Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Healthier to work at home?

Rick Hampson, USA TODAY, takes on the telecommuting brouhaha. Over time, flexible work policies have made the option of working some or all days at home almost a right, not a privilege.

Then, this Marissa Mayer came into Yahoo and sort of decided that the company's weaknesses might be attributable to people working at home instead of in the office.

Other Bigs like B of A and Best Buys are also casting a doubtful eye on the home work option.

About 5% of all employees (rough estimate) work at least one day a week at home. One in 10 work only a home.

Younger workers accept telework as a right, the boomers love it so much they think it must be wrong.

But some people are not really cut out to work at home--they need a watchful eye. They can get depressed without human interaction. They can get bored. They can clean out the fridge, gain weight, think of diversions. 

The idea behind dragging people back to the office is that they can brainstorm, talk, spark off each other.

I do remember a lot of standing around drinking coffee when I had an office job. They even hired a woman to make the coffee--that was her entire job. Did we spark? Don't recall.

I do know working at home cuts wardrobe costs, gas, stressful commutes, interruptions, fights, you catch fewer bugs--but on the flip side, you may miss out on gossip that can affect your status and future.

As for child care, you do have some flexibility to go to the kids' plays and so on. But I had to have all-day daycare anyhow.

So maybe if you are not the working at home type, you will have better mental health going back to the office. Worth thinking about it.

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