22 Feb Telecommuting: It takes discipline to work from home
Editor’s note: Contemporary Working, WTN’s newest column, is actually a blog on the Manpower Web site, and it’s designed to guide readers on their journey through the changing world of work. Readers will find tips, tools, and information on topics as diverse as the aging workforce, working women, professional etiquette, generational diversity, the talent crunch, and more.
In January there was an interesting article on MotherJones.com about the pros and cons of working from home. Called “Practical Values: Works Well With Others,” the article taught me a lot about telecommuting. It also got me thinking whether or not I would do well doing all my work from home.
When one telecommutes, boundaries dissolve and distractions abound. When I do have some work to do at home, I’m tempted to clean out my closet, bake brownies, take a nap, walk the dogs — just about anything can distract me from the task at hand. I guess I don’t have the discipline required to be a successful telecommuter.
But perhaps I could develop the discipline. I believe what I would miss most is the social interaction. The article cites research by Stephen Humphrey at Florida State University. It shows a correlation between social interaction and job satisfaction and productivity.
So I think I’ll stick to driving in every day. Could you work at home — full time, all day, every day?
I’m soooo busy!
Is that good news? Or bad news?
I just read an interesting Quick Take on Workforce.com about boredom at work. It doesn’t surprise me to read that boredom due to poor job design or a poor job-to-employee match can have more serious consequences than burnout.
Here’s how I feel about busy vs. boredom:
• We’ve all heard the adage that if you give something to a busy person, it will get done. I believe it!
• I get frustrated when people say they’re busy – as if that is a bad thing.
• And you could consider busy a form of job security.
We should be grateful that we’re busy. That probably means we’re relevant to our employers and we’re making a contribution to the success of the company. On busy days, I go home feeling much, much better about myself than when I don’t check off quite as many items from my “to do” list.
How about you?
Not much controversy on this week’s Celebrity Apprentice, but I believe there are some lessons to be learned.
• Omarosa and Piers need to get over it! You could argue that Omarosa has been a bit too personal with her vitriol for Piers, but his integrity hasn’t been particularly squeaky-clean throughout the challenges. Not sure who is right with this battle.
• The tortoise and the hare fable might give these celebrities some words to live by. Slow and steady often wins the race — when it is appropriate. Don’t let that slow stuff get in the way of execution, but there is a lot to be said for thoughtfully and carefully completing your tasks. Trace still shines as the “sleeper” winner!
• Marylou clearly talks too much — she has talked too much throughout the program. Whether it’s from nervousness or from lack of confidence or from arrogance, keep your mouth shut when you can. Listen — and you’ll learn a whole lot more than when you’re babbling!
I know it’s still all about ratings, but we can learn from what we watch on this “I love to hate it” program.
I have to admit that when I was writing on a recent post, I didn’t know enough text message jargon to give examples. So I found a helpful site — on Webopedia — that lists all the text message abbreviations.
Some are not appropriate for the office and many either contain or are euphemisms for four-letter words. But as a proud Baby Boomer, I found reading the list quite interesting.
Check it out — you might learn something!
In another helpful DiversityInc.com piece, e-mail is the subject. I love the title: R Yr Biznes E-mails Hrting Yr Career?
It offers some terrific tips on email at work — including:
• Keep it short.
• Adhere to your corporate culture.
• Avoid religious references.
• Always proofread.
Can’t argue with any of those! But let’s add two more:
• Do not REPLY TO ALL when your answer has no relevance to anyone on the distribution list.
• Avoid shortening words and using confusing letters for phrases — like BTW, AAF, LMK. Not everyone understands them.
Do you have more e-mail etiquette tips?
Other columns by Melanie Holmes
• Melanie Holmes: Can’t resist the temptation of more “Celebrity” lessons
• Melanie Holmes: So many business meetings, so little time
• Melanie Holmes: Career dos and don’ts: Do your homework on the job search
• Melanie Holmes: On wimpy handshakes and other business etiquette pet peeves
• Melanie Holmes: She’s baaack! Avoiding the etiquette pitfalls of Omarosa
This article previously appeared on the Manpower Web site and was reprinted with its permission.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.
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