We’ve all heard how commuting back and fourth to work in our gas guzzlers is killing the environment.
I’m here to tell you that retiring the car and working in your pajamas may end up killing you.
OK, maybe I’m being a bit extreme this morning. I mostly work from a home office and today both my kids are home from school because the school year ended yesterday. They start camp in a few weeks but I figured since I work from home it would be easy to have them hang out here while I do my job.
I know many of you want my gig because you think it’s job nirvana to never have to leave the house. A recent Monster poll found that 48 percent of you would work from home if you could.
And the environmental benefits are enormous.
If all of you who could work from home did so for one day that would “eliminate 423,000 tons of greenhouse gases—the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road for a year,” according to telecommuting researchers and authors Kate Lister and Tom Harnish.
And there’s been study after study on how good it is for workers.
…the underlying idea is that while some work is best done in an office setting, having the flexibility to choose when and where they do at least parts of their jobs allows workers to devote greater attention to tasks while they’re “on,” while carving out other time slots for other things.
Right now, according to Lister and Harnish, less than 2 percent of workers in the United States work from home the majority of the time.
I say, thank goodness.
Why do I say this? Because of the SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF WORKING AT HOME that no one will tell you:
1. Parent Purgatory. (Wrath) Can you imagine all the moms and dads out there having to figure out how to squeeze in a meeting, or assignment between “Mommy look at this” and “Daddy, my poopee missed the toilet”?
2. Can Anybody Hear Me? (Lust) There’s also the loss of adult interaction. I know, video conferencing has come a long way, but it’s not the same as talking to someone face to face or going down to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee together because you had a bad meeting with your manager. Frankly, my dog Ody is getting sick of my boss bitching.
3. Spreading Buttocks. (Gluttony) I find myself glued to my office chair for hours at a time when I’m wrapped up in doing research. When I was an office dweller colleagues would often come over and bug me, causing me to turn away from the computer, or, dare I say it, actually get off of my ass. When there’s activity around you, it’s hard not to get inspired by it and move around.
4. Woman As Island. (Sloth) Creativity and inspiration can sometimes be lacking because you become so caught up in yourself. No one’s asking what you’re working on. No one’s around to bounce an idea off of and have them tell you, “you’re insane” or “I’d try something else.”
5. Who Are You? (Envy) No matter what people tell you, if you work from home you lose a bit of worker credibility. Friends and family sometimes call or stop by figuring you couldn’t be that busy. And even in your work, there’s often a change in tone from clients or sources when they hear you “work from home.” Sorry, working from home still hasn’t gotten the props it deserves.
6. I Am Super Mom. (Pride) The biggest hurdle is yourself. Working from home makes you think you have flexibility that you really don’t have. “I can have the kids stay home for a few weeks before camp.” “I can take a yoga class at lunch.” “I can finish the eight loads of laundry and still finish my project.” Well, you can’t. If you were working in an office you would have planned for all these things, making appointments well in advance, or making baby sitting arrangements. Clearly, you can’t show up at the office or factory with little Evie in tow.
7. Never Punch Out. (Greed) And finally, the big negative — You are never off the clock. Just ask my hubby and he’ll complain to you for hours about how I’m working constantly…after dinner, on the weekend, etc., etc., etc. My home office is for ever calling me into its belly.
Yes, yes, there are benefits to working at home but I’m not going to share those today. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and don’t really see the positive side at the moment. You all may have to help out here and remind me why it’s so great to work from home.
I love trees. But right now I feel like George Washington and I’m heading to the cherry tree with a CareerDiva hatchet.