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A Marley Incident to Change My Flexible Workplace

Back in January, I promised to write more blogs this year, as there seems to be some interest.

I’ve been tired over the last few weeks. I’ve had a somewhat gruelling schedule recently, but I have not been getting enough sleep and have been having difficulty getting work done if I try working from home. This just means more travelling around, which is complicated when I have a lot of work to do.

There has been a lot going on in my neighbourhood in the last few weeks. The city came in and replaced most of our sidewalks, some people got new driveways as a result, the city tree-trimmers have been around, pools have been opened, the fertilizer people have come around to kill the weeds, our neighbours across the street got new windows and doors and have had a slew of contractors around, our next door neighbour has been replacing his patio stones on the side and has been using a tampering machine, we installed new gutters, the mailman has come, the newspaper has been delivered, there were thunderstorms, and we’ve been visited and/or called by a flurry of sales people and those out sharing their religious faith. This has meant a lot of noise and commotion in the house.

My dog Daphne does not like noise and commotion. She has a tendency to “flip out”. Her at times strange behaviour can be attributed to over-indulgent pet parenting, but I have to say like children, sometimes some of it is just what is in the genetic make-up. We like to call it her mental disability. I am absolving some of the liability here by saying that I never trained her to scream at the sound of the concrete mixer, or thunderstorm, or a leaf falling off the tree for that matter, but she still does (and I apologize to those who I may have had conference calls with who have had to endure one of her hissy-fits). In some ways, she’s just like Marley, in the book Marley and Me, lovable but clearly high maintenance.

So, Daphne’s lack of sleep during the day has meant that she is more crabby and irritable. It is like a watershed effect in the house.

I do not have a lot of encumbrances that prevent me from focusing on work and getting it done at home, at least most of the time. The fact though that it was pandemonium for weeks though has got me thinking. The fact that such commotion exists in virtually every house and neighbourhood in virtually every season is a significant deterrent to having employers adopting all-out work-from-home policies. With so many companies also going to shorter work weeks and salary reductions, this summer there also seems to be more people around my neighbourhood, which also leads to distractions for those who are working.

Right now there seems to be a lot of interest in creating effective work-from-home policies. Unfortunately, my fear is that if our efforts do not produce more productivity, employers may give up as soon as the recession is over. Your thoughts?

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