While numerous studies keep coming out that show that telecommuters are more productive, my experience this week has been far less positive.
Last Friday, I received some painful treatments for a foot ailment (don't worry loyal readers, nothing serious or permanent...just painful and disgusting). The doctor warned me that I would be out of commission for some time. Fine, I thought, I can just work from home.
Fortunately for me, PBworks is highly adapted to online work. Not only do we use our own product, nearly every other one of our software tools is also SaaS-based, which means that I can access things like Salesforce.com and Rally from anywhere.
We're also used to dealing with telecommuting; our entire Sales team is based on the East Coast, and our Creative Director lives in Oregon.
In other words, any telecommuting failures can be firmly attributed to me, and me alone. Even though it's only been three days (and counting), I can hardly wait to get back to the office. Here's why:
1) My office is more comfortable.
Some people love the comforts of home. Me, I like my office. My office is solely my space, and the arrangement reflects that fact. At home, every space is ultimately a shared space. I've never worked from home enough to justify a separate office, and even if I did, I'm sure it would be overrun with children's toys and other bric-a-brac.
2) I miss having people around.
Some people love the solitude; I crave the human interaction. And no matter how many calls or web conferences I do, it's not the same as actually talking with folks in person. Besides, no one at home tells me entertaining stories about his time spent living with the Satanist and the conspiracy theorist.
3) I miss the outside world.
Perhaps it's different for those who work out of coffeehouses and the like, and perhaps it's because my foot has left me confined to the house, but I miss actually being outside. Even the tiny amounts of nature I see walking from the parking lot to my office seem to have made a bigger difference than I thought.
Again, it may be that my experience is different, because I've combined a week at home with a debilitating recovery from medical treatment, but right now I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I've recovered enough to make it to the office tomorrow.
My friend Terri points out, "Yes, working from home can be a solitary experience, but there are plusses too: like wearing pjs! :)"
Tragically, I discovered this for myself yesterday, when my wife came home and said, "Are you still in your pajamas?" Without even realizing it, I had sunk into the cliche of the pajama-clad blogger. That's why the first thing I did this morning was get dressed.