Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Working from Home

I started this post months ago, after I read a dooce.com post about her making a video about working from home. I hadn't watched it yet, and honestly, I can't remember if I ever did. Oh, hold on, let me go refresh my memory, so my opinions make sense.

Ok. I'm back.

Considering she works with her husband (or did until the separation), has an actual assistant and I believe she also has child care at least part of the time...it's really more like she has an office in her house. Working from home means something different to me. Obviously she faces the same child/time management issues, at least part of the time, but working FOR someone FROM home is very different. I should make a video. But I'm not going to, because I'm NEVER ALONE.

So, I agree with several of her points and have a few of my own.

First, it's important to set a schedule and stick to it. My schedule starts with getting the oldest ready for school. While she eats breakfast, I take the stupid dogs out. They're cute, so I'm allowed to declare them stupid. Once she's on the bus, I'm at my laptop, working. The younger one gets up later unless its a preschool day (which won't matter next year because woohoo for afternoon preschool).

Second, I think its important to shower/cleanup and get dressed. In something other than yoga pants or pajamas. I typically shower before I get the second kid up, get her up, feed her breakfast and then back to work. I don't shower right now on preschool days. I just don't have the time to get one kid up, on the bus, shower, feed the second one (who is the slowest eater on the planet) and get her to preschool, not on time anyway. So those days...I shower after my nightly exercise instead. I don't love it, but it's what I have to do. Next year she's going to afternoon preschool, so it won't be a problem.

The video recommends a separate space..but that just isn't possible for me. I don't have child care for the preschooler and I can't leave her alone anywhere in the house, so I work at our family desk, and she plays. Both of my kids (nearly 5 years apart) have been great about mommy working during the day and they self entertain really really well. And yes, I turn on the TV sometimes, in the afternoon because she's so great at playing and she's ready for a rest so the TV is on, with something appropriate. LazyTown, Olivia, or Max & Ruby. Hmm I'm not sure how appropriate Max & Ruby is...where are the parents? Anyway...I would love my own space to focus and work, but once the preschooler starts Kindergarten, I'll have that, so for now, this works for us.

An assistant. I'm not even going to address this because I don't think I'll ever make enough to hire my own assistant, since I work for someone else right now. I also don't need one, a nanny or maid, yes, but an assistant for work, no. So I'm sure its necessary if you work for yourself at home and travel a lot and have a lot going on, but for me, not so much.

I also workout after the kids are in bed. I don't have the motivation to do it in the morning (except some rare saturdays when I want my weekend free) so I do it at 830 at night M,T,Th,F,Sat. It works for me.

The other part of working from home are the perks. There are plenty. The refrigerator is RIGHT THERE! It's too close, but also, yay, it's close. I don't spend anything on vending machine food or soda, I have my own. I'm here when the oldest gets home from school, and I'm able to get the youngest to and from preschool. My bosses have been great and the company is very flexible about schedules. I also feel a little bit more pressure to perform and complete work in a timely manner. I keep very close record of what I do and when so that I know I'm delivering what I need to be since no one is hovering over my shoulder. My biggest pet peeve is when people hear that I work from home and assume I eat candy and surf the web all day. I get paid to do actual work, and I work hard at it. Sure, my schedule is flexible, but I am WORKING.

I guess that's it. That was quite a ramble. Whew.

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