Old Images About Working From Home

I come across old images about working from home every day. One of these is that the home workplace must be based on quiet, ergonomically responsible production work. I will tell you: in my work that's absolutely not the case! On the contrary: it's often even the opposite. And presumably in your work too. And if that's still the same, then chances are that it'll change in the near future.

In my country, Activity Based Working (ABW) has become an established concept. The majority of organizations use ABW principles and that number is still increasing. We work time and place independent and the office is often more of a meeting place than a production site for information. In my work, I meet people every day who are no longer at a production workplace in the office. These people consult, brainstorm, let settle, spar, meet, decide, contribute. And yes, of course, sometimes they push for a while to process information or to read things through. Email? 'I always do that in between or on the road.' That's right, as witnessed by the countless ' sent from my Iphone' PS rules.

I'm one of these people, for whom the function of the office has fundamentally changed the function of the home workplace. And often without us being aware of it. Not so long ago we built long presentations, wrote thick reports and filled databases. Then we wanted to copy the workplace and work routine of the office to the home-work environment. There was a good office chair, a good keyboard, a good screen and a height-adjustable desk.

Faster, easier to access and more concise

Nowadays our customers want to receive information faster, easier to access and more concise. Today, projects are more fragmented, subject to change, and organizations and their issues are more agile and unpredictable. So everything goes faster, requires more interim consultation and more focus and punctuality. We conduct quick surveys, make short notes, work with smart databases, use digital information, share through portals and intranets. In addition, we work more actively and more dynamically with our clients and partners than in the past. Several small steps instead of multi-year plans that have been poured into concrete.

I go to the office now to meet my colleagues. To work together. To create new ideas. To stand together for a flip chart or whiteboard. To share business and to take me. To make decisions. Many offices in 2016 are (partly) equipped for this.

Working from home

So what about working from home? I come across many practical tips for working from home on the internet. These are tips such as: create your own workplace, provide an ergonomic working environment, take care of structure, plan your tasks, take timely pause ... These tips are all based on the fact that I have to do the same at home, as I did in the office 10 years ago !

My days at home look completely different. Even if I work at home, the work is faster, more agile and requires more punctuality and consultation. I need my colleagues for my work and vice versa: even when I work from home. So my Skype is often on. There is always a flipchart. I need one silence for when I call and room for creativity and movement.

The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion: I also need ABW at home. To variety, to freedom of choice, to space. My kitchen table works nicely as a semi-concentrated environment. My little room upstairs has a lot of light, is fresh and invites you to stand, polar bears and a music on a flipchart. My living room is the most quiet and has the best background for Skype conversations. My garden is excellent to read with new information through an Ipad.

So ... nothing fixed workplace at home. But movement. Conscious choices for where and when and how I work. And for how I can be part of a team at a distance. After all, I want to be effective and be in charge of my own work. And my organization wants movement and flexibility. We don't get that by putting chairs in all kinds of places that have been made for a long time. This requires a whole new perspective on working from home!

My position is: in 2016, working from home must also be activity-related - and that requires a whole new perspective in many organizations.

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