I currently work for a company of over 24,000 people. At least half of which work from home full-time, while many others work from home on an occasional or even regular basis.
In the UK (according to data from 2009) over 3.5M people, making up 12.8% of the workforce, work from home full-time. An increase of 21% since 2001.
Estimates in the US suggest more than 50 million US workers (around 40% of the working population) could work from home at least part-time. But only around 15% work at home at least occasionally.
I’ll be upfront and honest here – I love working from home. I can’t imagine ever wanting to go back to an office-based role. I don’t care that people think I sit here in my pyjamas and watch daytime TV all day. I’ve learnt to ignore those people who talk about “working from home” while doing the quotation marks in the air with their fingers as they say it. Yes folks, I really do work.
Nor do I mind that my company gets more, often much more, than the usual 7 and a half working hours a day out of me. With no travel time it would feel like working part-time if I stayed within that!
What are the positives about working from home?
- Plenty of alone time to focus – turn off the phone and ignore your email and you have no excuse, but to concentrate. It’s not hard to work instead of doing the hoovering!
- There’s nobody, your boss or anyone else, breathing down your neck… But you do need a trusting boss to make it work.
- You have the peace to be creative.
- You can go to work in your PJ’s or you can wear a suit – ask yourself Do Clothes Maketh the Man?!
- You can pop on a load of washing whenever you feel the urge.
- You can flex and adapt your work time around your family needs and your own for that matter.
- The sense of freedom is amazing.
- You can make the ‘office’ any temperature you fancy – there’s no office buddy to please.
- You don’t have to sit in horrible traffic morning and night.
- You don’t have to be polite and eat the birthday cake that someone brought in even though you’re on a diet.
- You get to learn about how to really collaborate when all your colleagues are at a distance.
- You get to hug the kids when they come home from school.
- You can take your lunch break with Extreme Makeover Home Edition when meetings allow and the fancy grabs you.
What are the not so positives?
- Work is home and home is work – you need to learn new ways to separate them.
- You don’t get to decompress on the way home while sitting in a traffic jam – as if you’d miss that!
- You are unlikely to be the first to hear the latest office gossip. But honestly, does that really matter?!
- You won’t have a bunch of lively colleagues around you to pick you up in person when you feel down. But it’s amazing what a smiley icon on a chat program can do. It’s all about finding new ways to communicate.
- You can sit rooted to the spot for hours without the usual office disturbances…. is it a bad thing you can actually get things done?!
- You need to train the family that you may be at home, but it doesn’t mean you’re lounging around doing nothing.
So what does NLP have to do with working from home?
Learning the philosophy, techniques and processes of NLP helps you CONNECT with people and build relationships effectively and efficiently even from a distance. Rapport is a great tool – whether you use it over the phone or even in your emails – to build that unconscious connection.
It helps you understand and READ people. Those Meta Programs questions can give you info on what makes someone tick, how someone thinks and even how they’re likely to behave, whether they’re standing in front of you or they’re on the end of a phone.
Learning about the language patterns of NLP can help you understand what someone is really saying be it over the phone or written in an email. It helps you COMMUNICATE magnificently.
Working at home takes FLEXIBILITY and a willingness to achieve your goals by new routes. It means committing to learning new skills. And it means finding entirely new ways to collaborate effectively. Much like NLP!
And talking of COLLABORATION – please don’t forget to go and complete my quick 2 minute tick box survey on what successful collaboration means to you – just click here. Everyone’s point of view is valuable.
So do you work at home? Could you work at home? What are the pros and cons from your perspective?
© Jacqui Gatehouse and GATEHOUSE THIRTEEN, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and GATEHOUSE THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- Infographic: Employer Mistrust Slows Trend Toward Telecommuting (prweb.com)
- The challenges of working at home (stimuluscapitalideas.wordpress.com)
- How can I keep up productivity when working from home? (career-advice.monster.co.uk)
- Why Are So Many People Around The World Looking For Work From Home Jobs? (ruralstops.blogspot.com)
- The Ever Increasing Freedom Of Working At Home (ruralstops.blogspot.com)