Monday, October 08, 2007

Not a pretty picture

A lot has been said/written about the benefits of working at home. And having spent many years both on my own and in a more traditional environment, I have to say I prefer the comfort of an office, with the flexibility to work offsite sometimes when I need a break in the routine.

Mostly, I like the social aspect of work, running into people, exchanging pleasantries and ideas and feeling part of something bigger.

But if companies start to shed their offices and opt for a remote workforce, I’m not sure the pros outweigh the cons (except maybe from a cost of real estate point of view).

If you choose to work at home, that’s one thing. But if you’re forced into it, it can be lonely and isolating. You need a lot of self-discipline and have to be ready to battle any of a number of distractions (laundry, lazing around and Oprah, to name just a few).

Then too there’s the impersonality of all that electronic contact save for an occasional encounter with the ‘barista’ at your local coffee shop.

So imagine the future: people stuck alone working at home, boundaries removed, bombarded by email that never stops, the sum total of your work/social life online.

That doesn’t sound so idyllic to me.

2 comments:

Danny Torchia said...

Martin brings up a good point about the benefits of a group environment. My two cents: it's important to nurture in people (and oneself) a flexibility to work in non-traditional locations, be it at home, in an airport, park etc...Many people in Public Relations love their profession, which means they enjoy thinking and keeping their eyes and ears open to new ideas, trends etc. This means we're really 'on' everywhere, both to our advantage and to the benefit of our employers, teams or clients. Any tool, tactic or skill that can help us analyse inputs better and translate them into solutions is good, and I'm sure you'll agree that working in varied circumstances or on the go is beneficial in the long run. Enough of the rambling...good blog Martin! Danny Torchia

Martin Waxman said...

Thanks Danny. I agree that we need to keep our eyes, ears and minds open. If I'm stuck for an idea, I go for a walk and try to take a slightly different route than normal. I never know what I'm going to see and am often surprised (and inspired) by something little. And the ideas start flowing.