Working remotely

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Update: The results are published.

Working in a remote way has many advantages. You have absolute control over when and where you work. The only thing that matters is that you actually get the job done: How you do it and when is your responsibility. This is one of the most positive points of working remotely. It is also one of its weaknesses.

When you work remotely and you get to choose where to work an obvious choice is your own home. That way you don’t need to commute. You are already in the office when you wake up. And that is a problem because, when you work from home, the natural barriers between private life and business disappears. You are no longer ‘Not in the office’. Your coworkers may think that you are available 100% of the time. After all, you have a flexible schedule. The same thing happens from the point of view of your personal life. Because you work from home it may look to other people that you are available to them any time. After all, again, you have a flexible schedule.

When you mix these two points of view you get a clear picture of what it really looks doing remote work from home. There are two groups of people that both demand your time and attention, and since there is no longer a barrier in the form of a formal schedule, you are perceived to be available to them any time.

That is a recipe for being burn out. You need barriers between work and your private life. Otherwise you will be constantly interrupted when you need to be focused on a work task and thus it will take you longer to complete it. Similarly, your attention may be required when you are with your family, thereby creating a conflict between your work and your family. A barrier between the two spheres – work and private life – is important for both effective work and quality family life.

This is one the benefits of choosing to work in a coworking space when you are given the telework option. A coworking space is shared office that is run by a company that is not the one that hires you and that you share with people from other companies. Using coworking spaces have the benefit of creating a barrier between your business life and your private life. You may be working for a company that is based on a different country, but when you are in the coworking space you sure are working, and when you are out of the coworking space you no longer working. There is a barrier, a separation, a boundary that both your company and your family can clearly see and acknowledge.

As a part of Master degree in Business Administration I am doing a research on telework and how coworking spaces can be very effective way of doing it. This study can have a significant impact on how organizations can implement telework in a way that serves both the company and the family needs of the employees.

In order for this study to be successful it needs to be empirical, meaning that I need a big enough pool of people willing to answer my questions. If you have experience doing telework I am very interested in hearing from you. Please join the study and participate. All it will take you is to answer a few questions I will send you next month.

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