Sun has a Work from Home program called OpenWork and about 80% of my team started participating this week. I've gotten a lot of questions from people here in China, where Working from Home is still a novelty among R&D teams.
Q: Did you give up your Sun office for this? I mean did you take down all your pictures from the wall and clear out your desk drawers?
Q: So how do you get an office on the days when you do come in to the office?
A: I have to reserve a flex office.
Q: Aren't you worried your team's productivity will go down because of this?
A: Not at all. If people's productivity was high only because their managers and I were staring over their shoulder at the office all day that would be a sign of a bigger problem. I'm more worried about them working longer and harder because it's so easy now that we're all set up to work from home. And besides if their productivity did go down it would be obvious right away and in that case we could move someone back to the office.
Q: Are you worried people will lose their sense of affiliation to the team?
A: That is one of the biggest risks since we don't see each other every day now. To mitigate this, we talk a lot via phone, IM, and email when we're working from home. And everyone is required to come in to the office on Thursdays, where we get a lot of quality face time with each other.
Q: What kinds of equipment did Sun give you for your home office?
A: A laptop, printer, desk, chair. And Sun will pay for my home internet connection and office supplies that I use.
Q: How do you work with your kids running around you all day?
A: Clearly you've met my children and know that this would be impossible. They're at school all day while I'm working at home. And I work some before they get up and after they go to bed so it's quiet then.
Q: Do you go to the kitchen every half hour for a snack, since it's so close and convenient?
A: Not yet, but so many people are suggesting that this could be a problem that I'm sure it will become one for me. Thanks for that!
Q:Do you work in your pajamas?
A: I made an agreement with myself that I would get up every morning, shower, get dressed and brush my teeth, just as if I were going in to work. Somehow that gets me into work mode. But these are early days for me working from home. I understand from longer-term OpenWorkers like Linda and Pam that over time your standards for personal grooming might
go downhill in a frightening way change.
BTW here's a picture of my home office. I promise to post a better one when I get it more organized and my husband brings home the good camera.