Hot Topic: Work from Home or the Office?

Discussion on LinkedIn about the options for work from home or remote work continues to grow. The pandemic definitely impacted the growth of work from home but remote work was growing even before Covid19 changed our workplaces.

I answered Sean Eggert’s poll with this comment:

80% of my clients are specifying remote when I ask about geographical preference. I think we will see a vast increase in the desire to work from home. Most will avoid employers who penalize people for working from home too. #workfromhome #careerpivot

Technology made work from home feasible

I worked from home for the majority of my career. My property management role was home-based in our townhouse on property. Design Resumes was initially launched when we were property managers as a side gig… way back in 1983. I never stopped working from home. The photo for this article is my office.

What do employers worry about when considering work from home?

  1. Productivity
  2. Accountability
  3. Hours worked
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Deadlines
  6. Communication

In discussion with my clients in healthcare, technology, engineering, pharmaceuticals, finance, consumer product goods, and energy, large numbers in every field do work from home.

Why do employers worry about productivity?

I would venture a guess it is more about fear of losing control.

Zoom meetings replaced in-person meetings so communication is rarely an issue. It is the same reason people overschedule meetings. The fear is that if you cannot see them, they aren’t working.  Frankly, I believe we need to reconsider meetings too. When your entire team spends the whole day in meetings, how do they get work done?

Set clear goals and objectives complete with deadlines and allow your teams to work! If you hire good people, the work will get done.

What are the benefits to employees of the remote workforce?

  • Increased Productivity

I am convinced that for many people they will increase productivity in remote roles. In the office, there are so many interruptions that people who do better thinking when they are alone benefit from work from home opportunities.

  • More Family Time

  • No Commutes

However, many people held jobs requiring them to be onsite until recently. Some of my New Jersey clients had 2-hour commutes on both sides of their day. Think about that. 4 hours daily, 5 days a week, 20 hours for both your families and the workplace. Are you surprised so many people fall in love with the work from home concept?

Consider the impact to your family when mom or dad only has an hour or less at the start of the day with their children and perhaps not again until bedtime. Yet, this was the mandatory lifestyle for many people in big cities.

  • Flexibility in Work Hours

Depending on the job, work can be done during the time you are most productive. While communication to the office or your team still needs to happen during business hours, some people can leverage the ability to work around their own preferred time.

I often start my day in the office shortly after I wake up. I work through the non-client items in the early morning between 6 am and 8 am. I also return to work after dinner to complete other projects.

I hear from my clients this can be true for them too. Working from home allows the worker to leverage his more productive hours. Again, as long as the work gets done, does it matter if you deviate from a 9 to 5 schedule?

Will companies recognize the positive results from work from home?

They can if they want to be the right kind of employer. The first step is trusting your employees to deliver the work. The ability to work from home evolved with technology. Much of the technology we use every day is less than 20 or even 10 years old. The feasibility of working from home has grown with the technology. While there are still areas of the United States that don’t have the infrastructure to provide fast internet, there are strides in that area.

The debate continues in so many areas:

For example the article from law.com: “Talking Trendspotter: Readers (Including BASF’s In-House Counsel) Say Remote Work Flexibility Is a DEI Issue” cites multiple reasons that work from home or remote will work for those in the legal profession.

How do I find work from home options?

LinkedIn has a filter for remote that you can apply to any industry or function. In addition, Flexjobs has long been a resource for remote and flexible jobs. Flexjobs advertises itself as “The biggest hand-screened database of remote and flexible jobs from Top employers from all industries around the U.S. and the world!”

In addition, talk to your network. The best options for your job search should always come from talking with your network. Determine for yourself if work from home and remote will work for you.

Are you ready to make a move? Looking for the right way to position yourself in this new market, let’s talk.

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Hot Topic: Work from Home or the Office?

About Julie Walraven

You quickly see why my unique interactive coaching and strategic resume writing process isn't a cookie-cutter solution. You and I create your personalized job search strategy and define your value and showcase your accomplishments in your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and so much more.