After Ten Years of Telework, This I Can Say about The Myths and Reality of Working from Home

“Do you work from home? But that can be done? And you spend all day in his pajamas? What great, so you don’t have to get up early and you can do what give you the win.” If any teletrabajáis or you are freelance, it is likely that you have heard these phrases more than once when you explain what you dedicate. Telework in Spain is still a slightly exotic concept, and although each time it spreads more, survive even several erroneous myths and preconceived ideas that do not always conform to reality.

In Spain, according to data from the Monitor Adecco’s opportunities and job satisfaction, 6.6% of the population occupied in 2015 was working from home, either occasional or daily, and those data had fallen with respect to the maximum reached in 2013, a 7.5%. We have wanted to know How is the experience of those people engaged in teleworking, and to what extent we are wrong about what it means to work from home.

What we talk about when we talk about telework

In 2012, the project Teledislab of the ONCE Foundation and the Universia Foundation, which sought to foster the employment integration of people with disabilities through information and communication technologies developed a white book of telework aimed What is the legal framework in Spain to exercise it (Royal Decree Law 3/2012, amending article 13 of the Statute of workers) and what was meant by telework.

The European framework agreement on this matter is described as a type of benefit, which uses the technologies of the information and on-line communication with the employer or customer, and It is from places remote or away from the company or organization, with which we have contractual relations. It is a choice that seeks a better reconciliation of work and family life and encourages the worker to meet objectives, but how is the reality of the work from home?

The most common preconceived ideas

“Insurance that you work less from home”

Iván López, in his post of telework.

“I think that people have two main preconceived ideas. One, from home does not work. Many people say “well, if he is not looking for the head, not work much”, explains Iván López, developer software, that It works from Spain for a company based in the United States. Also Inma Bermejo, designer graphic, agrees that it is one of the most common myths:

“In general, seems that people think that it is less work if you are at home. Costs some understand that you can be stressed or have a very bad day if you work at distance. It is also frequent that they assume that you are available during your working hours to “do something” at home or go to the Bank, and the like. But that is not telecommuting, multitasking, or flexible schedules”.

All those interviewed for this story agree that one of the great dangers of teleworking is to never finish work. Maria Santonja works in training online and has that “I always say that, since I gigs on my own, I don’t feel that they exist Monday. Now, not Friday. I work every day even in a weekend, and if I have to stop Tuesday, stop”. Ivan acknowledges that, among the negative aspects of teleworking, is that “it requires much more discipline and self-control. You are very near the kitchen, so it is very easy to occasionally strolls to bite something. It is also easy to lose track of the time and you realize, to 21 o’clock, that was a few hours that you should have stopped working”.

That risk expands if what says Valentina Morillo, dedicated to digital communication: “every customer thinks that you only work for him or her, and as you call mobile, they do so at any time and annoy you all schedules and planners”. That you can end up working all day connects with another myth of teleworking which is, at the same time, one of the first points to those who engage in it have to manage: having a routine.

“You don’t have to get up early, what well”

In an article on telecommuting published in the Economist, Arancha de las Heras, Director general of the Center for financial studies, explained that “Although work us instantly refer to an ideal of absolute flexibility in which each employee makes and undo at will, the truth is that to make it effective telework far from being so. And it is that you cannot be working in an office to do so in the House without some measures”.

Among them figure mark is a routine, a schedule of work. Inma, for example, has his perfectly organized day. “Yes I have a fixed schedule that I try to respect the most.” Two types of schedule in reality, one of morning and afternoon, and one only in the morning. I combine them as I should each week”, explains, and passes to detail that” I get up to the 6.50, breakfast and I seen as if to leave. ” Except the house slippers, which allow them to myself. I start work at 7:30 and I try not to communicate with the office until 10 or 10:30, since those are my most productive hours. From that time, I do a short break and usually put the meetings”.

In telework, it is important to have working hours defined and routine

These meetings are virtual, through Hangouts or Slack, a tool for instant messaging that is used instead of e-mail. “I can continue working until 14:30 and finish, or you cut at 12:30 to go to the gym, make food and rest, and return to work from 16:30 to 18: 30. “In this last section try to again do not have communication to focus on tasks that need more focus”, goes on to explain. The day closes with a small journal that summarizes the most relevant and organizes the tasks of the next day.

Ivan, for its part, points out that “I try to always do the same fixed schedule and is always within my time zone. I am currently working for a client that is in New York, so we are six hours apart, so I sometimes have some flexibility to make a meeting when it is a little late in Spain”. This flexibility that allows telework is also present in the planning of the day of Valentina:

“I always have a schedule from 8 to 15, from Monday to Friday. When I am working extra, I work two hours in the afternoon, but I like, since I can, do it intensively. And, because I can manage it, if I need free morning, I work several evenings. Anyway, since I’m at home, I always tend to return to the computer out of “my schedule” and also usually anticipate things on Saturday morning”.

“To that work in pajamas?”

Associated with all these ideas that if you work at home you have time to do other things, or “das callus” less or you can sleep all you want, it is the classic question of “do you work in pajamas?”. “The reality is that no, at least I don’t do it. “I by the morning I change and work with comfortable clothes, but never in pajamas”, Ivan responds.

Valentina acknowledges, however, that it does, although it has trick: “I get up I shower, and I put my other Pajama”, says between laughs.

The best and worst of telework

Change for those who go every day to the office to work from home, or remotely, is an option that has both its advantages and its disadvantages. First, unless you’re freelance, the company has to offer you that possibility and, in Spain, only 16.2% of the enterprises had, in 2012, employees who were, at least half weekly time in remote. That same year, in the European Union, 56% of companies with ten or more employees gave that option.

For teleworkers, there are some clear advantages. Ivan says that, although this differe according to persons, for it It has been vital to his reconciliation with his family life: “now my daughters don’t have to get up early to go to the extended school hours as happened before. Now go to the 9 to row together with her friends. “I also have the freedom of that, if one day they have no class or are bad, they can stay at home and I can take care of them and keep working”.

Ivan adds that “another advantage is that, really, I have to work from home. The only thing I need is an internet connection, so if ever I need to be somewhere else, I can keep working without any problem. There are people who takes this to the extreme and will be working different seasons in other countries”. Inma appreciates also the conditions in which it works and the quality of life that can give you:

“For me, the best thing is the silence. And to avoid interruptions when you need it. And choose your schedule, within reasonable limits, to reconcile with personal life (…). You can live wherever you want, working for companies of first level, is the best of telework itself. And every day you save much time and money on travel”.

The advantages, however, also be concealed risks. “Is cool because I don’t have time and I have so much free time,” says Valentina, who adds that “while it is true that I can manage my time, at the end, I feel that I work more hours if a schedule fixed on behalf of others, because you also have the absurd conviction that always could be anticipating something, and sometimes do not disconnect”.

Be out of the office, although workers to connect through various tools, it may cause also a certain sense of isolation, that is something of Inma-pointing: “the worst thing is the lack of contact with colleagues for”the irrelevant”, coffee break.” While remote, programs a meeting for a particular theme, but not is the style both do a ‘virtual cafe’ “.

In that regard, both the company and the worker they have to do their part to keep in touch. And this, in addition, a change of scenery, taking advantage of the flexibility of teleworking will come you well. Ivan points out that a good way of doing this is to “leave home once in a while. In my case, every month I go at least to a meetup and also go to work at least one day from the office of my previous company. “Allows me to keep in touch with my former classmates (that keep an excellent) and not be always working from the same four walls”.

Teleworkers who participated in this report agree that this working mode It allows companies to hire the best, wherever they are and it improves the quality of life of employees even if they divide his week between days of work at the office and at home. Do, then, in Spain so hard that you implant a little more regularly?

In his article in the Economist, Arancha de las Heras said that “perhaps one of the factors which most hinders the expansion of telework in Spain is a mentality, inherited from times past, who” the presence of the worker in his job bonus. A culture in which prime objectives work and confidence in the worker is required to implement telework”.