I absolutely love working virtually from home! I did it for two weeks in September and last Monday I started working virtually on what will be a regular basis at least until the end of the year. To stay in synch with my office in Schenectady, which is on East Coast time, usually I roll out of bed just before 6:00. I take an hour break at 9:00, when Mike and I walk about three and a half miles around Green Valley, and then I get back to work until 3:00. Awesome.
There's a real cost savings to working virtually. Over the summer I commuted a good 250 miles a week, which on my car is about three-quarters of a tank of gas, and I spent close to $40 a week on lunches.
Work clothes? Forget about it. Even though my office was business casual, we're still talking clothes I wouldn't normally choose to buy. I realized that as I moved my stuff from my luggage to the closet this week. Now all I need is play clothes and going out on the town clothes.
I also have more time. A 40-minute commute translates to almost 7 hours a week of sitting in the car. That's almost a whole other work day I now have to myself. I need that time--who doesn't? I have a million goals to pursue and a couple of projects to work on.
While I understand that not every profession is suited to working virtually, I don't know why more employers don't offer workers the opportunity. As far as productivity goes, if anything, I think virtual workers feel more pressure to have something to show for themselves at the end of the day. And a major advantage is that a happy employee is going to be a loyal employee who's going to be less likely to jump ship. Once you've experienced the joy of working virtually, why would you ever want to go back to getting all dolled up and schlepping yourself to the office?
It seems like a win-win situation to me.
How about you? Do you work at home? Would you, if you could? Do you think your employer would be open to it?