July 31, 2018 |

Is Working Remotely a Good Idea?

Candidates ask multiple times weekly about the option of working from home.  There are many approaches, from the reasonable “Would I be able to work from home if the roads are bad?” to the overt, “How much will I be expected to be in the office with this job?”

Working from home can be nice.  I do it occasionally myself.  But I don’t think it’s a good practice if you want to advance your career inside an organization.  The old adage, “out of sight, out of mind” is still an important one.  I encourage people to do a cost/benefit analysis on working from home. Begin with the end in mind.  What is your end-game?  Do you want to advance?  Be promoted?  Build your personal brand within an organization?  Inspire others?  Lead people?  If those things are important to you, it’s going to be very difficult to accomplish that from your kitchen table, bedroom or home office.  People do business with people.  People follow other people.  Technology is a tool; a vehicle to facilitate business.  It doesn’t care about your image or your reputation. You can’t develop a presence and build a personal brand sitting at home in your gym shorts or yoga pants.

If you’re an individual contributor, a role player or a task executor, then working from home may serve your needs.  But don’t get upset when others who make the effort and investment to engage with others get recognition or promotions.

Flexibility and autonomy can be great.  Working from home can be great.  It’s also like ice cream.  A little bit tastes wonderful.  Too much will give you a stomach ache; and too much too often will make you fat and lazy.  So, approach working from home with caution.  A little can be refreshing.  Too much too often will leave you on the outside looking in, with no personal brand and no advocates for your career advancement.