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Q: Twelve months ago, I was offered a new part-time job, two days a week, working from home. They would give me a laptop and phone; contribute to my broadband and various other perks. I’d always been a bricks-and-mortar type employee and I thought I’d never adjust. A year on, I wouldn’t change it for the world. They’ve offered me a third day per week. I don’t have a question; rather, an observation that if an old dog like me can learn new tricks, no-one should dismissing working from home without first trying it. (YJ, email)
A: The reality is that companies are inviting or allowing people to work from home in greater numbers than ever before. The technology to make this possible has long been in place – and is improving by the minute – while the corporate willingness that is required to make it happen is fast catching up, writes Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers, Ballinrobe.
The momentum is coming from both sides. In a recent Irish Times article on working from home, Daryl Hanberry, Deloitte global employer solutions partner, noted that “the new generation of workers is demanding a lot more flexibility. They are demanding mobility whether that’s due to childcare, or commutes or wanting to live in the country or a variety of other reasons. In other cases, employers are offering mobility and flexibility where talent is not plentiful and harder to get. They are allowing employees to work from home now where it fits in with the organisation’s needs.
“In Deloitte, we have employees who come to work once or twice a week and work from home the rest of the time. Giving employees flexibility and empowerment can be an ideal way of attracting and retaining talent. The workforce of the future wants a high level of empowerment and autonomy. The age of micromanaging employees is rapidly coming to an end.”
An Irish company is to the forefront of this working from home surge – or working remotely, where you work for a bank in Manhattan from your co-working space in, oh, a refurbished railway station out west. Abodoo.com, based in Co. Wexford, is a platform (not of the railway station type) that matches remote employees with employers who have no hang-ups about employees working remotely.
Their website says: “We believe that everybody has a right to work including those that may be limited by location or mobility. There is a huge resource of people out there who want to build careers without the restriction of the traditional office.
“By matching such a talent pool to the forward thinking companies of today we believe that greater working experiences can be achieved. We see it more like work life harmony than work life balance. With benefits to both the employer and the smart worker, a career can be progressive, enjoyable and limitless.”
Abodoo is talking about real jobs here – not just one-off gigs. Staff members. With benefits. This is much more than paying a graphic designer for two hours work to do a logo.
Working from home isn’t for everyone. The distractions can be too much. Or workaholics might never switch off. Find the happy medium and it might just be for you.