THE SERIOUS PROS include…
Being able to maneuver time spent working around when my friends and husband needs me
Being able to sit in comfort of my own surroundings
Being able to visit libraries, museums and places relevant to my work without justifying it to my superiors
Being able to set my own deadlines
Being able to more easily share my work with my husband and ask for support
THE LESS SERIOUS PROS include…
Not being required to wear a bra, or clothes, or more than PJs whilst working
Turning the volume up, or down, on any entertaining music I may want when I want
Being able to eat at sensible, routine times without being asked to work over my lunch break
Being able to do 2 minute chores whilst walking around picking up papers, waiting for PDFs to load, reading information, being on the phone
Being able to eat ice cream (or anything else) whilst working without co-workers giving me dirty looks
Loneliness from the lack of co-workers… or anyone really
The lack of exercise, even the little taken walking from house to car, and car to office/place of work
Less helpful supporters when things go wrong
Less motivation to actually look after appearance/health/etc
General communication relies highly on computers
THE LESS SERIOUS CONS include…
I miss banter! Even student libraries have banter!
Not wearing a bra/clothes tends to make meetings more difficult to prepare for having not done laundry for weeks
The neighbours may not be happy with Enya blasting through the walls..
No motivation to eat at sensible times or even sleep at normal times
Being able to eat ice cream means more body guilty and dirty looks from husband
Being able to work in bed – not as good as you’d think
Everywhere you go is related to work!
So working from home.. what have I learnt?
Surprisingly the things I’ve learnt about how to work from home were things I learnt from being a student. The best way to work is to get out the house, whether it be to the library, to a museum, to a coffee shop, anywhere that has not got the distractions that both the home, and sometimes the workplace, can give you. For some this is obviously not possible and for those I would suggest an office space or some corner to completely set up for work and work alone.
Another part of this is that actually having an accountability partner for a routine is a good idea, someone who also needs to get up and out can help get you up, dressed and ready for the working day. For those of you that have managed to keep a decent routine I applaud you – I myself am not good at this.
These things may be small but I have also realised that my most longer for thing so far in my work from home status has been co-workers. I have longed for the ability to finish a day of work, come home and have home purely as my time. I few days I’ve had where for numerous reasons (courses, meetings, etc) this has been the case I have been happier, more energetic and slept better due to my increased activity. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job, I have thanked God for it many times and I learn an awful lot through my work. The thing that I would most like to say though is that as my first job since graduation I was hugely surprised about the my self-learning curve of the last few months. I have learnt more about myself, my needs, my failings, my character than I did in the 6 years of secondary school and possibly more (at least in the worker dimension) than I did through university.
I do hope this learning curve will keep going and I can leave this job knowing I worked hard and gave as much of myself as possible. I will very much appreciate what this job has done for me though, and my attitude to a run-of-the-mill office job. For those of you sitting at a desk – count your blessings, there are more than you think!
P.S. I know this is not the experience of all, it is my experience. If anyone has any experiences of office work, or working from home, and lessons you’ve gained, please do share them!
P.P.S. The top picture is dedicated to my mother-in-law Jane Cronin. She is possibly the most efficient worker-at-home I’ve ever known and one day I wouldn’t be surprised if this was her desk – possibly with the inclusion of a stick to hit the ceiling with to wake up sons and daughters-in law when they’re sleeping in.