By Bob Larrivee posted 07-08-2010 10:42


Sanctuary!a term that means a safe place, a quiet place, a place you can go to find refuge from the storm. That storm could be many things and to some in my classes, it was home or at least until work entered their homes. The concept of working at home is enticing for many folks. The thought of no longer commuting, saving on fuel, being closer to family are all things that prompt folks to inquire and even pursue opportunities to work from home. Technology today allows this possibility to become reality more readily than ever before. Yet I also hear another side of this story and that side is that work is in the home making it a challenge to disconnect.

In years past, you would work in a workplace and go home where you could unwind and relax. If need be, on occasion, you might bring some work home but it was not a regular practice. Today, with 7/24 access, it is there all of the time and accessible to you. It is not unusual for people to spend 12 to 16 hours a day working in a home office environment because it is there. You remove yourself from work for dinner, the kids go to bed and then you are back online to finish up something you began earlier. Next thing you know it is after midnight and you are still at it. Even when you do shut down, you can hear it calling you back.

In my view, this is a major challenge and becomes even more so as accessibility and the use of Enterprise 2.0 technology continues to expand in use and acceptance. Wikis, video/audio conferencing and shared workspaces allow us to collaborate anytime from anywhere establishing a global office that is quite beneficial, very efficient and often effective. The fact that it lives in your house makes it convenient yet also somewhat intrusive. This is where you must find balance between work and home. I know of one person who built his office in the garage and uses the side door as his office door. Each day he leaves home through the front door, walks around the house to his “office door” and vice versa at the end of day. To him, home remains sanctuary. I know others who will leave home for a few hours of walking, riding, or whatever they want to do as relaxation to address the challenge of staying online. We often hear of this country or that country as being the hardest working in the world yet I contend it is not by country alone we should measure but by location. Many home office workers I know now spend more time working than they did when they went to a physical office, due mainly to the fact that it is there in their home and accessible.

I think technology is great. The fact it allows us this flexibility to work at home is is a wonderful thing and we should leverage that technology to its fullest but we should also always remember to find sanctuary somewhere to disconnect, refresh and reboot. Sanctuary! Where is yours?

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Email: Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor - AIIM

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