One of my favorite things about being in a job where only a computer and Internet are required is working from home. I’m as productive at home as in the office. Plus there’s the added benefit of getting a load of laundry done. And not spending an hour in the car. At home, I tend to work through lunch (I know, big no-no you should still stick to your schedule) and start working as soon as I get up (jammies and not showered, yum!).
Telecommuting can be tough. There’s the call of the dirty dishes, the one little chore that won’t take but a minute, the grocery shopping that could be done quickly mid-day. But that’s not what working from home is about. It’s about, wait for it, working. Just remotely. I said I throw in a load of laundry and I do without shame. But it’s not like I’m out beating my clothes against a rock. The machine does the real work.
What works for me, and I think makes it easier for my manager, is I have a list of things I’m working on. We’re both clear what’s on that list. She’s just as involved in my day when I’m at home as if I were in the office. Fortunately, we’re a geographically disparate organization so we’re all familiar with email, IM and the old-school telephone.
About that list: it’s not a task list with punishment and retribution attached if I don’t complete it, merely my current to-do list. I need it for my own sanity. I need to know what I committed to and if I’m actually making progress. Also, there’s great satisfaction in crossing things off a list.
Also? My kids still go to school when I telecommute. I would not be productive with them here.
I’m not sure I’m one for a full-on telecommuting gig. I fear the line between work and home would blur too much. I wouldn’t be able to shut work off and engage in my home life. But a weekly work-from-home day is a nice distraction. Although I sort of miss the A/C in the office, I don’t keep our house nearly as cold as the office.