I Gave at the Basement

Article excerpt

When I read the other day that every 16 seconds someone else in the U.S. becomes a home-based worker, I couldn't believe it. Are companies really firing people that fast? And if the estimates are correct, and 32 million Americans now make their livings in their own homes, why hasn't rush hour become any easier? Who are the people in the office building across from mine? Who are the people in my office building?

Many communication professionals now find it convenient to work at home. On the surface, the prospect is appealing, but working at home has its detractions, and your decision to work at home should be predicated upon asking yourself a lot of hard questions.

Dan, by working at home, do you mean that I should consider working at YOUR home?

This is an excellent question, the answer to which depends on your ability to dust. In the past, many people have worked at my home. The last one was a plumber who replaced a lot of worn-out pipes with new ones that empty directly into the oven.

When you work at home, is every day casual-dress day?

No. A friend who sells men's clothing told me that one of his best customers is a stockbroker who works at home. Every day, the stockbroker puts on an expensive suit before going to work in his basement office. By dressing professionally, the broker acts professionally and feels more self-confident. Not everyone is like this, though. When I work at home, I rarely shower or shave or even comb my hair. I wear the sweats I put on early in the morning when I go jogging. I scratch and pick at myself with impunity and occasionally find myself swilling beer before my work is done. I firmly believe that in my case, my work habits are clearly reflected in my work products.

How about having business associates come to your home office? Isn't that awkward? …