On Monday, I felt the twinges of a cold setting in. I dosed up on Vitamin C, cold and flu remedies hoping to keep it at bay. By Tuesday I was starting to feel rough. I still went out and continued with my meetings; contributing to the sorrows of presenteeism (sorry if any of you contracted my germs), then came home and went straight to bed where I spent the next 12 hours. It was only yesterday when I awoke with a full on lady-cold (some call it man-flu) when I thought to myself “No. Stay at home and work. You don’t need to go out and work from the office or the restaurants. The work that you need to do can be done from home”. In other words, flexible working. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to be sat in my bed with laptop, but it could have done.
I let my COO know my plans and he was completely supportive. I put in a full days quality work. Granted, it was completed over a 15hr period, I was in my PJ’s all day and I was feeling pretty awful but I was able to make my list and complete it. I was able to respond to emails pronto, answer calls immediately (apologies to those who thought they had the wrong number when a manly voice answered) and respond to the businesses needs without the need for either the extra expense of rocking up to an office space to “clock in” (I live in the Midlands and my current contract sees me based in the South) or risk spreading my germs to the teams as we run up to the busiest time of year in our industry.
I was hopeful that by dosing up and keeping warm, I’d be OK to travel South today but, alas, my lady-cold has other ideas. So a second day of working from home awaits. I have my list. It will be another productive day. Just not necessarily done between set hours of, say, 9am and 5pm. How many of us actually work set hours any more? I’ve never seen a 9-5 in my life, nor do I hope to in the future. I work when the business needs me, so I flex my working pattern to accommodate.
Now I appreciate that not everyone is as fortunate to be able to do their work remotely. I was making my “go to” food when I’m poorly, scrambled egg (which I thoroughly dislike) when I started to ponder how other bosses might perceive my situation. I am aware of some managers who think working from home is code for skiving; it creates the perception of people sat at home watching telly all day and not actually doing any work.
Some people think that you must have a designated space at home to replicate a typical office environment. Some people actually prefer to create that space. My husband is a prime example of someone who likes to do this. We both work from home, albeit, very differently but equally productive.
Hubby has his room kitted out with office stuff; Desk, landline, big screen, laptop, files of info etc and quiet. He works very productively up there.
Me on the other hand; I work from the lounge. My laptop is perched on my lap, my mobile is on the arm of the sofa, the telly is on, the radio is playing, and I, too, work very productively in this space. I need noise. Hubby doesn’t.
Just like learning styles, everyone has their own preferred working style. By forcing someone into a less preferred “space” to work, be that insisting that they must show up to an office or pushing them out into the field, how much motivation and, therefore, productivity and efficiency are you losing?
*All pics from Google images. I’m not sat here with rollers in my hair nor is hubby’s office space that tidy.