Monday, November 28, 2016

Working from Home #34

Today I am working from home for the full day - I rarely do this (I need to be home today as I am expecting/hoping for a call on my home phone). Also - I have no classes today. I dislike working from home - I much prefer going to the office. I like the hustle and bustle of College life, and talking with both students and staff. Many of my colleagues work from home, but it is not for me - I don't really have the discipline for it, there are too many distractions at home. For me, the office is where I should work and I want to keep my work separate from home life.

Image source: Wear Your Voice.
Working from home causes mixed feelings in the workplace. For some, it makes no difference - I once heard a manager say "I don't care where you do your work as long as it is done". Clearly, as a Lecturer, I need to be present in the College for classes, but what about days like today when I don't have any classes? If I don't have any classes, do I need to be in the College? My personal preference is to be in College even if I don't have classes, but not everyone agrees with this. Many people will be more productive working from home. Many live long distances from their office. Some like to be able to prepare classes or correct assessments at home rather than come to the office. Others may be writing research reports or are working on an academic publication.

With technology, we can work from anywhere. I have excellent broadband speed at home (245 Mbps), so I can access all College systems. Most of what I am doing today is grading assignments submitted on Moodle. I would be doing the exact same work if I was located in the office. The major difference, of course, is that I am not available to colleagues and students who may knock on my office door. 

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer once tried to ban working from home - she is quoted as saying that it "is critical that we are all present in our offices" and that "best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings". While I would not prevent others from working at home, I tend to agree with this sentiment. 

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