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Do You Work From Home?

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March 12th, 2013
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WordPress

There has been a lot of talk lately about working from home and maintaining a distributed workforce.

Web-based software, like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, are taking over the publishing industry and allow you to work from anywhere with an internet connection. Though, even though they can be managed  from home, working from home and maintaining a distributed workforce is not yet broadly acknowledged in society as a successful and efficient alternative to working in an office. Despite working with software that doesn’t need to be tied to one specific workstation, you could still find yourself tied to a desk in cubicle.

I work full-time for Automattic and have the pleasure of both working from home and setting my own hours. After all, I only need a browser, an email client, and IRC client, and Skype to do my job. A desk is nice, but there’s no one saying that said desk has to be in the dark corner of some corporate office. As for communication between the 150 of us (130 who work from home, far away from the central “office” in San Francisco), we communicate mostly via a variety of blogs running the P2 theme. It’s as close as you can get to a water cooler or a meeting room with text, you should try it. For other communication needs, we use primarily IRC followed by Skype for less work-related chats.

Do you work from home? And, if you work from home for a larger company (not just yourself), how is communication and overall efficiency maintained?

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11
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Comments

  1. BobWP (1 comments.) says:

    Yes, I work from home and have for the 24 years we have been in business. In fact a good part of that time, both my wife and I have, often together, worked in a single office. I would have it no other way. There were a couple short stints of having a small rented office as well, but found it was just wasted money for us.

    But also, back when we started, there was still a stigma to working out of your home. You were either considered s small startup that would eventually “need” the external office, or you just weren’t looked at as professional. That did change over time, but often we had to prove ourselves.

    I can understand how larger businesses can have a challenge with it. And of course, it really depends on the business as well. It seems to me that you need to start out that way in the startup phase rather then try to change later. But so many are successful at it.

    And of course there are people who just don’t have the discipline of working at home. Or they need that constant social interaction. What can be a dream job for some can be a nightmare for others.

  2. Selena MacIntosh (1 comments.) says:

    I run a high volume WP website that utilizes over 100 writers from eleven different time zones. We’ve never had an issue working online. Between staff Facebook groups, Google Drive, Skype, and good old email, we’ve been able to work very well together. While it did take some trial and error to get to our current system, everyone seems to be comfortable with it, and it hasn’t hampered our productivity at all.
    I also work from home for my Real Job, as a freelance writer. Sometimes online communication can be complicated with clients, but overall, it’s worked out pretty well for me.

  3. Felix (2 comments.) says:

    I’ve been working from home exclusively for the past three years. Never met my boss and coworkers in person, we just befriended online. We use project management software, e-mail and chat; all three are necessary at one point or another. Nothing else is, though.

    But now and again I get a work offer that insists on me being in an office full-time, and I just know that behind the requirement there is a dysfunctional person who wants someone to yell at. So I’ve learned to simply shrug and say no — there’s no point in explaining a dinosaur that they should consider evolving. It’s their loss, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve found my place and I’m happy.

  4. Ansh (1 comments.) says:

    I have been working from home from last 2 years now. But sometimes i feel like being lazy at the comfort of my home..

  5. miele (1 comments.) says:

    I work from home for a couple different companies. I am the only guy who works from home though, I use mainly email and text messages to communicate. Sometimes I will go into the studio just to say hi, or to get out of the house. In the past working from home we have used IRC more than anything.

  6. Klein Media (1 comments.) says:

    I am way more productive in Webdesign when i’m working frome home out. When i do video productions mostly i have to get out though!

  7. Richard Kovich (1 comments.) says:

    When I worked for a larger insurer the concept of work from home wasn’t a large issue because everyone – literally all of my 300+ staff – were located across the US in multiple offices, and in some cases, in their own homes.

    It’s really all about communication. The tools (skype, IM, what have you) are just things to use, but it really comes down to the person (or manager) and staff making sure they put in the effort to communicate often and clearly.

  8. John (1 comments.) says:

    A high speed internet connection, vpn software, voip phone, and video conferencing software is all that is needed. Really for admin support and project management you can be anywhere (If I had high speed internet at the beach I’m sure I could have held out a little longer). The down side is that you will eventually miss direct human contact and that personal level water cooler discussions.

  9. Jasmin (1 comments.) says:

    I work at home for more than three years now. And I am definitely very fulfilled with it rather than working in the office which I also have experienced for a year.

  10. ThemeMask says:

    For my company, face to face discussion is necessary during a brainstorming session. When the big direction is confirmed and work dedication is made, working at home works better provided that everyone has the discipline to carry the work through.

  11. Julia Manilo (1 comments.) says:

    Hi James,

    As far as I am concerned, I have worked at home since december 2011 and I must say it has its advantages, but also few disadvantages (starting with the lazyness that the comfort I have here brought me sometimes)!

    But I prefere a hundred times working at home :p

    Julia



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