Photo by Dillon Shook on Unsplash
The notion of working from home is a powerful one. We all want to do it. I want to do it. I want to avoid that commute and get away from all those distractions in the office. At home, no one is asking, “Do you have a minute?” That “minute” ends up taking an hour.
When I work from home I get all settled in for grinding it out. I am Mr. Productivity. Then the doorbell rings and it is either the UPS guy or an Amazon delivery. Wonder what that could be. Then the dog needs to go out for a long walk. Hey, there is that magazine I’ve been looking for. And what’s for lunch?
During the conference call, the dog starts barking and the others on the call start asking questions. “What’s that noise?” “Is there a dog on the call?” I chime in, “Whoever is with that dog, please put your phone on mute.”
Then it’s time to deal with the tech equipment because all of a sudden there is no Internet connection and I need to get that presentation out and there is no one to help. I am on hold with tech support.
Now it’s time to pick up the kids at school. Having them at home will help me focus.
Working at home can be a real boon to productivity.
Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash
Working hard and showing up are not the same thing. Both things are important. Even in a world that can look like a cube farm and where everyone is looking at computers all day and wearing headphones, engagement and relationships matter.
When a friend was fired, he was shocked. WTF! He was yelling at everyone. His employer said he was let go because of his poor attendance record. Attendance record? Really? Is this high school?! He knew he worked like a dog and never heard anything about attendance. Who takes attendance?
Maybe it was not just about attendance. Between traveling and working from home at all hours, the guy thought he was meeting all of his objectives. So what happened?
No one knew him. Being around the place still matters. Hanging around with the boss still matters. Being a colleague still matters. Being part of the team still matters, even in a virtual world. It’s easier to get rid of people no one knows.
Show up. Have coffees with colleagues. Go to the holiday party. The thing is, someone is taking attendance.
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Certain jobs make me say to myself, “However much that person is being paid, it is not enough.”
When I sit in my office on the twenty-third floor and I see the guy outside my window washing it, it’s a no‑brainer that I think he should get a raise.
Coal miners deserve a raise, as do deep-water divers and every law enforcement person in the world, no matter how much money they make. The dangerous jobs are always ones that make me wonder about the risk– reward ratio.
A new group of workers makes me scratch my head about the pay versus job satisfaction equation.
These are the people who dress like a chicken to get us into the restaurant. Or dress as Bullwinkle the moose to get us to visit the time-share office. Or dress as the Statue of Liberty to get us into the car wash.
I suspect it’s the minimum wage for these brave souls, who need to be energetic too. I think they deserve a raise.