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Mythbusting: I don’t have time to do that either

Yep, my laundry piles up.

The bed goes unmade.

I don’t always cook dinner … my freezer is well stocked with frozen pizza.

And the dust balls collect in the corners of my living room.

telecommuting messy house

Not really my house

Some people believe telecommuters have the time of day to tackle all the household tasks everyone else have to cram into the evenings and weekends.

OK, sure … it’s a little easier for us to take a two-minute break and throw a load of clothes in the wash. After all, the laundry room is right there.

That doesn’t mean, however, we can pull ourselves away from our daily tasks to put the clothes in the dryer, fold them and put them away.

Why not?

Because we’re working.

Remote workaholics

We do have a little more freedom than our in-office teammates.

We can enjoy an extra cup of homemade coffee, instead of driving an agonizing commute to HQ.

It’s easy to take the dog for a walk on our lunch break.

If it’s a nice day, we can take our laptops outside and enjoy some fresh air while we work.

All the comforts of home are within grasp (and no one to steal our lunch!).

But when the clock strikes 5 p.m., our in-office peers are out the door and heading for home.

Many of us forget to log out.

We’re caught up in our tasks and think if we get that one more task of our to-do list, tomorrow will be easier.

One task turns into two which turns into three and five and the next thing we know, it’s 8 o’clock!

And there will always be a fresh set of tasks to fill up tomorrow’s to-do list, leaving little room to vacuum and dust.

We still get more done

Whether it’s a different, less intrusive set of distractions, an ability to cut the workday off or an uncanny ability to focus, research shows a remote work force is more productive.

Ctrip, a Chinese travel agency with 16,000 employees, randomly assigned call centre employees to work from home or in the office for nine months. The study — titled Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment revealed a 13 per cent performance increase by the home workers. Nine per cent of the increase was attributed to working more minutes per shift, thanks to fewer breaks and sick days, and four per cent to more calls per minute, thanks to a quieter work environment.

Due to the experiment’s success, Ctrip started a telecommuting program for the entire company and allowed the experimental employees to choose between remote and in-office work. More than half of them elected to work from home, leading to productivity gains doubling to 22 per cent.

Now if only we could figure out how to translate that productivity into getting the laundry done!

If only it was as enjoyable as work.

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