By some strange quirk of Fate, I’ve been working away from the office for a few days this week. Sometimes from home, other times from remote sites. It’s not something I do a lot, so there was a fair bit of novelty to it. With broadband and the various remote access technologies out there, working remotely was a doddle.
I sat enjoying a quiet cup of tea as I waited for an installation to finish, my mind drifted. Firstly, it was nice to be able to sit and look out on to the garden rather than the usual view from the office window. Secondly, I wondered if this was a sign of the future. With the UK Government using motorists as a serious revenue stream and the ever rising costs of running an office (‘leccy, parking, rent, etc): how long before we really see a shift to a virtual workforce? I’ve read about start-up companies – particularly in large cities – doing this, but how long before the mainstream catches up?
Sure, there are some Health & Safety issues to address – apparently a laptop on your knee for 8 hours isn’t the done thing (which I don’t do) – and some less trusting management regimes aren’t keen on the idea of the staff being out of sight. But it can mean you can work more flexibly and that you’re not sat in traffic using petrol up or clogging the roads. Web cams and VOIP telephones mean remote meetings are possible. Although to be fair, I still prefer a good, old fashioned sit-around-the-table meeting with a flip chart and pens. 🙂
Is this a good thing? The idea of more home working or will it just mean more working hours and even more blurring between home/office life? For some jobs, you do need to be there. But for many office jobs, you don’t: telephone and email can be all you need. The one thing I did miss, however, was the office chit-chat and banter. Sure, you could say it’s distracting, but I like to call is socialising 🙂
In other news, I spotted this advert for a Marks & Spencers’ capsule working wardrobe. It features 5 Mylene Klass’s. Now… who wouldn’t want to work in an office like that? 🙂 Mind you, at those prices, I’m tempted by a few items myself.
[ Today’s lyric: No Good Advice by Girls Aloud… who won something at the Brits – yay! ]