April 02, 2009

I wish I could work from home.

My company has decided that it is going to start to experiment with the new frontier of cost containment, employee retention and moral boosting. They are going the way of Work From Home!

We have been discussing this for over a year now. We’ve had some employees that already were working from home, because their jobs required a lot of travel and they where issued corporate lap tops. Over a year ago they decided to start rolling it out to positions that normally were “in the office” only. With the success they had there, they expanded it and just 2 weeks ago I sent a third of my minions home to work.

I have fifteen minions that directly report to me. There was a battle over which ones would go home. Now, I had wanted to take them out to the parking lot and have a last person standing competition for the slots, the other lairds decided that “No, we’re only going to send the best of the best home!” Okay, sure they deserve it, but what fun is it to determine where they get to work based on merit and ability as opposed to which one can claw the other’s eyes out faster? I’m kidding; don’t go all offended on me. I wouldn’t want one of my minions to loose an eye… then I’d have to hire a new one because the old one would be useless. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Seriously though, since I’ve sent my five minions home, they have not only shown an increase in productivity, but they really seem to like it. At first all five had the same concern about missing the social aspect of working on the job. Through the use of IM, e-mail and phone, they all say that they really haven’t lost that much contact with their fellow minions that are working in the office.

For me it’s nice because I get 1/3 less interruptions during the day. Where in the past they would just walk up to my desk and start spouting questions, now they have to call, IM or e-mail me. I can ignore those until a more opportune time to answer it. It frees me up to be able to manage my time better.

The only down side to this is that it is much harder to play pranks on people. Plus when I’m horsing around with them, I can’t give them an empty box when they “Cross the line” and tell them to pack up their desk. I mean they’re already home! I don’t want to have to go get that stuff from them!

But there are still ways to do it.

Like “turning off” their IP address on the firewall and telling them that their ISP is no longer an accepted carrier due to security issues and that they will have to return to the office permanently. My minion called me instantly when she saw that IM. That was hilarious. I only wished I could have recorded that phone call to share with all of you. She wouldn’t let me get a word in for five minutes as she gave me excuses and what she’s going to do to fix it and all of this other stuff before I told her that I was kidding and “turned on” her IP address. Funnier still was the IM I received an hour later, “I should have known better but I thought you wouldn’t be able to pull pranks on us once we were out of the office.”

Yes, a new and challenging form to have fun!

Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at April 2, 2009 06:32 AM | TrackBack

Is there nowhere safe from your *evil* mind????

Posted by: bx19 at April 2, 2009 02:42 PM

That's not evil.. it's mischievous! Evil would have been cutting all their access and telling them they had been terminated when they inquired why.

And we all know I'm not evil. I'm too nice of a guy to be anythign close to evil.

Posted by: Contagion at April 2, 2009 03:00 PM

I've been working from home since 1996 (for 6 years before that I worked from my boss's home office). I'm used to it, but there are downsides - especially if you move to a new area of the country... difficult to get to know people.

However, I can work strange hours and I can leave to do a few things during the day (something I wouldn't be able to do from an office). So while I haven't done any corporate ladder climbing, I'm okay with that. I just need to earn enough money to do the things I want to do and all is good with me.

Posted by: Teresa at April 2, 2009 08:02 PM