Working from home conjures up images of hanging out in bunny slippers, avoiding rush-hour traffic or taking a break to walk the dog. As we all work harder and harder, the chance to telecommute sounds like a tempting way to do work productively because you can set the pace of your day.
According to a survey done by staffing agency Robert Half, some 78 percent of workers in the Washington, D.C., area certainly agree. In particular, Millennials are attracted to tele-work. They say they would be more likely to accept a job offer if part of the package included the chance to work from home.
However, telecommuting is not necessarily a dream arrangement. In fact, more than 75 percent of surveyed workers cited several downsides to working from home. For example, it can be isolating. Also, if you aren’t bonding with co-workers in person, you could miss out on key dynamics of office politics, whether it’s being present when the boss has an interesting new project to assign or building long-term goodwill with colleagues who find it difficult to reach you when you’re not at your home desk.
So, if you are offered a chance to telecommute do keep those disadvantages in mind. To minimize the challenges, build in some regularly scheduled office-based meetings to keep connections going and stave off loneliness. Participate in office rituals like birthdays and farewell parties, and join in offsite socializing.
While telecommuting does put “life” into the work-life balance, don’t forget the “balance” part of the equation.
Sherri Sacks is an outreach specialist and Career Coach for the JCS Career Center. The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment services to help job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment or change their career. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resumes, interview preparation, and connections to employers who are hiring. For more information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbaltimore.org.