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Working from home - Does it really work?

What would you say if I told you there is a company working from home aka virtual with over forty employees, and they have been that way for over eight years and are experiencing a thirty percent year over year growth?

Most people are shocked. They then ask how does it work? Or what sort of mythical business is this where people work from home?

The same people will then say I could never work from home. Don’t you find it hard to get motivated and stay on task?

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Let me ask you, “How long is your commute?” How many times a year are you late because of weather or some other delay? If you go out for lunch does it ever take more than one hour?

How would it feel to not have to worry about the weather or the commute?

Thanks to the “do more with less” revolution that took place during the last economic downturn most people have enough work to keep them busy.

Most people I work with are looking for more time, not less time. Most people I work with have a large chunk of their time already scheduled in meetings, conference calls, etc.

That is the secret. If you have a list of outcomes that must be delivered, and you can schedule our time effectively then where you work doesn’t matter.

The key to managing a virtual work force is to measure the outcomes, to track the work being done, forget about the time. A person that wants to waste time or procrastinate can do that anywhere. A person that wants to maximize their time will find a way to do that.

Today the technology provides great tracking, recording and reporting capabilities, are you using it effectively to manage today?

You see virtual companies still ask themselves, “Are we spending too much time in useless meetings?” or “Are we maximizing productivity?” These questions don’t go away with the walls.

What does go away are reasons for being late, and reasons for having to leave early.

Working from home - Do you unplug?

Which brings up the question “Can you turn it off?” or “Can you unplug?”

You won’t like this response. Are you responding to emails now on your mobile phone or taking calls after hours, are you bringing work home? See I told you, I knew you wouldn’t like it, because it is true right.

Working from home or virtualization of the workforce can be a big savings in rent, and a boost in productivity and happiness for some of your workforce. Extrovert’s just need to schedule more face-to-face meeting time, just because you are virtual doesn’t mean everything is done virtually.

Hopefully you can see that it is simply just a mental block.

If the work needs to get done,  a way will be found to get it done.

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