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BellaOnline's Etiquette Editor

Technology and Working from Home

We live in an age where a significant amount of work can be completed with the assistance of a cell phone. We can send and receive memos. Conference calls can be conducted from a vacation in Cancun. Documents can be received, reviewed, revised and send in a matter of minutes. So what's with all the insistence of office space, desks, conference rooms and other overhead items that are truly, questionably necessary?

Working from home allows nine to five employees the flexibility to capitalize on what may be influencing them at the time. For many creative types they get their most exciting ideas after 10:00pm in their bunny slippers. If that person can log in to the company computer, put together a proposal and get it all completed in the wee hours of the evening, is that a good use of company time? If that same employees, however, is faced with a company policy that they are expected to be at their desk, in their company office from the hours of nine to five, how likely is that same employee going to capitalize on their 10:00 motivation? Odds are, not likely.

Working from home facilitates the opportunity to allow someone to work later than people typically do. They can also work off hours like weekends. This allows for more flexibility and creativity. It also does not confine working to the workplace environment. And a wholesome, prosperous workplace environment will be discussed in a later article.

The flexibility of working from home also allows an employee to be more efficient with their time. How often do we hear of someone being stuck in traffic (where I live in Seattle it's everyday) and having to delay or postpone a meeting? When working from home, you can check the traffic cameras prior to leaving home and determine if you will make it on time. If it's unlikely, it will take less time to video conference oneself in that it will take to sit in traffic. Plus, you have the advantage of having all your items, agenda and talking points ready to go too. It's a much more efficient solution and less likely to lose hair or raise your blood pressure than racing the clock and dodging cars on your way to the office.

Employers, when considering the need of every employee to be in the office every hour of every day, consider how efficient that actually makes your employees. If it's retail or school or restaurant, of course you need bodies to interact with your bottom line. But if you are dealing with paperwork, proposals, materials and files, it's a no-brainer to consider how much more someone is effective when they are working remotely verses in the office. Plus, just consider if you have shared work spaces, how much less square footage you are going to need to pay for.

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