“Work from Home” seems to be the new mantra today. The number of professionals who telecommute or work from home is increasing by leaps and bounds. This arrangement certainly has advantages for both the employee and the employer or more commonly for the independent self-employed professional. Way back in 2008, I had this post “It Takes Two To Flex”.I was reminded of this when I saw a post by Barb Sawyers in Mark Ragan’s “Healthcare Communication News.” She wrote about “12 Annoyances of Working from Home.”
In my experience, the following are also common annoyances:
Mixed Priorities: Finish this task for the upcoming business proposal or collect kiddo from school? Buy those medicines which should have been stocked or return the call of that client who seems to be bugged about something? You get the drift. You are often battling with mixed priorities which are both important and in conflict with each other. This is a universal bugbear as most people seem to think you have all the time in the world for their work. Attempts to explain your priorities are often countered with, “But you work from home! You must be having all the time in the world!” It is crucial for you to figure out your priorities and follow them-every day.
Being Taken For Granted: Closely related to the above is the danger of being taken for granted. You are expected to be available all the time. You are met with comments like, “You don’t have to commute like us, Lucky fellow! You aren’t stuck in meetings for most of the day” and the likes. There is also the possibility that folks at home think the same. They get used to having you around and ask you to do things which you would not have been burdened with, had you been away at work. You need to manage this by being assertive about what you can and cannot do, even if you are not stepping out of the house for work.
If you get things right, working from home can be a great boon. It can make you much more productive and help you lead a less stressed life. However, if you get it wrong, you could be asking for more trouble than you currently have at work!!