Archive for December, 2009

Working at Home? Yeah, Right.

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Ever since “Working at Home” hit mainstream corporate America I longingly wished I had a job that would allow me to stay at home. And yet I wondered if I had the discipline to actually work while sitting on my couch where there myriad things would catch my eye: the television, an obvious distraction; the cats who sit looking up at me, their string by their side wanting it dragged through the house so that they can scamper along behind; a bookshelf covered in a fine layer of dust.

How could I resist all of the temptations and actually get my job done?

Then, as more and more colleagues were able to jump on that bandwagon, I found myself joining the throngs of the Green-Eyed, making comments like, “So. Adam is sitting at home today in his footie pajamas?” Or “Working from home? Right!”

I am pleased to report that I do have discipline necessary to work from home. Even though I’m exempt and not punching a time clock, I find myself mentally keeping track of how long I work. I thought I’d share with you what my days so far this week have been:

7:30 to 12pm – work
12:00 to 1:30pm – Spin, Shower, eat
1:30 to 5:45 – work

7:15 – 8am – put dinner together in the crock pot
8am to 12pm – work
12-1:30pm Kettlebells (intro only) & Yoga
1:30 to 4pm – work
4pm to 5pm – sat in on conference call. During call (since I have a blue tooth for my phone) I muted myself and cleaned up the kitchen.
5pm to 5:45 – worked

If work is particularly chaotic (which it hasn’t been this week) I’ll sign back on in the evenings around 8pm and finish working on some simple but critical tasks.

Besides the Distraction Factor, people who aren’t proponents of working at home say, “you’ll lose touch with people.”

I haven’t found that to be the case. The company I work for is sprawled from coast to coast with my primary team being in California. I spend 2-3 hours a day on the phone collaborating with people on projects, trouble shooting areas where we’re having challenges etc.

What I’ve found to be odder than pining for face to face contact with people (maybe I’m an introvert) is the fact that I never leave the house. My world gets honed to these four walls (Recently I’ve started spending more time with my hubby since I have the flexibility to work remotely, his four walls are much, much smaller than those in our house the next state over). Of course, since we both live in the Snow Belt, never leaving home has its advantages: I don’t have to face a 2 hour commute because of weather.

Since I’ve changed to being able to work remotely I’ve been asked, “Are you really sitting there in your pajamas?” Normally the answer is no. Normally I dress in comfortable clothing, like sweatpants and a turtleneck.

However I confess that on Monday and Tuesday I did stay in a pair of purloined Superman PJs until I changed into my workout clothes. (Just an FYI: the Superman PJs were my father’s. He never wore them. I nicked them over the holiday when I was home.)

Since I’m a believer in full disclosure I thought I’d point out that I actually spend about 50% of my time in the corporate office. What I’ve noticed while I’m there is how much time people spend not working.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that networking and creating camaraderie in an environment so that people enjoy coming to work are very important. But at the end of the day, when I’m at the office, I find myself more distracted than when I’m at home.

I know that I’m probably not going to change anyone’s mind whether you are pro or con for working remotely. In truth I’m not trying. A quote by Stuart Chase (heard by me on Criminal Minds) sums it up nicely: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.”

I just thought I’d give you my version of reality and let you see that I’ve become a true believer in working remotely.

P.S. I jinxed myself re: workload. It is after 9pm and I’m just now signing off of work after being buried this afternoon. Go figure. I’d rather be sitting on the couch than sitting at an office at nine at night.

Posted in LJ's Story |

Every Time You Go Away….

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

I thank everyone for their understanding while I’ve taken a break from the blog. I had some gentle and not-so-gentle nudges while I was home for the holidays asking me to get back to it.

As you may recall, the last 90 days have been very eventful: we almost lost my stepson to H1N1, I started a new job, and now I’m the one doing the commuting.

I also had some minor health complications. I say minor because my life was never in danger like my stepson’s, however, they were enough to completely change my diet and outlook on life. More about that later. I promise.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me. I have an entire tableau of ideas that have been churning in the back of my mind over the last 30 days. Expect to see them all in the coming few weeks.

Here is wishing everyone a prosperous, safe and Happy New Year!

Posted in LJ's Story |