Bert & I telecommute for Soft Flex Company, as do 1/3 of the Soft Flex staff. This means a strong reduction in vehicle emissions and fuel consumption as we are not adding to the congestion on the road. Our home-based office is very close to being paperless as the majority of our work is performed online. We, as home-based employees, also add to the conservation aspect by not packing lunches or eating out, waste incurred here includes: food containers, plastic baggies, cups, plastic eating utensils, and paper waste, such as napkins. It feels great working from home for many reasons and having the additional bonus of helping our environment makes it all the more merrier.
I hope telecommuting gains more momentum for companies in the future. Many people ask how do we get any work done, but really how can we not? Bert & I still have deadlines and goals to meet. I enjoy having the freedom to plan my day and the trust to be able to work unsupervised. The trust given to you to be able to work on your own accord is enough to motivate me. The discipline needed to work from home may seem like a lot but, ultimately you have things to get things done. If you do them, they aren't going away so; you might as well get to work! I honestly wouldn't want to jeopardize my position with the company by not completing the tasks asked of me. Why would I want to "slack off" and get laid off when working from home is a gift in and of itself that I don't want to take for granted.
Sure, there are some downsides - of course there is. I do not get out much (if at all some days). I rarely meet my co-workers face to face. I have to dedicate a portion of my home to "work" and essentially never leave work. And, I sometimes feel like my design skills get stale because I do not have any design colleagues sitting next to me to bounce ideas off of and learn from. However, all these things can be overcome.
- Instead of getting outdoor time to and from work, I need to take some time outside after work or open my windows!
- Instead of making friends to go out with from work, I have to get involved in social groups with people that have similar interests (which means my friendships may be longer lasting as they are people I have more in common with then just were we work).
- I have purchased an armoire that can be closed when the work day is done and I have to shut down my computer. This prevents me from feeling like I have to sit at my desk off hours.
- And, I have to frequent design sites and blogs to work on tutorials (my 2009 goal) to keep ideas fresh and my skills sharp!