As you know I work a large percentage of my time from home.
Tucked away in my quiet little corner of Wales I interact with my colleagues using Skype, email, WebEx and telephones.
I have the luxury of only having to walk about 15 steps from my bedroom to my officeand as such don’t have to get up early to dodge traffic and fight the crowds. Alright, dodging six hungry cats is no simple task and I risk personal injury every day at the top of the stairs as they skillfully try to guide me to their food bowls in the kitchen downstairs…
It all sounds ideal doesn’t it?
It is largely, but these last two weeks I have been in the office full time while Emma has been off in South Africa and I have found that there are a few things that I haven’t been getting as a remote worker.
First and foremost is the corridor talk, water-cooler chats that truly keep you abreast of what is happening in any company. These impromtu meetings are generally the best place to forumlate a picture on the overall progress of the company and are a great source of ideas!
Also, being remote I tend to be far more ignorant of moods in the office, what people are thinking about things that are going on, what factions are developing as results of actions that have been taken. These are far more subtle than any formal form of communication and are more than just a reality in any company, they are also a means to creative output as people strive to solve problems together and find ways around groups with objections.
Add to that is the fact that most of us work really hard to be recognised by our peers as the best at what we do, as people with talent, skill and knowledge that add value to the lives of those around us. As a remote worker some of the praise that could be gained around the water cooler is lost and significant achievments can go unrecognised by the greater community.
All told though, I still think the benefits far outweigh these few negatives.