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Dream of escaping the office and workingfrom home? Read this first.

梦想逃离办公室在家工作?先读读这个。

By Eric Barton
18 April 2017

作者:艾瑞克·巴顿
2017年4月18日

When Ian Wright started working from hishome in London last November, he thought he had the ideal setup.

当伊恩·莱特去年11月份开始在位于伦敦的家里办公时,他以为自己找到了理想的职业安排。

He could spend time with his two-month-oldbaby while he worked for his brand-new company, British Business Energy, whichhelps companies compare rates for electric and gas suppliers. From atwo-bedroom home in the borough of Greenwich, he set up at his dining roomtable with big plans to master being an at-home dad and business owner.

这样他可以在经营自己的新公司——不列颠商务能源公司——一家帮助商业客户比对不同供应商的电力和煤气价格的公司之余,照顾他的两个月大的婴儿。在位于格林威治区的一个两居室里,他坐在餐桌旁开始进行自己的伟大计划——成为一名家庭煮父和一个公司老板。

None of it worked. “There was a momentright at the start where hopes and dreams end and reality sets in,” Wrightsays. “I quickly came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t working.”

两个计划都失败了。“就在开始的那一刻,希望和梦想终结了,现实占据了一切,”莱特说。“我随即意识到这根本行不通。”

Two months later he tried putting the babyin full-time childcare. He returned to the dining room table, certain this timeit would work. House repairs, chores, the postman, all of it, just seemed toget in the way. “Those little things would just break up my flow,” Wright says.“You get to the end of the day, and you scratch your head and wonder, where didall the time go?”

两个月后他尝试把婴儿送到了一家全托幼儿园。再次回到餐桌旁,这下事情应该好办了。然而房屋修缮、家务活和邮递员似乎又成了绊脚石。“这些鸡毛蒜皮的小事让我的工作流程支离破碎,”莱特说。“等到一天结束的时候,你会挠着脑袋问自己:时间都去去了?”


 
One reason work from home fails: too manydistractions (Credit: Getty Images)

在家工作失败的原因之一:太多事分散你注意力(版权:Getty图片)

A month later, Wright realised he justcouldn’t be productive working from home. He rented a desk at a co-workingspace near the London Bridge, and finally, he was cranking away.

又过了一个月,莱特意识到他无法在家有效工作。他在伦敦桥附近的一个共同工作空间租了张办公桌,终于开始曲折前行了。

Working from home has its benefits,with researchshowing that it generally increases happiness and productivity. But a new study also shows that youought to be careful before making the break with your office.

在家工作是有好处的,研究显示在家工作可以增加快乐感和工作效率。但是一项新的研究发现你应该谨慎思考是否要跟办公室说拜拜。

First, the training

首先是,训练

Flexible schedules are likely to become farmore commonplace in the coming years; already some companies have adopted“hot-desking” providing fewer desks than there are employees in an effort tosave money and encourage remote work days. Laws in the UK allowmany workers to ask for more flex time, and companies across the globe areusing work-at-home policies as a way to recruit.

弹性工作制在最近几年似乎已很普遍,有些公司已经接受了办公桌轮用制度,即办公桌数量少于员工数量,以此来节省成本并鼓励员工远距离工作。英国法律允许工作者要求更多的弹性工作时间,世界上也有很多公司以“在家工作”政策作为招聘手段。

But the problems with working from homebegin right from the start. That’s because we think everybody can do allaspects of their job away from the office.

但是在家工作的问题在一开始就会显现出来。这是因为我们认为所有人都可以在家完成他们所有的工作任务。

That’s what Esther Canonico found in a recently published study of514 workers. Canonico, a fellow with the London School of Economics Departmentof Management, says the at-home workers in her study didn’t receive anytraining or guidance in how to pull off the transition. It added up sincenearly half of the 514 people she studied either worked from home full-time orhad some flexibility in their schedules.

这是艾斯特·卡诺尼科在最近发表的一篇对514名工作者进行的研究中发现的。卡诺尼科是伦敦经济学院管理系成员,她说她的研究对象没有接受过任何关于如何完成这一转变(译者注:即从办公室工作转变为在家工作)的训练或指导。514名接受调查者中接近半数的人不是全天在家工作就是采用了弹性工作方式。
 


To make working from home successful, avoidhaphazard setups and opt for a designated office space (Credit: Getty Images)

为了顺利地在家工作,避免随意的安排,选择一个专门的办公空间(版权:Getty图片)

If you’ve done it yourself, you know thatworking from home is not as simple as opening your laptop and getting down tobusiness. Training—something some of us loathe and others of us can’t getenough of—can make the difference between failure and success away from theoffice.

如果你自己曾经试过,你就知道在家工作决不是打开电脑开始工作那么简单。训练——我们中某些人讨厌它,而另一些人缺少它——会决定你究竟能否成功在办公室以外的地方工作。

“There is simply not enough active managingof the procedure of working from home,” Canonico said. “What happens when youdon’t actively manage the practice, is that it gets out of hand.”

“很显然对于在家工作的行为管理是匮乏的,”卡诺尼科说。“如果你没有积极管理工作行为的结果会是什么呢,答案就是失控。”

So what, exactly, would that sort ofmanagement look like in our lives? Well, for starters, we’d likely be told weneed a dedicated office or workspace, withboundaries for our families and other interruptions. That’s easer said thandone. (Just ask professor Robert E Kelly, the “BBC dad,” who became anInternet meme after his young children burst into the room during a live TVinterview.)

那么,这种管理会是怎样的呢?对于刚开始的人来说,我们会听到类似我们需要一个专属办公室或办公场地的建议,以便让工作跟家庭和其他干扰因素划清界限。说起来容易做起来难。(不信可以问问罗伯特·E·凯利教授——“BBC爸爸”,他的小孩在一次电视连线中闯进了他工作的房间,这让他成了网红。)


 
If you don't make the effort to be"seen" you could be passed over for prize assignments (Credit: GettyImages)

如果你不努力被别人“看到”你可能会丢掉奖金(版权:Getty图片)

Then there are the everyday pitfalls thatcan lead to serious career damage or stagnation, Canonico said. For instance,if you aren’t in the office and your presence isn’t felt, you’re likely to missout on new projects and opportunites as they’re doled out to someone the bosssees every day.

然后还有很多日常陷阱可以严重损害或者让你的事业陷于停滞,卡诺尼科说。比如,如果你不在办公室,也没人感觉到你的存在,你可能会失去参与新项目的机会,因为其他天天跟领导打照面的人可能会顶掉你。

In fact, new research from the Universityof Arizona shows 40% of employees who were working from home feel disconnectedfrom the company’s strategic direction and one-third feel like they don’t getsupport from bosses, according to Joe Carella, assistant dean of executiveeducation at University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.

实际上,亚利桑那大学的一项新研究显示40%在家工作的人感觉跟不上公司的决策方向,还有三分之一的人感觉得不到领导的支持。这一研究来自亚利桑那大学埃勒管理学院的高等教育助理院长乔伊·卡莱拉。

“People working from home become professionallyand personally isolated,” Canonico says. “They say ‘out of sight, out ofmind’.”

“在家工作的人会被专业地和单独地隔离,”卡诺尼科说。“他们说‘眼不见,想不起’。”

Small steps toward flex

小步走向弹性工作方式

But, you might be thinking, working fromhome is the holy grail of office life—no required face time, performance judgedby results not presence in the office, and no two-hour-a-day commute.

但是,你可能会认为在家工作是职业生活中的至高目标——不用跟领导面对面,成绩取决于结果而不是在办公室里的表现,还有不用每天花两个小时通勤。


 
It can feel professionally isolatingworking from home often (Credit: Getty Images)

在家工作经常会感觉到被专业地隔离了(版权:Getty图片)

Mitigating the downsides that come withremote work is key. That’s what Tim Campbell has learned as both a part-timeat-home employee of Alexander Mann Solutions, a global outsourcing andconsultancy firm.

能够弥补远程通勤带来的不利因素是关键。这正是提姆·坎贝尔同时作为一个有时在家工作的上班族感觉到的。他在亚历山大·曼恩公司——一家全球外包和咨询公司上班。

Campbell, who was the 2005 winner of the BBCOne show The Apprentice in the UK, has helped advise other businessesduring a transition into flexible schedules and was part of his own company’smove two years ago to allow at-home workers. Now, 10% of the firm’s 3,500employees work from home. It doesn’t always go smoothly.

坎贝尔曾是2005年BBC一台《学徒》节目的英国区冠军,他在转变为弹性工作机制的过程中帮忙做其他业务的咨询,他所供职的公司在两年前开始允许员工们在家工作。今天,这家公司的3500名雇员中有10%的人在家工作。这一机制并不总是运转良好。

“We talk about how much moreproductive workers can be, but we ignore the steps it takes to get there,”Campbell says.

“我们谈论这样做会多出来多少有创造力的员工,但是我们忽视了通往这一目标的步骤,”坎贝尔说。

Instead, we ought to think of it like anynew venture, with an embedding process. Work from home for two or three days aweek at first, before going full-time away from the office. Continually analyseif you’re as productive as you were previously, before the bosses make thedetermination for you and revoke the privilege—or, worse, write you off aslacking potential.

相反,我们应该像对待任何新的事业一样,逐步深入。首先一周在家工作两到三天,不要一下子全职在家工作。不断检查自己的工作效率是否跟以前一样,不要等到老板下令取消你的工作特权——或者更糟,把你归入无能员工之列后才想起这么做。


 
Tim Campbell's company does meetings byvideo conference for at-home workers (Credit: Alamy)

提姆·坎贝尔的公司为在家工作的员工召开视频会议(版权:Alamy)

Find ways to stay relevant in the office.At Alexander Mann, Campbell says that’s done with meetings held by videoconferencing, making sure even staffers working at home have regular face timewith the bosses. The company also uses achat service called Yammer that means you’re never far from aconversation with the higher-ups. And it helps to stop by the office now andagain and show up in person for the big staff meetings, rather than always bethe disconnected voice on the staticky speakerphone.

寻找某些方式加强你跟办公室的联系,让你跟在办公室时里差不多。在亚历山大·曼恩公司,坎贝尔说,他们通过召开视频会议的办法保证在家工作的人也能跟老板保持正常的面对面时间。这个公司还使用一种叫Yammer的聊天软件让你永远不会远离跟上司的对话。它还能让你时不时拜访公司,亲自出席重要的工作会议,而不会成为一个在充满杂音的免提电话里永远连不上线的声音。

“The assumption for many people is thatwhen they start working from home they’ll just morph into the same person theywere at the office, just in a different environment,” Campbell said. “That canhappen, but only with a lot of work to get you there.”

“我们假设很多人在家工作时会跟他们在办公室时表现得一样,只是换了个环境,”坎贝尔说。“这是可能的,但是必须得在有大量工作要做的前提之下。”

When it doesn’t work

当这一切不管用的时候

Combining home and office didn’t work forPedro Caseiro, who tried working out of his London flat after co-founding acompany called Obby last year. Looking to save money, he and his partnersdecided to work from home while developing an app that helps people findclasses in things like pottery, cooking, and photography.

把家当成办公室对于派德罗·卡塞罗来说行不通。他尝试离开他位于伦敦的公寓去经营他跟人合开的欧比公司。为了省点钱,他和他的合伙人决定在家工作,设计一款APP帮助用户寻找类似做陶器、烹饪和摄影一类的课程。

Caseiro quickly realised thatinterruptions, like a visit from the plumber or cooking lunch, added up to toomany distractions.

卡塞罗迅速意识到水管工来访、做午饭一类的干扰会累积导致太多的分心。

“It’s all these micro things that take timeout of your day in a way that wouldn’t happen if you were in an office,”Caseiro says. In June the company committed to an office space.

“所有这些小事会把你一天的时间占去不少,而这些事当你在办公室工作的时候是没有的,”卡塞罗说。在六月份他们把公司搬进了一个办公室。

Caseiro isn’t against working from home,though. In his line of work, Caseiro says many talented web developers expect aflexible, at-home schedule. His main developer, in fact, lives near the beachin sunny southern Portugal, and yet still nails all of his deadlines.

但是卡塞罗并不反对在家办公。他说,在他的行业里,很多有天分的网络开发者希望灵活地在家里工作。他最主要的员工实际上住在葡萄牙阳光灿烂的海边附近,但是从没有错过任何时间节点。

“I look at my own productivity and know I’mbetter off working out of a traditional office,” Caseiro says. “But I know Ialso have to be flexible in hiring. I try to look for whether people can do thetasks we need them to do and not think about where they’re going to do themfrom.”

“我检视自己的生产力,发现我最好在一个传统的办公室里工作,”卡塞罗说。“但是我也知道我在用人方面必须保持灵活。我尝试寻找能够完成我们要求的工作的人,同时不去管他们到底在什么地方工作。”