I became a remote worker in April 2008 when I returned to work after my third lot of maternity leave (yes, they love me at work!). My oldest daughter had just started school and trying to get into Bath for 9am (we live about 40 minutes away) after an 8.45 drop off was just not possible. I was going to be late every day. UKOLN already have a number of remote workers (in Yorkshire, London, Edinburgh, Manchester…) so it seemed like a possible option. Our admin manager mentioned that I could put in a request under the University’s Parents and Carers Flexible Working Policy to work primarily from home. This was fairly straightforward and accepted straight away.
There are a lot of benefits to working somewhere other than your office, but at the same time there are downsides. I tried to list the main ones in an article I wrote for Ariadne web Magazine entitled A Desk Too Far?: The Case for Remote Working. These pros and cons apply to both employee and employer. While at times you might feel like your organisation are being extremely generous allowing you to work remotely it is worth remembering that there is a lot in it for them too. Remote worker guilt is something I mention in the article and something I’m hoping this blog will help ease a little!