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Is home working still working for you?

by on 17·04·2023



Before I joined The Timebank, I had worked in the retail banking industry for 13 years from a bank teller to a financial planner. The morning commute to work, with work only occurring in an office environment, was to me just another part of being employed and a normal part of working life.

Then Covid happened and after months of PPE and working essentially as a doorman at the entrance to the branch (my physique, unfortunately, did not suggest doorman) I began to remotely conduct client reviews, enabling me to speak to clients outside of branch hours from home. This opened my eyes to the benefits of homeworking and how it was more suited to me.

Then, last year I made the move into the world of paraplanning and joined The Timebank which allowed me to work entirely from home. After a year of working here, I have noticed the benefits of home working to my productivity and overall wellbeing.

First of all, the lack of commuting. It’s hard to express in words my disdain for commuting by rail.

The cost is hard to stomach considering the unreliability of trains turning up on time (if at all), and then, once it turns up, having to squeeze between strangers to find a precious piece of window/wall to lean on before the train leaves the platform.

Having to go through this ordeal every morning meant that when I finally reached my desk, I was mentally drained from the circus of public transport. Returning home was no better.  At its worst, during a blizzard the train I was on stopped due to the weather conditions and after a few hours we were told to leave the train and basically fend for ourselves, and after walking through the snow for an hour, I found a hotel.

Compare this to now, where I wake at a reasonable hour, help my wife get the kids ready for school (happy wife, happy life), and then start work feeling mentally prepared to the task at hand.  If I ever feel under the weather, I don’t have to drop everything, as my desk is not far away, so bits of work can still be done as opposed to burdening others with unfinished.  As for the next blizzard, I’ll just be able to quickly look out the window and think “isn’t it nice out there” and not “will I make it home alive!”

I have noticed that my overall well-being and happiness have improved as I get to spend more of my day with my wife and my two young children as opposed to waiting on a train platform wondering if I’ll be able to find a seat.

Another benefit I found to homeworking is the lack of distractions. I remember back to working in an office I always had colleagues that had nothing to do apart from passing the time by congregating near me to chat about who has annoyed them that week or if I could help them with something or if I had watched something or other on TV.

I know for some people, that’s what they enjoy about office life, but In these instances, it was easy to get side-tracked and forget what needed to be done.  I would need to navigate the office politics (which I hated) before carrying on with actual work.

It is now different as I find I can now plan my tasks for the day and go through them one at a time without losing track because “so and so said this and made so and so unhappy because of it”. The lack of distractions works for me as I have made a space in my house out of the way of everyone else, and my family know not to disturb me when they come back from school/nursery.

Personally, I feel home working is more beneficial to me as I am more of an introvert and do not require the stimulation of being around others as more extroverted people would understandably prefer. The reduction in cost each month to me is also a big plus in the long term, but more importantly, the 1 to 2 hours I save by not having to commute each day gives me more hours with my children each day, and I can’t put a price on that.

As for whether home working is better than the office, I believe there is no definitive right or wrong, just depends on your own preferences.  We are all different and work in different ways and have different needs. I feel companies listening to their employees and understanding their needs and tailoring their working environment would lead to a happier and more productive workforce.