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Friday, November 18, 2005

The benefits(?) of working from home

Working from home has lot of benefits outside of not having to drive anywhere and being able to walk away for 20 minutes without anyone wondering where you went.

I used to love the occasional "work from day" when I was a card-carrying participant in corporate America. It was almost as good as a "personal day," a "sick day" or a Saturday. My perception is probably why most companies don't like employees working from home.

That said, now that all of my work is "work from home," it's become a little more challenging. There are countless distractions and yet, so many perks. It's nice to have my refrigerator and a vast selection of all of my favorite decaf teas just down the hallway from my office. It's great to be able to type away in the comforts of my mismatched socks and crumpled PJs. But I can also get other stuff done between grand thoughts and subsequent typing fits. I can throw in a load of laundry, start dinner, or assemble a grocery list by actually scanning the cupboards and refrigerator for missing essentials.

But there's a downside too. I can throw in a load of laundry, start dinner, or assemble a grocery list by actually scanning the cupboards and refrigerator for missing essentials. Working from home somehow doesn't seem complete without these diversions distracting me. Fortunately my two worlds are closely connected making that back and forth somewhat breezy.

Bethany has been struggling with her move back into the "real" world and how it's negatively impacted her writing. Probably the only reason this non-schedule works for me is because my work is very, very part-time. And if I sit at the computer and spend 30 minutes catching up on personal email and then decide to take a break, I'll find other time to do the stuff to meet my real-world deadlines.


  1. I love working from home. I love that I do not have to pay for childcare. I love that my son can play by himself, sometimes up to two hours at a time. And I love that he forces me to take a break from the computer fairly frequently, too. I can very often forget to take a break. And getting up and playing with him every now and then is great for both of us. He can resume playing having got his mama fix. And I will have stretched and strengthened my muscles that at a computer would be stressed or atrophying.

    Of course, I'm sooo thankful I do not work more than 20 hours a week. Sometimes I do, but it's rare. And I feel like I'm earning my keep for the priviledge of having a parttime job that pays my way.

    Sometimes I wonder if I actually was more productive working a fulltime job than I am now... I think a lot of time is wasted in companies.

  2. Working from home would be so ideal! But then, I'd be afraid that I'd lose focus. There are so many distractions. On the other hand, when my husband happens to work from home (he is only allowed to do this once a month), he gets competely decked out as though he really is going to work and I don't hear from him until lunch, and then when it's quitting time. So he puts in the full 8 or so hours, but without the interruptions he'd get at the office.

    But then, I think it depends what you do for a living too.

  3. I find that if i have a deadline, suddenly i have the motivation to work. This has always been how i have worked. And i still do my usual amount of procrastination like i did before... and then all of a sudden i freak out and get boogying, as it were. My whole work process annoys me quite a bit, and i'm always meaning to change it... but there it is. And I work exactly the same at home as I do at the office.

  4. Hey Thanks Suzanne... for linking (again) to me. It is funny, the work at home thing. I did it as a FULL-TIME worker with a child at home with me full time too. It was hard--contrary to swamps situation. But it has to do with the part time versus full time thing.

    When you have to fit 40 hours of work (or more) in with frequent breaks to play with the kiddo--you end up working on the weekend and often into the middle of the night.

    Then again--this working OUT of the home thing is almost demanding the same thing too. So I guess you can't win no matter how you work and combine motherhood huh? ;-)

    Even with the hardships though (I have said it before--and will say it again)--I would juggle the full time work and motherhood again and again. It was very worth it...