Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Do you actually need an office?

I was reading "The Gig" by Nadira A. Hira on http://www.fortune.com/ where she questions the necessity of an actual office and that made me write my own piece about my Sri Lankan experience.

Well the job that I'm involved is not one of those journalistic or software related thingy where you might be able to work from home. It involves much human contact, certain amount of fire fighting and lot of team interaction.

However I fall in to the category of having a PC at home and a "home ADSL connection". So technically I'm wired compared to most people in my country. With that background here's my take!

There were few days this year where I was either sick or due to some other home affair where I could not make it to the office. On each of those days I did manage to work on many forward looking projects which I simply was not able to perform during my 'regular' office hours. Well here the other difference. I did not spend what ever the time getting my self ready to go to work. I did not spend well over an hour on the road just to commute to my self to work (where I cannot do anything meaningful other than answer the occassional phone call and listen to radio). All in all I managed to clock in 1/12 hours of "quality morning hours" in to good use. And all this while I was wearing my good old "sarong".

While we all are trained corporate 'creatures' use to the office attaire, I sure given a choice in the context of home based work many people would prefer to wear non office clothes. (I'm a firm beleiver of good dress to work and other places)E-mail was the main for of communication between me and my colleagues although I did use IM to a certain extent with people who have it. Made less than 8 phone calls for the entire day and yet managed to complete more than what I usually do.

Because I was at home I could attend to some of the house matters while it made my wife and children very happy to see me around. I certainly had discipline to focus on work!

Well, I guess I'm lucky to have the infrastructure in place to perform the task. I know for most other people it could still be a luxury. However come to think of the cost I think it's feasible. As with anything there is cost benefit and it is up to you to benefit out it.

Must admit though that there had been quite a few occassions where I've been frustrated because the ADSL internet connection has been annoyingly slow!

Even over here I have heard quite a few people saying they either come to work very early or stay till late or come on during a weekend just have do some work without being disturbed. With that sort of thing you tend to wonder what this fuss is all about when you actually can allow employees to work from home may be couple of times a month.

Journey of a thousand miles start with a very small step.


Anonymous said...

Don't know many men who does real work from home.


Anonymous said...

May be not in Asia, but over here that's a huge number. Good article