Rex Huppke: How To Navigate The Perils Of The Home Office

By Rex Huppke
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) While you can avoid annoying co-workers and crowded staff meetings by working from home, the “work-from-home” life is not without its problems.

Chicago Tribune

Ever since workplace advice was invented, shortly after Neanderthals discovered “the meeting”, it has focused primarily on our daily lives in office environments.

There are tips on dealing with annoying co-workers and unfair dress codes and difficult bosses, suggestions for surviving crowded staff meetings and detailed rules for proper break-room refrigerator etiquette.

But what good is all that knowledge to the growing number of people who work from home? Don’t employees who inhabit their own unique and solitary workspaces deserve advice as well?

Of course they do. And I’m here to help.

Studies by both the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the workplace strategy firm Global Workplace Analytics have found that about 25 percent of the American workforce works from home at least part of the time.

Also, a Global Workplace Analysis report says more than 80 percent of U.S. workers would like to “telework at least part-time.”

Companies that let people work from home save money on both office space and furniture, and the workers themselves tend to be less likely to switch jobs, more productive and happier.

The happier part likely comes from not having to read workplace advice about how to handle annoying co-workers, unfair dress codes and crowded staff meetings.

But that doesn’t mean the work-from-home life is without its problems.

With that in mind, I’m happy to unveil this first-of-its-kind Guide To Navigating The Workplace When Your Workplace Is Not An Actual Workplace.

-Dealing with a difficult manager. If you work remotely, the manager you deal with most of the time is yourself, and let me say, you are a real piece of work. Moody. Indecisive. Hypercritical.
It’s the same with my manager. Sometimes I can’t stand me. But until modern psychology develops a way for us to get the “manager within” fired, we must find a way to work with ourselves.

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