Mobile workforces are here to stay. A recent Forrester report, that indicates nearly 66% of IT personnel currently telecommute, sums it up best with the following: “… work is becoming something people do, not somewhere they go.” http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/demystifying_mobile_workforce/q/id/59261/t/2
I started telecommuting when my company allowed it back in 2007. As “luck” would have it, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer that year. As time marched on, my ability to telecommute allowed me to remain productive, which was extremely important to me, as well as provided me with the ability to look after my health. These days I still have health issues — yet my productivity is expected to be on par with (indeed, better than) what it’s always been. This isn’t news. Which one of us doesn’t constantly “move and shake” in our fast-paced, constantly shifting, ever-growing industry? Personally? I thrive on those facets of my job that allow me to have new learning opportunities (and, yes, challenges) every day … But that’s a topic for a different time!
Speaking from my own experience, having the ability to telecommute is great. Despite the obvious fuel cost savings and limited “wear-and-tear” on my vehicle, I can “roll” out of bed at 6:00 a.m. and start my day well-ahead of most time zones — and catch-up with overseas colleagues, if necessary. The flip side of this is that I often don’t stop until midnight. This is my choice as well as the expectation of my position (which has me accessible to my clients 24/7). Savvis doesn’t “hold” me to these hours. However, my goal is to provide my clients, both external and internal, with the best I have every day. Some days just happen to be longer than others — and they almost always do not include “latte runs” or doing household chores. (I truly believe that a chip was implanted in me when I filled-out the Telecommuting Request form that allows my colleagues and bosses to pinpoint exactly when the slightest hint of leaving my home desk flits through my mind.)
And I can handle that — especially in my very comfortable flannel pajamas!
What about you? Do you have a home office or work from “available” space? Need background noise or absolute silence? Away from office aficionado or crave your colleagues’ companionship? How many of your “mobile offices” are on planes, trains, and automobiles? Share your telecommuting stories with us — as well as any tips you have for making the experience productive!
Shawn Catherine Fisher would like to acknowledge her “sweet” cubicle in the Herndon, VA office — which always remains clean and has wonderful windows to warm it year-round. (She pleads with the Facility Manager not to “re-assign” it!) Special shout-out to “Jesus” (Hay-seuss), the nearby tree, that helps provide clean air to Shawn and her officemates.