working from home vs going into the office

On Friday I had a difficult choice to make. The weather was bad, I had one meeting with a customer and one conference call to make. I could go into the office or start my day from home. In the end I decided to start my day from the office and end it from home after my meeting.

The key decision point that convinced me to go into the office was that I had only been there once this week. Two other days was working at customer site and one was working from home. There is value in being in the office. Yes, there are constant interruptions. Yes, it takes 45 minutes to drive there. Yes, I typically end up talking about things that don’t lead to our main goal.

The key benefits of staying home are that I save an hour and a half in commute time, I am more productive, and I can get the laundry and dishes done while I work. Fortunately, my desktop at home and my desktop at work are relatively the same. Internet connectivity is about the same. I use my cell phone for everything so the office phone isn’t that big a deal.

So for me the key reasons that I went into the office were:
1) face time with the team that I work with is important. Talking about kids baseball games, college football, fantasy football, and places to take our spouses out to dinner are what bind us together along with our common goals.
2) I typically can’t get 10 minutes with my manager on the phone. In person, I get 20. He is more open to sharing business strategies and late breaking news in person rather than on the phone.
3) The gym equipment at the YMCA is better than the gym equipment that I have in the office.
4) I also get to interact with the extended team that I don’t talk to on a daily basis. Yes we share emails but most people in my office talk differently than they do over email. They are warmer and friendlier in person than through email. I personally need this to remind myself that not everyone is as rude as they sound through email.

I decided to work frorm home after my meeting mainly because the weather was terrible and I really didn’t want to extend my comute to an hour and a half on a bad weather Friday. I traded off the time spent commuting and the time spent working. Next week should be interesting with two trips to Louisiana and one day at a customer site.

331 thoughts on “working from home vs going into the office”

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