Do you REALLY want to work from home???

Today I want to talk about working at home. That’s the greatest thing ever, right? Stay with me, coming right up.

My name’s Scott with Motivated Code Pro, today I want to talk about the topic of working at home and how great it is, right?

People tend to fall into two categories when it comes to working at home. One is the category of I can never seem to get to my computer to get to work to begin with. I’m distracted by the garage, and the kitchen, and the floorboard that needs to be fixed, just all kinds of stuff around the house, right?

Then, in the other camp, there is the, I can never seem to get away from my computer and there’s just always so much to do, just one more thing and then I’ll get up. You know, early mornings and late nights and it just goes on and on.

So, finding work-life balance at home is tougher than you think. You have this idea that’s it going to be so great, man, I’m going to work in my pajamas or my short pants all day long. I’m going to sit out on the patio, I’m going to take advantage of the fact that I’m home.

What tends to happen is you come to where your computer is … I sit over here and work, you know I sit there and I grind all day long. I mean, I’m like at the office, this is my office, this is where I work. Days tend to be long for work at home, right? The idea of the amount of work that you need to produce tends to be amplified for work at home people, right, because you know you’re not sitting in an office so you’re mindful of the fact that people are gaging your work output in a different way. At least this is what goes through your mind and people are paying attention to you. If you miss a phone call, “Where are they?” You know, “He hasn’t responded to email, did you text him and page him?” All of this stuff that comes from working at home.

I’ve been working at home for 11 years and I’ve worked through a lot of that stuff where I know how to be connected and I know how to let people know when I’m going to be right there every moment to respond to something. You know you learn to work through those things. That’s one aspect of it.

Another really important aspect of work at home is the loneliness factor. If people are honest, after a couple of months, if you’re at home alone, working, it can be a little dry. It can get a little bit lonely. You miss the water cooler talk and the sports discussion, what we saw at the movies over the weekend, who’s doing what, just everything about the water cooler, right, at the office. So, you need to consider that. It’s not something that we think about. You know we tend to look at what we perceive is the positives and we overlook the things that are the positives about working in an office setting. So keep all that in mind as you consider.

Some people don’t have a choice, you sit there, “We have so many people in our office, we’ve had such growth, you have to work at home.” That’s one thing. Or, other people will say, “You know what? We’ve tried work at home with people, it’s been terrible. We’ve had bad luck, you need to come to the office.” So maybe you don’t have a choice in all of that. Those are some of the, I don’t know, some of the things in the work at home kind of environment.

Lots of interruptions when you work at home. You think you’re going to work un-distracted but you won’t. You know people are going to come to the door, the lawn guy or whoever is out there, your kids or your family, the people that are in and out of your house all day long. You will get to a place where you wonder, how it is I ever had a job, right? You take your dog to the vet, the kids to the doctor, you do something with your spouse, somebody’s car needs to be picked up, somebody’s stuck on the other side of town. All of this stuff just tends to be front and center when you work at home. So it’s really important to make sure the benefits of, when I go to the office, I’m there for the duration unless there’s an emergency, right?

That’s a positive aspect and a vote, let’s say, for being in an office setting. Having your freedom and being able to determine when you’re going to work is nice too but like I said, people that gravitate to the, “I can’t seem to get away from my computer” tend to get up super early, tend to work late. You know late nights and early mornings again. So a lot of things to think about.

When you go to office, you go in, you sit down, you work your eight, nine, ten hours, you pack up your computer and you go home. You might do some stuff at home but there is this very definite separation of work and home. Even if you work a little bit at home, it’s just different. I remember feeling like it was more casual. Somehow when you work at home all day long, you never get to that real casual space, I mean you can take your computer to the couch but it’s just different. That’s my experience. Yours might be different, work at home is some to experience for sure and something everybody has to make a decision about on their own.

Okay, so let’s wrap it up. There are a few things that I haven’t mentioned yet. If you work at home, you do not have to sit in traffic. Which is a big, big, big vote for working at home.

Collaborating with your peers is different when you work at home, it’s easier to walk down the hall or to cubicle across the way and talk to somebody. When you’re at home, you have to pick up the phone, or get on the chat, or arrange a phone call, or arrange a meeting, or arrange a screen share and you will spend a lot of time on screen share apps like GoToMeeting, WebEx, Join.me and there’s a host of others but you get the point. Collaboration looks different.

You’re going to miss out on all the office politics, well a lot of it anyway because something about being in the environment makes the politics of the situation come front and center and when you’re at home and you’re at a bit of a distance from that, some people get a lot of relief from that, some people really miss that. So you need to ask yourself where you are in that spectrum of need to be around the office politics and your peers a lot or you’re okay being sort of on the island and communicating through SlackChat and other forms of chat, WebEx, GoToMeeting and those things that I’ve already mentioned.

For me, in case you’re wondering, I vote to stay at home. Despite any negatives that come with being at home, you know not having to sit in traffic and all those things, it’s just way worth it for me to work here.

As a business, we have had office space and our employees came to work at an office but didn’t like doing it because every time I had to get up from my desk and drive across town and unpack my computer and set up, that was an hour of billable time or an hour of productive time.

So you can be more productive at home if you’re disciplined. It gets my vote, you have to experience for yourself. It’s not for everybody. We’ve have people come here just couldn’t, and work for us, and it was difficult for them to manage the work at home concept. They just weren’t as productive as they were when they were either here or at our office space.

Anyway, I am Scott with Motivated Code Pro, please subscribe and like and I will see you on the next video. Keep coming back.

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About the Author Scott Salisbury

Scott is the creator of Motivated Code Pro and the Managing Partner of Pinch Hitter Solutions, Inc. Motivated Code Pro is devoted to helping developers build better software careers. Pinch Hitter Solutions (phs4j.com) is a consultancy focused on mobile app development and enterprise web work. Scott works primarily in Java and JavaScript and focuses on Spring and Ext JS.

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