Working from home is both a current, and emerging, business practice. You still see jokes and memes about “working from home” on social media (implying no real work is being done), yet it is a rising trend. What opportunities do you have to work from a more convenient location? It can be the answer to getting more balance in your work and life. I first began working from home during periods where I needed to do a lot of focus work; report writing, number crunching and data analysis. It was great to be able to sequester myself someplace where no one would find me, turn off the notifications on my laptop (and turn on my Out of Office) allowing me to happily work away…in my sweat pants. The first few times I worked from home I felt both free, and a little bit guilty, as I snuck in a load of laundry and threw dinner into the crock pot.
"...more employers are open to the idea of staff working from another location..."
Quick chores included, I worked more hours in a day from home then I normally did in the office, and they were highly productive hours. My role at the time required me to be on-site at work, and I loved that too, but it was nice to have the option to work from home when I was trying to meet a deadline. Fast-forward a few years, and working from a location other than the office is more prevalent and better understood; more employers are open to the idea of staff working a day a week or more from another location, and many employees are embracing the upside of having this flexibility.
"The change of scenery (and of pace) has many benefits as well..."
Even if you’ve decided working from home isn’t your favourite mode, it can offer benefits for balance. During inclement weather when your commute time may double (or triple), working from home means you don’t lose time (and you skip the frustration of a brutal commute). The change of scenery (and of pace) has many benefits as well, allowing you to get some much-needed traction on focus-work, while also feeling like you are staying on top of things in your life (news flash – you don’t need to feel guilty about getting non-work things done during work hours…no one cares as long as the work itself gets done). I’ve also found it helped when I needed to be with a recuperating loved one, allowing me to both be there for them and keep on top of e-mail.
"A chance to breathe, to catch-up, reduce distractions and interruptions and look after yourself..."
Far from being a perk, working remotely is an option many employers will rely on in the future, to reduce the cost of doing business. It also has a good-news story for the environment (fewer emissions). Outside of the benefits to organizations, there are benefits working outside of the office offers you. A chance to breathe, to catch-up, reduce distractions and interruptions and look after yourself and/or your household, all at the same time. What could your potential do with turning your commute into productive time? What are the benefits to putting in a full and useful day AND having taken the dog for a walk at lunch? Think about the ways this benefits you, and plan for it in your work life. Then watch it nourish your potential.