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Insights: Work From Home
July 16, 2009
Work From Home
This week Bill looks at the growing tendency towards working from home and explains why life coaching is the perfect work-from-home opportunity
I just knew it. By choosing to laud the beautiful winter weather in the introduction to last week's article, I attracted the attention of the mischievous climate gods who decided the party was over!
As I write, this feels more like the Cape winter we've come to know over the years - cold and wet!
But cold and wet has its benefits too. It's time to light a fire, cozy up a little and, if you can, work from home!
Gaining greater acceptance
During the final years of my corporate career in London, the idea of working from home was steadily gaining greater acceptance as an alternative to doing duty in the office with all the commuting time and inconvenience that that involved.
Friday was a favourite day for staff to stay at home and work remotely, no doubt because the thought of a long commute home at the end of a tiring week was the straw that finally threatened to break the loyal office worker's resolve!
I, myself, used to take advantage of the work-at-home movement on a Friday because I had a particularly long and tiring multi-mode commute to and from work; two hours each way using a car, a train, the underground and my feet!
As - if not more - productive
It soon became clear to me that, with modern technology, working from home could be as productive, in fact more productive, than the more conventional approach of slogging into the office every day. Sure, there were times when face-to-face meetings were important and building rapport required personal interactions - but by and large, working remotely was very effective.
There's something about having the flexibility to do things the way you want to do them; to choose your breaks (or interruptions) when you want them and not to have to live up to the expectations of others in terms of how you dress, the way you choose to sit in your chair or the state in which you keep your desk.
Still sneered at by some
Unfortunately, the concept of working from home is still sneered at by the more traditionalist and less progressive companies and managers who harbour suspicions that an 'employee not seen is an employee not working'!
Let's be honest, for those less-than-committed employees, the temptation to pursue other interests is probably greater at home, but then less-than-committed employees are hardly likely to be more committed just because they're under the watchful eye of the boss.
The way of the future
Working from home is, to my mind, undoubtedly the way of the future, as advances in technology rapidly overcome the practical hurdles previously associated with remote working.
It just makes so much more sense.
In fact, it's not just the convenience and lower cost associated with working from home that will, in my opinion, cause the explosion of this trend, but the unprecedented access to needed skills that remote-working technology is starting to unleash.
Think about this for a moment...
You're a top class creative working in the field of advertising in South Africa. A London based advertising agency has just won a big contract from a leading European car maker who is seeking to penetrate the UK market. They desperately need good people like you to work on the account.
Until recently, being based in South Africa would have disqualified you from such an opportunity - but with advances in technology, things have changed - it now becomes very attractive to outsource work to you.
You have the skills, you are English speaking and you have a good idea of the market. Where you choose to live and work from is no longer such an issue, thanks to the Internet and other technologies. In fact being in South Africa becomes a two-way advantage because you can charge less than your European counterparts and still live just as well.
The best skills for the lowest cost
More and more, companies will look beyond their traditional city and country bases to find the best skills at the lowest cost. People with the best skills-fit offering the best value for money for their services will be contracted to work for the duration of projects or accounts, rather than being hired as costly full-time employees.
The world of business is changing quickly and dramatically, thanks to what I call 'global village technologies'.
Living in Tweebuffelsmeteenskootgeskietfontein
What does all this have to do with life coaching?
One of the questions I get asked most often by people considering a career in life coaching, is:
"Do you think there is sufficient demand in my area?"
Sometimes, when the prospect says he or she comes from the equivalent of 'Tweebuffelsmeteeenskootgeskietfontein' my honest answer has to be: "No".
But that’s the answer to the wrong question!
The world's best work-from-home business
You see, life coaching is, in my admittedly somewhat biased opinion, the world's best work-from-home business.
Helping people transform their lives is a skill that transcends geographical boundaries and, with the advent of increasingly cheaper telephone calls and free Internet-based telephony like Skype, offering life coaching services to people located at the other end of the country - or half way around the world for that matter - is now constrained only by possible timing and language differences.
So, if you are passionate about people and you dream of the perfect lifestyle business - where you can work from home when it suits you and work with people anywhere in the country or the world that speak your language, bringing them personal freedom, confidence and growth - then I urge you to consider life coaching.
With warm regards
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