Friday, October 1, 2010

Working from Home Two Days a Week

A big huzzah to my company. In the interest of being green, saving the planet, or making employees happy, Management has decided that they will allow all employees to sign up to work from home up to two days a week. They even let us pick the days – since traffic is worst at the end of the week, I picked Thursdays and Fridays. Of course when picking those days I completely forgot that everything is craziest on those two days, so I wind up working during the time I would normally have spent commuting.
There are several advantages of working from home:
  • When work time starts you instantly beam from home to “work'”
  • When work time is over *poof* you’re home.
  • If you forget something on the kitchen table, it’s a quick dash across the house to get it.
  • Lunch can be something NOT cold and NOT microwaved
  • You can catch up on undone housework at lunchtime
  • Your second monitor can be a 43” television – perfect for those WebEx conferences
  • All calls can be on speakerphone so you don’t hurt your neck holding the phone to your ear
  • You can finish getting dressed while the computer boots up and logs onto the company network
  • The dress code is whatever you feel like putting on
  • If someone wants to talk to you, they have to call – which means you only have to listen to one conversation at a time.
  • You know exactly whose germs are on the things in the bathroom and in the kitchen.
  • No one hovers near your desk expecting you to pause what you’re doing to answer their “quick question” (which always turns into an hour long discussion and a major issue)
  • Lunchtime goat therapy sessions
  • Since your wireless is “in range” all over your property, you can work outside when the weather is nice
  • Nobody can accidentally take your lunch
  • The microwave doesn’t contain “mystery splatters”
  • The fridge is NOT scary
  • You can sleep minutes longer in the morning
  • You don't have to waste a vacation day sitting at home awaiting the repair man - you can work while your house is being fixed.
Unfortunately, working from home is not all fun and happiness. There are some disadvantages, too:
  • EVERYONE is constantly IM’ing you and they get mad when you don’t respond instantly (because you’re answering someone else’s questions at the moment or are on the phone or lost that window under the ten other IM conversations you currently have going)
  • They get mad that they can’t talk to you because you’re already on phone with someone else
  • Undone housework haunts you – you see and sometimes smell the mess that you should’ve cleaned earlier
  • If you want to talk to someone you can’t just hover near their cubicle door until they notice you – when telecommuting, you have to call them and hope they aren’t screening your calls
  • You always have to make the coffee
  • If you spill something on the floor, you actually have to clean it up yourself rather than “let the janitor do it”.
  • Bird droppings on the keyboard when working outside under a tree (note to self: ALWAYS check what is above you before sitting down outside)
  • People call you outside of work hours asking you to “do a few little things” since you can easily connect to the office
  • The VPN connection times out in the middle of meetings or the internet has a hiccup when you’re helping a customer
  • Your spouse expects that you’ll have time to run errands, shop for food, and prepare dinner in all your “spare” time because you aren’t driving a half hour each way
  • Collaboration among people is a bit more challenging since every group gathering requires a conference call
All in all, I think the advantages of telecommuting outweigh the disadvantages. I don’t think I’ll give it up just yet. Anyone have other commentary on telecommuting?


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