With the snow storm that hit the New York metro area over the past couple of days, I have been forced to work from home.
This was a result of my own choosing yesterday but the company decided (rightly) to shut the office today.
We are in the process of going to a new "agile" way of working any way so I decided to see what the future could bring.
I have to say, I struggled. I have worked from home before but that was when I had planned to work from home on a particular subject (writing a brief, providing agency feedback, appraisal writing etc etc). This time around, there was no planning for it so it was under normal working conditions.
What did I struggle with?
- At one point 5 people we IM'ing me rather than pick up the phone or come over for a chat (which we would have done in the office)
- I do not have a desk or chair at home which would pass Occupational Health's guidelines I think! I now have a sore back and neck.
- You actually find that you work longer hours. I started 30 minutes earlier than usual (no need to drive to work) yet I was still working probably an hour after I normally do. Why? I think it is because you lose track of time and do not have the reference point of other people leaving the office to go home!
What did work?
- The technology - good to see that everything more or less worked so I could work effectively and efficiently
- Apart from the IM'ing incident, I had a chance to think about things
However, the main challenge I had was the fact that I had no one to interact with face to face or walk around even if it was to have a chat about nothing. That was the singest biggest issue - as humans we are programmed to interact.
Lesson learned? Yes. I used to think that companies could just get rid of offices altogether and rely on people to work from home 100% of the time or to meet up as a team every now and again.
Yes, there is a place for "agile" working but our roots should always be back in the office. That is how you create a culture......
Written whilst sitting back in an office (my agency's) as I needed human interaction after 1.5 days of working from home!