A Snowy Day and Working from Home

So we got our dump of snow yesterday. In the evening, once the temperature outside dropped to 31 degrees, I hit the road to avoid having to take the long road home (pretty and much less hilly, but long). My decision to work from home today was an effort to avoid a morning commute complicated by roads frozen during the night and this weird phenomenon where drivers here seem to forget how to drive on snow (or rain…it’s a Washington thing).

I haven’t worked from home in months. I actually like going in to work. I like having other people around, I like the smell of office supplies (I know!)..heck, I like the free soda. Anyway, every once in a while, I just really like to work from home to “catch up”. And so yesterday, with the snowy commute home, I got it in my head that I was going to work from home today. (Wow, there’s a horse on TV drinking a Bud Light…I’m not kidding). When I came to Microsoft, the idea of working from home seemed like a bit of a luxury. At my previous company, we could do it but it meant that we were sick. I remember working from home when we were having a wind storm and our building was swaying…I feel a little green thinking about it.

When I was a kid, there was something a little special about being home sick. It could have been the fact that you could watch TV all day, eat your fill of salty chicken soup and saltines (mmmmm), even though you felt bad. There’s some indulgence involved with staying at home when everyone else is at work or school…you feel like you are getting away with something. And now, in the age of laptops and mobile devices, it’s possible to still get your work done without setting foot in the office. Still, there’s a sense of guilty indulgence involved with working from home. I’m not sure if it’s just me or of others feel this way, but I feel an extra need to get lots of stuff done when I am working from home to make up for the guilt of not having to hoof it into the office. What’s the deal with that anyway?

I read somewhere that people that work from home actually work more hours than people that go into an office. That really doesn’t surprise me. Right now, blogging while I am watching TV…personal time or work? Did I tell you about the horse I just saw drinking Bud Light? : ) Is it weird that I enjoy answering e-mails or blog comments? Does it matter whether I do it sitting at home or at the office? (In case you are wondering: shower? yes. makeup? no). Might I be slightly more effective given the fact that Jonas, my dog, is lying under my craft table, on my feet, keeping me warm? Or that I take a break in my day to change a load of laundry? I haven’t punched a time card since I was 22 (I’m not going to tell you how long ago that was so don’t ask….but my birthday is coming up on the 26th..happy birthday to me), but I think we (or rather, I) still have a little bit of the time card mentality or at least we want to prove that we’ve pulled our weight. So the “work from home day” still seems like a little bit of an extravagance, even if it means spending a little extra time in front of the laptop. One I am more than happy to take advantage of.

Comments (4)

  1. tzagotta says:

    I have a business that I run from home, and I love working from home, at least most days. Wy wife and I have 3 young children, and I enjoy getting to see them during the day during my "breaks." I get to see them a lot more than if I had to drive to work and stay there all day.

    My "guilt" from working at home dissipated a long time ago, mostly because I work a lot more hours than most folks I know (60 hours/week on average). Part of that is because of being part of a start-up, and part because I love my job. But in my case, working at home helps me get a lot done work-wise, but also keep the work/life/family balance.

  2. unpradeep says:

    "So we got our dump of snow yesterday."


    A spatter of white-dust that barely amounted to an inch is a "Dump of Snow" ?

    Wait till an east-coast gal/guy calls your bluff on that one 🙂

  3. Jeff Parker says:

    I had to laugh at this article. After traversing to work in 4 inches of snow with another 4 – 8 on the way. Your welcome to come to Michigan for a visit anytime this winter for a real snow. I would much rather be home with a dog curled up at my feet. Funny isn’t it though dogs love it when you take a snow day as well. My Lab loves the snow though and when I get home he will want to go out and play. At least until his hip starts to bother him, he has a metal hip it doesn’t take well to long cold bouts but that doesn’t stop him from trying.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Pradeep and Jeff, I used to live in Chicago. The east coast and Michigan have nothing on me. This was a "dump" of snow by Seattle standards (the Pass got plenty). I didn’t actually stay home because of the snow…rather I got it in my head that I was going to work from home *in case* the roads were icy and when they weren’t, I decided to work from home anyway. And yes, it was cozy with Jonas on my feet. Who needs slippers? : )