Office Politics 101: Working from home

There are great benefits, but you need to stay focused.

Q: My supervisor has recommended I start working at home, initially part-time. I like the idea as an unhappy commuter, but a colleague warns this may be a sign I will be laid off. What do you think?

A: Telecommuting is growing in importance, especially in North America, although only a small fraction of those office workers who could work from home are actually permitted to do so.

There are a number of significant benefits to telecommuting, which no doubt makes it desirable for you. The elimination or reduction of long-haul commuting, of course, is probably the most attractive feature.

Fuel and maintenance costs would be reduced significantly and your car, with less mileage, will last much longer.

The flexibility and convenience is especially positive. Plus, from an altruistic perspective, the environment receives a breath of fresh air with one less internal combustion engine on the highway.

There are some downsides that need to be acknowledged. If you’re easily distracted and have difficulty getting motivated, working from home can be problematic.

Social contact is severely limited although with Skype, teleconferencing and corporate Facebook accounts, you’d still be able to communicate regularly with your supervisor and colleagues.

The sense of community — which is often under-rated as a benefit of a welcoming workplace — is also compromised with virtually no opportunity to relate to others more closely and even make friends.

As for your colleague’s concern that this initiative may be a precursor to being laid off, I would not be at all worried.  This would seem to be speculation on his part and not based on fact.

In reality, a recommendation to telecommute is much more of an indication of his confidence in your capacity to work independently: it is compliment to you.

Ultimately, you will need to contemplate this decision on two levels: first, you should consider whether it will be a good career move.  And, second, you’ll want to examine your character and work style to determine if you are suited for telecommuting.

If there are co-workers who have also been asked to consider this option, approach them and seek their advice.  Their suggestions could help you make an intelligent choice.

Working from home isn’t for everyone; but, if after careful reflection, you’ve decided to accept this opportunity, make it for a trial period – of  say six months – to determine whether it is appropriate for the long-term.

Simon Gibson is a university professor, marketing executive, corporate writer and civic leader. He is a graduate of four public universities, including Simon Fraser University, where he earned his doctorate in education. He also also holds a degree in journalism (honours) from Carleton University. His email address can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Port Harvey bylaw lands in supreme court

Property owners attempt to quash zoning bylaw allowing shipyard

Council requests Port McNeill Kids in Motion follow donation policy

“I think because we put all this work into our new donation policy, people should be filling it out.”

Port Alice gets a Frigon sign

“A beautiful scenic drive awaits on the Frigon Road.”

Students solve crimes in forensics workshops

Geneskool visits PHSS and Eke Me-Xi

Mayor says there is still ample time for town to form marijuana committee

“We could have started a year ago and still perhaps been in the same place.”

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Most Read