Milan recently posted about how he finds he is more productive when he moves around while doing his schoolwork rather than just sitting in one spot for hours. He went on to wonder about the concept of “peripatetic” work styles in general.
I wanted to leave a big giant comment to this post, but instead of hijacking his blog, I just left a short comment and decided to carry on here.
I don’t think human beings are built to sit on one spot for hours at a time. I also don’t think we’re meant to spend most of our waking life with strangers instead of with our kith and kin.
Yet, as youngsters we’re shipped away, told to sit still, slotted into a desk with the expectation that we’ll graduate to a bigger desk as adults.
I always think there must be a better way. Milan is on to something. With all this portable technology at our fingertips why are we still working in the same old stationary, soul-sucking way?
Why don’t more of us work from home, for instance? We spend most of our incomes on our homes, yet spend very little time there. We could work in comfort at home; move around at will – get some housework done, play with the kids or pets, even go outside and do an errand or two.
We’d save money on commuting. We’d get tons of cars off the road which would do wonders for the environment. We could save money on daycare by working around our children’s schedules and/or forming some sort of cooperative arrangements with other teleworking parents.
Absenteeism would be reduced. Differently abled people would have more job opportunities.
We’d only need a fraction of the office space that now occupies our cities and we could convert that space for residential use. Then independant businesses would move back downtown to service the residents and our downtowns would be revitalized.
Ta-da! – most of the world’s problems solved through telework.
I work at home occasionally. I think I’m as, if not more, productive than I am in my cubicle where every bored co-worker can drift by with a funny story or personal problem. A recent Penn State University study, The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety and the Canadian Telework Association all agree.
I’m sure there are drawbacks. Some people might miss the ongoing social interaction. Some people might not be disciplined enough to work without someone breathing down their neck. Some people might feel like they never get away from work if it’s part of their home.
I don’t know. Why don’t more of us do it? Would you like to work from home? Some of you probably already work from home. Is it all it’s cracked up to be?