Something that has been on my mind lately is work/life balance. Most of us get up, head along to the office, do our 9-5 and then come home. If you’re anything like me, when you get home, you’ll find it hard to stop talking about work and impossible not to check work emails.
The problem with always being ‘on’ and with the ever prevalent connection to our working life through Blackberries, iPhones and laptops is that you start to forget how to switch off. Most of the time, even when you’re off work, you’re still working from home and there’s no real holiday anymore.
This week I’ve been off sick and when I should have been resting and getting better, I couldn’t stop checking emails and it was clearly expected by some that this was just normal and I’d reply. I realised that even though I was claiming sick days, I was still working and the only upside of the situation is that I actually love working from home.
Working from home has so many benefits. You can set your own hours, manage stress more effectively because you’re not mixing with so many people on a regular basis, prioritize more easily and of course work in your pj’s now and again. If I could live in an ideal world, it would involve me working from home full-time. I truly believe that I am enough of an evolved human being to be able to manage my workload and commit to delivery times without being watched 24-7. Obviously some jobs require that you’re in an office – managing a team for example or dealing with customers, but many jobs now could easily be telecommute positions.
I think one of the reasons that employers don’t encourage working from home is that they feel they can’t monitor their staff from there. Surely though the proof is in the delivery and if you’re meeting deadlines, then what’s the problem? Sometimes, when I’m working from home, I find that I get much more done than I would in a day in the office. There are less interruptions, less meetings and less time for chit-chat. The work/life balance somehow seems better if you work from home. Getting to stop now and again and spend time with your partner or your dog is healthy, employers should encourage it.
I’m not sure how many people in my social circle work from home, but I’d love to hear their views on it. Is it an unrealistic utopia or is it really something that I should be jealous of (as I am now!).
Let me know your thoughts…