Working from home

As today continues our snowy, icy, bitterly cold winter, it seems like a perfect day to celebrate working from home.  While working from home means no snow days, it also means I [almost] never have to navigate icy, snow-covered streets (by foot, bus, or car) to get to an office, which is huge.*

My jury duty stint a few weeks ago, with two mornings where I had to dress, pack a lunch, leave the house, and arrive somewhere at a specific time were brutal (especially the 8am arrival time on a Monday).

Six months into my part-time, work-from-home job, I’m pretty happy with the arrangement.  Sure, I miss some of the socialization with coworkers that I had in past office jobs, but there are a lot of perks to working from home.

Top 5 things I love about working from home

  1. No commute.*  Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.
  2. No dress code.  Sure, I could put on “work” clothes every day, but why?
  3. Access to a full kitchen for snacks and lunch.
  4. Ability to integrate around-the-house work.  Need to toss in a load of laundry?  No problem.  Even on really busy paid-work days, I can usually find five or ten minutes here and there to attend to household tasks.
  5. Ability to integrate exercise — sure, you could whip out your yoga mat in the office, but if you’re in a cube or other “open” office layout (which seems to be the norm these days), that feels a bit awkward.

An average workday

There is not really an “average” workday, as the workload varies a good bit.  Most weeks I put in about 20 hours over four days (M,T,W,F).  I start working around 8:30am, after I drop Sir off at childcare, and try to wrap up by 4:00pm, so I can have a good start on dinner before I retrieve Sir.

On days where I have less paid-work, I usually fill the time with housework and/or errands.   Either way, there is not much sitting around, and I usually feel rushed in that last hour, frantically trying to make dinner while tying up loose ends with paid-work and housework.

Number 4 on the list is kind-of a blessing and a curse.  Since I can get a lot done during the day, it means that Matthew and I can just relax in the evenings, after G’s in bed, which is very nice.  On the other hand, it creates an imbalance in our marriage, where I am the one doing most of the housework.  This arrangement makes sense, practically speaking, but we’re examining it and trying to balance things out a bit.

Number 5 on the list is still tricky unless I plan for it, which I’m trying to do more of with some exercises for my back.

I almost included ease of taking a nap in the list, but, honestly, unless it’s a really slow work-week, I’m actually better at napping when Sir is also home and napping.

If you currently work from home, what is your favorite thing about working from home?  If your work in an office, what do you think you would most enjoy about working from home?

*I do have a short (half-block) walking commute to Gabriel’s childcare, but even in not-so-great weather, getting out for that little walk twice a day is good for me.  Since it’s an in-home childcare, and I can get Gabriel there in almost any weather condition, he also has no snow days, a fact for which I am truly grateful, especially this winter.  Mama needs her childcare.
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6 Responses to Working from home

  1. EcoCatLady says:

    I’ve worked from home for a long time, and generally speaking I LOVE it. Of course, I’m not sure that one could call my current lifestyle actual “work” since my webpages basically provide a passive income stream. But they do require at least some amount of maintenance.

    But back when I had a “real job” I worked one day a week from home. I generally found that I was more productive at home than in the office (well, music school) because there were fewer co-workers and teachers hanging around wanting to “chat.” It allowed me much greater spans of uninterrupted time, which was what I needed because I was working on a big software project. But I also found that it tended to breed a bit of discontent with bosses and co-workers who all seemed to assume that I was sitting around eating bon-bons all day long.

    The other difficulty I’ve found is that when you work from home it sometimes feels like work invades your every waking hour. This was one of my biggest obstacles when I finally quit my “real job” and worked exclusively for myself. No matter how much I had worked, there was always more that I could be doing. I’ve gotten much better at that over the years, but it was certainly something I struggled with. I think the fact that I live alone made this one much worse than it otherwise might have been.

    All that being said, I think the positives of working from home vastly outweigh the negatives. I’m really not sure I could make myself go back to a real job at this point because it would just feel like handing over the reigns of my life to some company or organization. I value my freedom WAY too much, and I think I’d do just about anything to be able to keep it.

  2. Tracy says:

    Funny question!! Given that I am working one handed on a laptop tonight with a sick baby sleeping in one arm. Easy? No. But, I couldn’t work after my oldest’s bedtime while holding my baby in an office building. All in all, it works out even if housework is difficult even on good days

  3. Working from home is one of the great method I also work from home it’s a great experience

  4. Hello… you can start working from home with new plans and suggestions. It is a different experience for you.

  5. Glanna says:

    Working from home can add up to huge savings, that’s definitely my favorite part. Also, there is more productivity because I do not have to rush out of the office and sit in traffic when my shift is over nor do I have to take as many sick days, leaving me with more time with my family.

  6. Pingback: Mindfulness Part II | Her Green Life

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