is largely predicated on trust. There’s some belief that, if you’re in the office, you’re somehow getting more done. The concept is asinine. If I want to futz around on Facebook and Twitter all day, I’ll do so regardless of where I am. Being visible has nothing to do with productivity. It’s an antiquated notion that doesn’t really factor output into the discussion. If one of your employees has to commute 2 hours (round-trip) to make it to the office, then please tell me how driving in to do the same thing they could do at home is more productive. My answer: it’s not.
Look, if you don’t trust your employees to get things done, get new employees. If you make people accountable for certain deadlines and expectations, and they don’t meet them because of where they are, fire them. It’s really not that complicated. Those who do make it and continuously execute regardless of where they are will THRIVE under this arrangement (here are some tips on how to make WFH work for you). Freedom and flexibility are earned privileges, but the moment you stop having to worry about being around for a UPS delivery or stepping out for a dentist appointment, life suddenly gets a lot easier.
- Sean Marshall, Director of Search Engine Marketing