You already know that Dinkum Interactive is on the cutting edge of the virtual office work environment. I and my co-workers don’t have a corporate office to report to at 9 every morning, and we don’t face the freeway commute at the end of the day. I, for one, have dreamed of a job like this since I worked for Arco Chemical back in the, oh never mind, a long time ago.
In a recent article on GigaOM, I read that Web workers who work remotely are happier than their office bound counterparts. No surprise to me! What did surprise me was the reason listed for the job satisfaction: less face time with co-workers. Hm.
According to the article, this translated into less involvement with office politics, hence higher job satisfaction. Although skeptical at first, I believe this makes sense. For those of us with recently empty nests, we realize one day that we find our children quite interesting now that they are visiting or stopping in for dinner. The drama of daily life is now mitigated by time and distance and conversations are about interesting stuff, not only the stuff of daily life. So too with our co-workers. The office mate who cracks their knuckles or the one two cubicles down that shouts through every phone conversation are easier to handle when you don’t share the same space.
There are additional benefits to the virtual office environment. I can work uninterrupted in my home office, make client calls without the ambient office background noise, and the meetings we have are planned out in advance and have an agenda that makes sense for moving Dinkum forward for the next week. I can be much more flexible with clients who need before or after typical business hours attention, and I can take the time later in the evening to finish up a task that didn’t quite get done before I signed out earlier in the day. It provides me with the flexibility I need to keep up with my volunteer activities, as well.
Don’t you get lonely working along at home? No! By the magic of Skype, I can not only trade information related to the task at hand, but also the latest cute kid pics and funny stories. We can share our frustrations with the most recent tech glitch or client conversation, without sharing the meltdown moments that theses things sometimes precipitate.
The virtual office concept and the work world of the future is not going to work for everyone. For some because of work that is place dependent, and for some because of the need for structure and a dedicated environment. I, however, will continue my commute from the coffee pot to the computer each morning with a spring in my step, happy to be in my virtual office and working virtually side by side with my remote colleagues.
Do you have any ideas about the virtual office concept? Do office politics have a place in getting things done? Let me know what I am missing in the comments.
Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/768180