About working from home

I get lots of questions about working from home. Did I ever share photos of my home office now that I bought the whole furniture get-up? I should do that. Most of the questions that I get have to do with the temptations. People rarely mention the specific temptation on their mind. The TV? The bed? The refrigerator? The temptations you get over. Take it from an excellent procrastinator. The work has to get done so if you indulge your temptations, you make up the work later. And frankly, that’s kind of the point of having the flexibility of working from home. I’m probably more inclined to mow my lawn or do some laundry between meetings and projects. And you know what? I can do that.

There are some huge benefits of working from home. I get online super early and get a jump start on the day. Less distraction from noisy hallway conversations. I save a ton on money on coffee. I can be pony-tail girl, wear my good sweats, give myself a facial all while working my way through my inbox. Jonas can go out whenever is little doggy heart desires.

But there are a few issues. First of all, I realized that when I looked forward to the sound of the mailman, that we had a problem.I wasn’t looking forward to the mail (which is sitting in a huge freaking pile next to me right now), I was looking for audible proof of humanity. Also, when you communicate in a work world void of facial expression and body language, things just feel a little flat. Who knew that eye contact made such a big difference? Also, you don’t get as much of the “hey,let’s grab dinner after work” thing. And I missed my peeps.

So I needed to make a change this week. I let someone else move into my office with me a while back. Having worked from home, it wasn’t really right for me to hold an office hostage when others are doubled up. And also, I think that the recruiters should have their own offices since they interview people. That is not me.  So I was cool with sharing. Only problem is that I can’t get much done with another person in the office with me (I can’t resist the urge to talk. Compulsive much?). Anyway, the new arrangement is office hours. I own the office in the afternoons. I feel like a TA. A couple of days of this have already made a huge difference. HUGE.

I used to think that there were 2 types of people (aren’t there always?): ones who could work from home productively and ones who can’t. Now I don’t think it’s that simple. I had a co-worker tell me today that she was surprised I did it as long as I did (it’s been at least a year). I’ll still be working from home quite a bit, but I’m actually looking forward to spending some time in building 19. Plus, did I mention the free soda and the free coffee bar in our building?

Also, I think Jonas is going to enjoy the personal time.

Comments (3)

  1. Toby Getsch says:

    I think it’s a ride.  Sometimes we like the calm.  Sometimes we want the rhythm that comes with more hustle and more people around.

    I’ve done some of both.  I’m clearly a people person.  I also need home to be a place of peace and to be able to relax.  When work encroaches on that, it makes it "hard to be home" sometimes and that’s not good.

    On the other hand, working in an office now, and having many associates that are 90+% virtual, I think we all crave the face time to make everything more personal.  Example: The coworkers down the hall email with, "Dude, this thing isn’t working right.  Can you help?"  The coworkers across the country email with, "There is a problem that we’ve been having and I’d like to let you know.  If you have any ideas on how to address the issue, please let me know."  Yada, yada, yada…

    There is a timing and appropriateness for all of the above.  I think there are seasons and varying needs that make flexibility a bigger need.

    Your description of home is so my yesterday and today.  But, I’m home SICK. (Hence, even this reply is one my outlets, doing some more personal blogging.)  So, it’s weird to think of how it used to be when I WORKED from home and still got all that stuff done during the day.  Being able to adjust and adapt is key.  Sounds like you’re doin’ it.  🙂

  2. patblue says:

    ‘Pat could visit a little less in class’…on every report card since 1st grade.  I share an office, have sat in cubes and can say very honestly……  I am very disruptive.  I am social, I like to talk, and I like to listen.  I also work from home (and hotels) quite a bit, I think if you mix it up you appreciate each activity more.  I find that I miss my team and office mate when I am on the road (office mate has become expert at tuning me out).  

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Toby, I’m going to kind of take it as it comes. I think I’ll be going in more now but I won’t have to.

    patblue – you are very social. I wish I had those tuning out skills (not because of you, of course). I can tune out some things but not human voices.