For All Intents and Purposes….The Tele-work Paradox

The Dollars & Sense of Workshifting (Telecommu...
The Dollars & Sense of Workshifting (Telecommuting) Infographic (Photo credit: citrixonline)

My work week is over.  I don’t consider working from home part of the work week – which is a bonus because I don’t mean that I slack off – what I mean is that the effort required to do 150% from a work standpoint is far less than the effort required (for me) to get my ass dressed in business casual attire complete with requisite warpaint (basic makeup to hide the age spot, a little eyeliner and mascara to make me appear to be alive, and some lips to pull the whole mess together), arrival at office at a suitable time – preferably before 9 so I can park for $8/day vs. $12, to my desk and finally, engaged in meaningful work.

I was never the type to roll out of bed and roll into work effortlessly (including when I worked at the dreaded stinky, disgusting chemical plant).  In fact, part of the manifestation of my wonderful ADD is that I would most likely lie in bed until I had decided upon the right outfit to wear on a given day.  No, I didn’t lay my clothes out the night before – yes that happened occasionally but very rarely – yes, I said that I would get that urge to spring out of bed once I’d decided on an outfit.  Why would I lie about something like that?

So I put a robust 3 five hour days in this week so far and my plan is that I will work from home on Fridays.  Tomorrow being the exception since I am chaperoning the aforementioned LIES 3rd grade field trip to the Smithsonian Institution‘s Museum of Natural History.  Yes, I’m really this charged up about seeing the Dom Pedro aquamarine……I love aquamarines and this is the mother of all gemstones – putting even the Hope Diamond to shame, by some accounts…

As luck would have it, and I’m not being facetious here, I do have some work to get done tomorrow or before Tuesday morning at a minimum.  This is lucky because in starting in my new role I had no idea about exactly how engaged I’d be at the start and therefore no idea about what sort of hours I’d be putting in.  So I had planned to be off b/c I am going on the field trip, but I will have some work to do so I’ll be charging some time for whenever I decide to sit down and crank it out.  It’s a beautiful thing this tele-work.

The paradox I’m referring to would be the mindset that either you can’t possibly be working if I can’t see you OR here’s a new twist – our philosophy is one of a team environment and so…..(you can’t possibly be working if I can’t see you) physically sitting among the other members of your team.  As a person who’s benefited tremendously from work time/hours/location flexibility I can tell you that I’ve cranked out some amazing volume from home but this is the kicker – the intangible that people don’t (want to understand)….when I’m not crazy busy and responsible for producing amazing volume and I can work at home I can also fold laundry as I sit in on a conference call (seriously, the ones where it’s the whole freaking region and no one knows whether I’m on the line or not but it’s required), or getting started at 7 b/c vs. starting my commute at 7…..THIS my friends is my quid pro quo for the times when I’m needed at the office for late hours, or an extra day, or some other task that requires me to don my superhero cape……what I mean is that I DO THESE THINGS GLADLY IF I AM TREATED AS A PROFESSIONAL AND NOT REQUIRED TO BE CHAINED TO A DESK FOR A MINIMUM OF 40 HOURS PER WEEK JUST BECAUSE IT MAKES “THE MAN” FEEL BETTER B/C HE CAN SEE ME…..

Having said that I will also say that meeting the other members of your team face to face and spending a minimal amount of time working in the same space is, in my opinion, a requirement for the tele-work productivity model to work out as I’ve just described.  and having said that I will add that I have known all along that I’ve been tremendously fortunate to have found situations for myself where I was able to benefit from this type of flexibility – where results were what mattered most – and I’m then doubly blessed to have fallen into my current opportunity where, b/c I am a consultant, it’s a surprise to most that I’m in the office at all.

What was it that I said yesterday to close my post?  Oh yeah, GOD IS GOOD!!!


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