The benefits of working from home. Company policies need to be updated for the 21st century.
I have been trying for the better part of 2 years to get approved to operate from home. It was a joyous occasion! One which I’ve seldom had the pleasure of experiencing. Each company I have worked for had essentially the same policy. There’s always a risk sending information over the World Wide Interweb. Security breaches happen all the time. Everyone’s personal information has probably been lifted by someone on the dark web to be used for nefarious crimes. But boy did it feel great to walk from the bedroom into my home office about 30 feet away.
The convenience has so many benefits mainly not having to be at the office at 0-Dark-30 to get some sort of issue or execution. For me, it is getting up in the wee hours and having to drive everywhere. I will be tired, probably did not get much if any sleeping during the day as a result of the anxiety of having to go in, and it is unsafe. Dialing in removes that and enables a short walk back to bed; no driving home still being drained or keyed up from being awake all night.
Throughout much of my I.T. career I had been classified as non-essential personal. It meant I was not required to show up during inclement weather or program difficulties. However, I would be forced to take leave time for that day, a double-edged sword. It is a backdoor for the company to punish its employees in my opinion. Turns out that I was essential if I liked it or not.
I was with a large corporation that had no issue with folks working at home. There wasn’t the kind of security breaches there are these days so the company didn’t really concerned about it. It was nice. When winter hit and a gazillion feet of lake effect snow brought the wrath of Mother Nature, I was toasty in the living room keeping up with work deliverables and conference calls. Again, it was nice (except having to bulldoze my way from the driveway).
Another example: Company policies can and do apply a rule that if your children are at home because of inclement weather, you weren’t supposed to work due to the distraction. The same was in place if you had an infirmed relative that needed care daily. It’s an archaic rule that needs to change. I get it, but family should come before work and there has to be some leeway. There are a number of situations that can not be avoided but don’t punish employees by not allowing them to dial in even if it’s only for a little while. At least leave it to the employee to choose which is best for their situation.
It is such a simple courtesy: Rewrite the policy. Weather, a sick family member, or if you’re ill (and possibly contagious), then work from home. How hard is this for companies to understand? Profits and stakeholders will still be in place when workers can’t be in the workplace. Apparently hanging on to their archaic policies must be more significant than their employee’s safety. Rewriting the policy may even breed some dedication or a simple thanks from those of us risking our lives to increase the bottom line.