Perks of Working From Home

The benefits of working at home. Company policies will need to be upgraded for the 21st century.

I’ve been trying for the better part of 2 years to get approved to work from home. It was a joyous occasion! One that I’ve rarely had the pleasure of experiencing. In years past it was a pain to get approvals for remote access, aka dialing in aka work from home aka convenience. Each company I have worked for had essentially the identical policy. There is always a risk sending data over the World Wide Interweb. Security breaches happen all the time. Everyone’s personal information has likely been lifted by someone on the dark web for use for nefarious crimes. But boy did it feel good to walk from the bedroom into my home office about 30 feet away.

The advantage has so many benefits mainly not having to be in the office at 0-Dark-30 to get some sort of issue or implementation. For me, it’s getting up in the wee hours and having to drive everywhere. I’ll be tired, probably did not get much if any sleeping during the day as a result of the anxiety of having to go in, and it is unsafe. Dialing in eliminates that and allows for a short walk back to bed; no driving home still being drained or keyed up from being awake all night.

Throughout much of my I.T. career I was categorized as non-essential personal. It meant I was not required to appear during inclement weather or application issues. However, I’d be forced to take leave time for that afternoon, a double-edged sword. It is a backdoor for the company to punish its employees in my opinion. Turns out that I was essential whether I liked it or not.

One example: Back in 2001 I lived in the bitter cold of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was with a large corporation that had no issue with folks working at home. There wasn’t the kind of security breaches there are nowadays so the company did not really worried about it. It was nice. Again, it was fine (except having to bulldoze my way from the driveway).

Another example: Company policies can and do enforce a rule that if your kids are at home because of inclement weather, you were not supposed to work due to the distraction. The same was set if you had an infirmed relative that needed care daily. It is an archaic rule that needs to change. I get it, but family should come before work and there has to be some leeway. There are a number of situations that can’t be avoided but do not punish employees by not letting them dial in even if it’s only for a little while. At least leave it to the worker to choose which is most appropriate for their situation.

It’s such a simple courtesy: Rewrite the coverage. Weather, a sick family member, or if you’re sick (and possibly infectious ), then work at home. How hard is this for companies to understand? Gains and stakeholders will still be in place when employees can’t be in the workplace. Apparently hanging on for their primitive policies must be more significant than their employee’s safety. Rewriting the policy might even breed some loyalty or a simple thanks from those of us risking our lives to raise the bottom line.

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