Demystifying the Home Office
Is remote work right for you?
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There is a lot of talks today about Home Office work, covering mainly how companies can adapt to this new model of distributed work, without the obligations and ceremonies that day to day office work requires. But it's also well known that not all companies (and certainly not all professionals) are prepared for this mind shift.
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Companies have changed, we have changed, our parents or grandparents could never work wearing shorts, maybe not even imagine work from home or anywhere in the world. We can no longer avoid at least assessing whether or not this model is interesting to us as professionals, keeping in mind now when we are in the career and our needs.
The word here before pros/cons is maturity. As a simple example: It is much more interesting when you still have little (junior) experience being in a corporate environment where the environment can directly help you grow. We live better in a group and we need people around us.
HO Is Not for Everyone
Even though it is a trend, especially in the IT and derivative areas, the Home Office work model cannot (and should not) be seen as a standard to follow because, as I said before, it does not work for every type of business, nor does it work for every type of person. Polls are optimistic that companies are increasingly aware of these changes. Even in slow steps, this model has been increasingly consolidated.
“But why wouldn't it be good for me? Working every day from home would be a dream. ”
“My dream is to be able to work in my pajamas.”
Despite great advantages as I will discuss below, some items should be taken into consideration as well, such as loneliness, distractions, communication problems. I will comment a little about each item below.
Your Office Is the World
If you have the ability to do home office, you can probably work from anywhere as long as you have decent internet and energy. This item already seems to be the most interesting, but it requires GREAT autonomy, responsibility, and maturity in time management.
More Time for You
This is a fact. How long do you take today to work? Does your lunchtime take one hour or two? Think about it! We lose a good part of the day with commuting and stops/breaks. Not that you won't do it at home, but finding a co-working near your home or stopping for 15 minutes for a coffee still seems a lot more beneficial than an hour and a half per day on the bus.
Remotely working professionals are proven to eventually achieve higher productivity, as they usually have fewer distractions than in the office, more silence (whether at home or in a workspace). In addition, the entire 'friendly' environment our home can provide directly impacts our satisfaction, leading to increased productivity.
An interesting item and little spoken. Much is saved by avoiding transportation, parking lots, nearby restaurants incorporate areas (which are generally more expensive), office clothes. Some research on this can be seen here and here.
Whether you work on a project that requires constant information exchange, sharing technical details or not, it often becomes more complicated to understand the context of a discussion or suggestion. Video tool meetings are the solution most of the time, but nothing replaces the face-to-face that only the office can provide. Particularly, I believe this is the biggest challenge for those who work 'far away' from a team or office.
Divergent Time Zones
One of the advantages of working remotely and being on a remote team is the ability to share and distribute work to people around the world. This advantage comes with the existence of multiple different time zones, and if the team does not have it well organized can be a problem, after all, nobody wants to have meetings at 3 am to align tasks, right? On the other hand, if aligned, the team can progress at an interesting rate, such as the continuity of tasks by others in different time zones and feedback in a shorter timeframe.
If you are a person who needs people heavily, perhaps the home office is not a good option for you. It is quite common to feel alone without 'protection' when working this way. It may seem great at first, but over time (days or weeks in a row) symptoms begin to appear. We are human, we often need to be in groups. With loneliness comes a drop in productivity, and this can be the beginning of a drastic drop in this form of work for you.
Being at home, alone, or working in a public place is very easy to get lost in worldly distractions. Again here the focus comes into question. Manage yourself daily to your goals. Set realistic and achievable goals, so that the day becomes productive and you avoid distractions until you have done what you set. It is very common the "lets tomorrow" syndrome, avoid it whenever possible.
The Home Office is there, if you feel like it and were to work there is a possibility, try it 1x test, 2x a week. If not, bring to your superiors data and suggestions on how to apply it in practice without compromising the work.
If the subject matters, I recommend these references for a consultation!
Is Working From Home All It's Cracked up to Be?
Preparing For a Remote Developer Interview
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