For most of my career, I’ve worked remotely, even before it was “the thing to do“. Now I’ve always had an actual office with a door and everything, I just don’t spend a lot of time in it. Normally my office is an airport, hotel, customer site, rest stop and every so often my home.
A valuable lesson I learned early on, is that nothing good happens in the office.
First, I’m not anti-social, far from it. I have seven followers on Instagram, twelve people follow my tweets and there are my twenty-one hundred connections on MySpace. Not to brag, but you could say that I’m a social dynamo.
So what are some of the advantages of working remotely?
- Fewer Interruptions – Monday 9:00 AM meeting. You head in fueled on caffeine and the prayer that no one asks you anything requiring more than a yes or no answer. 9:45 AM the meeting ends with an agreement to meet again, or as we like to say, “Circle back around” later in the week. You head back to the cubicle farm and on the way, Brad from finance grabs you for one of his infamous “Do you have minute?” questions. 10:20 AM you’re 80 minutes into your day and already behind. Plan for eleven more of these type interruptions before Friday.
- You Spend Less Money – Working remotely allows you to save money! WHAT…… Yes! Grace won’t be hitting you up because her son is selling wrapping paper for his last place football team. Mike the Cub Scout leader won’t be looking for you to load up on those holiday tins of popcorn. By the way Cub Scouts Council everyone throws the buttered popcorn section out, it sucks, give us cheese and caramel. Don’t get me started with Janice and her colorful signup sheet for Girl Scout Cookies. When you work remotely, none of that happens
- It’s Healthier – Ever walk into the break room looking for that second hit of caffeine only to find a dozen Krispy Kreme’s? Or a box of Dunkin Donut Munchkins? How about a mid-morning pizza? Picture this, it’s Monday morning you’re two hours into your weekly diet, this time it’ll be different. You walk into the office only to find that Jim’s wife decided to “surprise” the office with a pan of warm Slutty Brownies. Oh well, there’s always next week. My doctor once thanked me for working remotely.
- Committee Free – If you’re not there grazing at the cubicle farm you can’t be “nominated” to be on a committee. That means no Birthday Committee no Picnic Committee no Holiday Party Committee. Now if you want to appear to be a team player you can volunteer to be on a committee. Since most committees need meetings your services are useless, but you’ll be a hero for volunteering.
- No Drama – This can add years to your life. Inner-office drama can be like a wood rasp on your nerves. From the passive aggressive refrigerator notes to wondering who the hell took your stapler, it’s exhausting. Many years ago, we had an incident, a restroom incident and it took place in the women’s restroom. The women’s restroom had three stalls, and at the time, we had three women working with us. It seems that each of the women had claimed their own stall, which seemed all well in good. Good until one of the women went into one of the other two stalls after a hearty lunch….. I’ll let you put the rest of the story together. The result was a stream of e-mails and trip for all three to human resources.
While working remotely has advantages, it also has disadvantages; often you’re the last to know things. For instance, you never want to be called to the office and they say, “Make sure to bring your company issued laptop and company car keys“.
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