Working from home is a great option, but sometimes can be less productive than in the office.
Work from home vs. in the office
There are two types of work –
- Work that involves thinking, such as communication, decision making, problem-solving, interpreting, etc.
- Work that involves doing, such as maintenance, patching, fixing, building, and creating.
Some people are more productive at work than at home, while others are more productive at home than at work.
A good balance is optimal.
The following factors affect productivity at home and work:
- Messy Working
- Emotional Instability
- Dependency On Ego/Envy
- Speed of Productivity
- Time Zone
- Access To Resources
Unsurprisingly, the worst thing is when the internet connection is poor.
Think about an office worker. How many times do you hear her say, “I can’t be bothered, the internet connection is so bad!”
She has to wait until the other person is off the phone or as she connects, she suddenly can connect.
Imagine a school where teachers leave their dirty clothes on their way to work. There will be a lot of issues!
However, the bus drivers can take their dirty clothes home with them. So if teachers are not home, the bus drivers can do the washing for them.
Now imagine that teachers also have an office at school, where teachers can work from home.
When they come in, they can leave their clean clothes in their locker.
The car wash can also clean their clothes while they are driving.
Work from home and other typical productivity challenges
Showering and dressing
Do you think you can just walk into your home office in a pair of old gym shorts and an old t-shirt?
No, you need to dress appropriately. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You just need to look presentable.
In case you forget your clothes, you can just ask your family or a friend or neighbor to give you some old clothes to work in.
Make sure you clean your office at the same time every day and keep the place tidy.
Mentally, it is more productive to work in a home office.
When you work at an office, you are just walking around and interacting with people.
At home, you have to create and work with your environment
In case you feel that your family is annoying or you have a problem with some people in your family, you will not get the highest productivity out of your work.
If you work at an office, the people you work with at the office are an “alignment” of your normal day.
When you work at home, you will interact with your environment more often. You may have to interact with the dog or the kids.
Do you like some people more than others? Or do you have problems with your wife or husband?
If you have problems with your spouse or kids, you will not be able to focus. You will think of different things that will distract you from your work.
Now, imagine that you don’t have any kids or you have a good relationship with your spouse.
Now, let’s say your boss asks you to work from home one day.
Are you going to be able to focus? If you like to be around people, you will be distracted by the kids, the neighbors, the cleaning lady.
But if you like to work alone, the neighbors, the cleaning lady will be annoying.
If you have problems with your family, you will get distracted by them more often and your productivity will be lower.
However, if you like to work alone, the neighbors, the kids, the family problems will be a non-factor.
The answer is to try to mix things up to get the best productivity out of your home office.
Keep it mixed up. Keep the family away and keep the work at home as separate as possible.
Let your kids play or take them to the playground, keep the kids with you while you work.
When you have a problem with your spouse, you should sit in a separate room, turn off the phone, and read a book.
When you have a problem with your family, you should do something else. Go outside and do something for yourself for a while.
When you have a problem with your kids, teach them something.
You have to get the balance right.
In the long run, when you work at home, it is even better.
If you are in the middle of a project and your computer is connected to the Internet, you will get distracted easily.
Keep your PC turned off. You need to be able to disconnect.
Turn off your WiFi. If you are not using WiFi, it will not be a problem.
Let the kids play. They can do their things when you work.
Let your kids play with the dog.
Here is another example.
What if you are working at home, but you live in the country. You don’t have any neighbors to speak of.
You are working, but your dog is eating and the cat is peeing everywhere. You cannot concentrate.
You are watching the dog. You are chatting with the cat. The cat is chasing the dog.
You feel like getting up and walking around the house.
What are you going to do then?
What if you are working at home, but you have an office at work that is like a town?
What if you work at work, and you are waiting for an email and you are waiting for a report to go out?
Let’s say, you are working at work, but you are having a problem with your wife.
You are waiting for an email from her.
You have to answer all the emails at work. You can’t work without answering emails.
What are you going to do then? Go to the coffee shop?
Go have a walk with the dog? Walk around the neighborhood?
Email your wife? Chats with friends?
Email the boss? What about the dog?
What are you going to do then? Sometimes you will not be able to work.
Connectivity is good. It is a very important aspect to consider.