In this day and age where internet is easily available, working can pretty much be done anywhere – at least for the work that I do. Those days, facilities like laptop, network connectivity and phones are not easily accessible. Even if it is, the cost of using it is extremely expensive – not worth it for the employees to use it for work use. It will even make it worse for those who work in global companies which requires them to communicate via the phone. IDD calls are just expensive over landline.
Advancement in technologies such as IP telephony and video conferencing allows employees to communicate at a fraction of the cost. Companies like skype and Cisco are making big bucks for selling online collaboration services. Of course the prerequisite is a fast Internet line.
Countries like Malaysia, Klang Valley in particular is lucky because access to high speed Internet is widely available at an affordable cost. I personally use 20mbps line at home, accessing Internet is a breeze. Using it for work is even better, conference calls and video calls are smooth. I often do screen sharing with my colleagues from around the world – and seriously, that has made my work a lot easier. Especially when running conference calls. Every now and then, I hop on video calls as the other party at the end insist me to use my webcam.
In fact, come to think of it, working from home is somewhat better as access to Internet is a lot faster at home. It’s not economically possible for an office to give each of their employees a dedicated 20mbps line. Therefore surfing on the web could be painful! Not that I do that during working hours :p but sometimes, downloading knowledge materials and market report is just a lot more faster than in office. It does improve my productivity… In a way.
The problem about working from home is of course the ”trust”. It requires a lot of trust for a company to start working from home policy. A company must have a matured workforce, not matured by age but matured in terms of culture and responsibility. Having this policy really means that the company trust their employee to be anywhere they want and achieve the objectives that’s on them. DO YOU TRUST YOUR EMPLOYEES?
I have heard of cases where employees who allows working from home have issues because the employees productivity dropped. Too much distraction I supposed. Television, video games and kids to name a few. But I guess as the workforce matures and realised that a the end of the day, it’s about the work the needs to be done and not your presence, working from home policy can be successful.
In fact – this policy will allow the company to attract more working mothers. Working mothers who has to take care of the kids would be able to spend more time with their kids as they are always at home. The question is, how much of their time are allocated to work and how much is for their kids. Well – then it comes the talk w out flexible working hours. Again – it does to matter how much or how long or when you work, at the end of the day the job gets done!
Based on my experience, working from home allows me to put a lot of focus to work. I get really interruption free time by myself. I get to finish my work faster and gets to do more for the same amount of time. The problem is of course, I tend to go overboard,like a lot of other things and ended up working long hours.
I guess at the end of the day, discipline is key. The discipline works both ways, not just about ensuring you finish your work, but also to not neglect your other responsibilities and personal time. Being at home means that the line that is drawn between work and personal life gets more grey. So, we just need to be wary of that and all will be good.
HAPPY WORKING FROM HOME!