We ran a post on how working from home can quickly descent into time wasting and late night making up of time. You can read it here. One comms person disagrees.
by Ben Odams
I have three months left in Local Govt. I am moving on to pastures new and as such I am in a reflective mood. The idea that WfH is a skive has permeated the world of work and in my opinion does a massive disservice to those of us who cherish it.
You see, working in an office is a colossal waste of time. When we are not massaging egos and patiently enduring a colleagues bright idea (I am just as guilty here), we are sat in meetings which start with 10 mins of ‘pleasantries’ and usually ends with a pile of work to add to the pile of work you already started with.
It’s a merry-go-round of emails and ‘strategic chats’, and all of it largely achieves nothing. The two most productive parts of my day are the first 30 mins before everyone else arrives and the last 30 when they have all skived off early (interesting that those of us who leave as soon as we can after core hours are considered diligent compared to those WfH) and in that time I have successfully managed my inbox.
It’s a waste of time, to get anything substantial done requires the bliss of working from home. But it comes with a price, that is your ability to be disciplined and this is where we go wrong with our stereotypes about skivers.
WfH needs you to be planned (in terms of time), organised (in terms of what you want to achieve) and committed (in terms of ignoring everything else non-work related) and you receive the benefits of solitude, better coffee and the ability to listen to Prince at a reasonable volume.
Some people love working in the office, great for them, I find it restricts my ability to think. It is simple; I am relaxed working at home, its comfortable and it means the daily stresses and strains of working for/with other people are lessened by a suitable distance.
But it isn’t for everybody. The point about a flexible workplace is that its flexible to the person, and we vary. The people who WfH doing household chores should probably stay in the office. WfH isn’t a flexibility that everyone should take, it’s about the product of that day and sometimes the best product is having a day managing your inbox sat in your pyjamas on the sofa.
Now where is my PS4 remote?
Ben Odams is soon to be a former Local Government Baldrick. He sits in an open planned office in Staffordshire dreaming of being an Emeritus Professor of History somewhere.