Death of the office?

October 28, 2010

It seems that so often I get most of my good work done, as Chair, at home via email and phone, when it comes to day to day decisions, communications, memos and other general business stuff. Rather than a day of endless one on one meetings, people email me and 90% of the time, we deal with it then and there. And when we have face-to-face meetings, I budget time for what I think the meeting needs: no blanket one hour meetings just because one hour meetings are the norm.

With face-to-face chat available on every computer these days, and texting and email, how far away is the dream of most people working from home? Imagine, in every apartment and home is a subsidized or deductible office where career folks work, instead of in a high-rise. Granted, many organizations need to be together as a team, and some need oversight to prevent slackers. But more and more businesses support working at home, and I think that is a very healthy trend.

Some administrators need to be around 9-5; others don’t. All are on call 24/7. Some administrators WANT to be around 9-5, even if they don’t need to be, because they are 9-5 people. My dad was a minister who never had 9-5 work hours. I inherited his eccentric workweek and prefer it to a 9-5 routine.

I love being Chair but I don’t love sitting at my desk “being Chair.” Often when I’m at school, I’ll just walk to someone’s office and chat with them, rather than email them, just to get out of the office, and to get the task done pronto. Obviously, one needs to be in the office for a variety of reasons, but increasingly I find that much of the work can be done just as easily and more quickly, at home.

So, if I don’t love my office at work, why is it that I love my office at home? Hmmmm?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brad Wood November 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I’ve managed to persuade my clients that I get more done for them when I work at home, or an outside office when I maintained one, and not at their site. Once in a great while it’s appropriate to make a visit, and when they are intent on attendance at a lot of meetings I sometimes write it into the contract that I bill for travel time. The bigger organizations don’t seem to mind.

When I do make trips to, say, Long Beach, or Alhambra, from Canoga Park, I remind myself that for many people this incredible and hazardous time on the road is their norm, not the exception.

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