Working from home…

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    I started working from home for my current employer several months ago, but I have been telecommuting since I was a student, when I interned at  firm 65 miles from campus.


    In my opinion, it’s both a blessing and a curse, as working in your underwear can be nice, but not having the sense of comraderie and studio environment to deliberate ideas and solutions can sometimes be difficult and less productive.


    I wonder how many offices allow amployees to work from home? If not, why?


    If you are able to work from home, do you feel generally more, less, or equally productive?


    For employees or employers, have you found that allowing employees to work form home has allowed for some overhead savings and efficiency?


    I wonder if it might be time for the practice of LA to evolve . Perhaps the days of large, corporate firms are in decline and the days of spare bedroom startups and co-op-style groups will become the norm.


    What do you think?

    Eric Gilbey

    Nick, Your post is intriguing and I say this after just last week thinking about the promotion of Bike to Work Day/Week. I was thinking about the idea of taking that same idea and promoting the idea of not only biking, but walking, bussing, light rail, car pooling, etc. And it came to mind the idea of telecommuting as a way to save resources…particularly when we are in a time with furloughs, 4 ten hour days and such to see the workplace save money on energy bills, etc. So there is another angle…besides the convenience of “working in your underwear”, it can be an energy saving alternative.

    That said, I have worked for a small firm (just the owner and myself out of his home), a company with 20+ staff and now with a company of more than 90 coworkers and I would say that the ability to work with everyone you need access to, within the same building is essential…but on the days when you need no distraction, working from home is a great way to get work done.


    Hey Eric,


    Yes, I hoped the idea of energy and resource savings would be implied as well.


    I am working for basically a two person office. I think there are several other advantages to working from home, especially in a digital age–Design can be done with digital tools, so there is also limited need for paper consumption, etc. Also, when I work from home I tend to work later/longer hours because I can take breaks when I need to and work when I can–alleviating the strain of pressure to get things done in a limited period of time, ie 8-5, which may also enhance creative ability, since you are relaxed and working more or less at your leisure.


    I think more firms should consider this model.Enabling employees to work from home also opens up doors for better flexibility both for the worker and employer. Employers could hire contract workers from home, while keeping their overhead at a minimum because they dont necessarily need to house the employees or worry about keeping them busy week to week. Just a thought..


    I really wish more firms would consider this model!  Think of all the traffic congestion that would be reduced and the cost of overhead.


    But the idea of being a free-floating contract worker for the rest of my career doesn’t appeal to me that much.  Especially in an international and globalized economy where maybe the bulk of contract work would go to workers in countries that can demand a lot less money…

    Cecilia Schafler

    Hi Eric,


    I am a one person, work from home firm. I have been using contractors for the last few years and it has worked extremely well. One of my collaborators is even out of state. They also work from home and may have other regular jobs. The key for me has been that I have worked with them in the past and know their talent, skills and work ethic. I know what I am going to get. I have found that we all keep untraditional hours and work in the middle of the night, weekends, etc. In the end, as long as the work gets done well and on time, it doesn’t really matter when or where it is done. I am the point of contact for the client and they have never had to question my setup.

    Denis Vasiliev

    Can you suggest me how to find a reliable Company in whitch I could be emplayed for work from home?

    Thomas J. Johnson

    Agreed! If landscape architecture is a blend of art and science then we should embrace the mad scientist / artist approach to work. It doesn’t always start at 8am and sometimes inspiration strikes at 2am.

    Traditional 9 to 5ers have a hard time wrapping their head around “off” hours… as if it’s not really work… work to them happens between 9 and 5 because they are producers for the machine and that’s when the machine operates. For creative types, work is not really work, it’s just what we do, therefore we can do it all the time…

    I like working at home because I have everything I need here. I can draw, do some CAD, go play around in the workshop, make some prototypes… go back, draw, CAD… Basically I’m happy not cracking out on AutoCAD with someone standing over my shoulder cracking a whip. That’s no way to go through life…

    Ryan A. Waggoner

    Hey Nick, great topic.  I currently work from home nearly half the week.  I have found that I am extremely productive at home, but the only way is by setting the tone.  I have a dedicated space to work at; have set up my phone, computer, resources at a desk in a seperate area dedicated only to work.  I never turn the t.v. on during a work day, and pandora is an essential part of my work.  It’s been proven that employees are more productive at home than at work, due to the fear that they will be seen as less productive: check out, and on tips to be more productive.

    I think that working from home has made me much less stressed, as my commute is 45 minutes in Phoenix traffic which is pretty stressful.  When I wake up I don’t need to think about what or where I’ll be getting lunch.  My fiance and I share a car to reduce our costs and impact, so the days I work at home she takes the car and we don’t have to worry about coordinating schedules.  I also don’t have to get as ready in the morning, not to say I look like a bum, I just don’t have to worry about looking as professional.  Thus, I start work earlier as less time is spent preparing lunch, commuting, talking to others in the office, etc. 

    My schedule becomes much more focused during my week, as I separate objectives of the week and structure them to my schedule, i.e. drafting work, contacting clients, setting up meetings, production of proposals, etc.  Many of the things that need to be done with clients and subcontractors happen earlier in the week, and the bulk of my work (production, receiving and going thru bids) gets done later in the week.

    I believe that at least the push for the four day work week could be extremely beneficial for our environment if not our economy.  Many employers think this is a cop-out, but it has been shown in several studies not to be the case, just wondering what would finally be the push in the right direction?


    Ryan A. Waggoner

    Hi Denis, if you are currently working at a firm, check out these links to help implement the goal:

    I’m not sure a way to find companies that support the theme though.

    Tanya Olson


    Interesting article on coworking spaces and employment in general particularly since the recession hit….




    That’s cool. You’re situation sounds eerily similar to mine–one shared car, 45 minute commute (now 3 hours plus for me if I were to go into the office), working in casual clothes, etc.


    I think my specific situation is somewhat unique in that I am far from my employers office, but I could see how a similar situation could work well for others working for local offices. With the advent of new technology and techniques there really is little need for a large cubicle farm. The blackberry has been a huge asset for me as well.


    My productivity and motivation is certainly up and I’m finding it easier to organize my days/tasks because I know I can bend my time, take breaks as needed and I dont have to worry about sitting in gridlock at 5:30 to get home.

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