2.19.2016

Five Friday Faves | Working at Home

I have worked from home now for almost five years -- the first two freelancing for a local newspaper and website and the last three as a staff writer for an Army publication. It's not for everyone, but I think that if you are interested in a work-at-home career, it can be a blessing. Here are some of the reasons why:


1. Flexible work schedule

Yesterday I was able to sit down to my desk, knock out a little work, volunteer at the kids' school and run a few errands, and come back and knock out a little more work. That is very important to me. It is not easy sometimes straddling the fence between being SAHM and employee but I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity. For us it is necessary because The Engineer's schedule is not flexible and he has to do quite a bit of traveling. I need to be available for doctor and dentist appointments, kid activities and if someone is sick.

That being said, I am still a big fan of designated work hours. My first year at the Rocket I did not do that. I worked in chunks of time throughout the day. Work and family bled into each other and I became increasingly stressed because I never felt truly "off work." I now try to only work in the mornings when the kids are at school and that has made a tremendous difference. 

2. Uninterrupted work time

I am a Chatty Cathy, I admit it. I think -- no, I know -- that I would get much less done if I had a permanent desk in our office. Right now, I spend my Mondays at the Army Garrison and maybe it is only because I see everyone one day a week but I often find myself shooting the breeze. At home, my only workmate is my assistant Fletcher the Hound Dog, who sleeps his way through the workday. I have found that it is easier for me to focus in the quiet.  

3. Business casual -- very casual

Yup, I am that typical worker from home. I wear sweats, jammies, jeans ... whatever is comfy. My job is a little different in that I do venture out several times a week for work events, meetings and interviews, but when I get home the comfy clothes are back on. You would be surprised what a difference in mood comfy clothes make. I know some people who work from home still wear dress clothes to put themselves in work mode. I am not one of those people.

4. Less expensive

I do join the rest of the office for luncheons whenever I can but being able to fix my meals at home during the workday is important, especially since I work at a desk and the sedentary job can pack on the pounds. As it is, I weigh more than I did when I started at the Rocket because I am getting older and I traded in a career as a yoga instructor for one much less active. If I did not work at home, it would be worse because I know I would be sneaking out of the office every day on a burger and fries run. 

5. Multi-tasking, super-sized

I am not always successful but I try to get up from my desk once an hour and stretch my legs. I might throw in a load of clothes or load the dishwasher, take out the garbage or straighten up a room. I have found that if I don't do this, I get tunnel vision and the quality of my writing falls. It also helps to stay on top of the household so I don't have a mountain of chores waiting for me when I sign off.

I know that I am painting a pretty picture of working at home, but there are pitfalls too. You have to be dedicated and focused. Even though I work on a laptop, when it is time for work I sit at my desk. I work from the bed or couch very sparingly because I have found that I am sharper sitting in my office. Because of this I am a big fan of a designated office space used only for your job. When working at home, you have to be a self motivator and strict with yourself. I keep a log of everything I do each work day. It is not complicated but it does list my productivity for the day. I don't answer personal phone calls and I don't turn on the television. I feel strongly that if I am being paid for this time, I need to have something to show for it.

So what do you think? Have you worked from home or would like to? I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!



5 comments:

  1. I don't think I could ever work from home. I can see myself getting WAY off track and all of sudden turning around and finding out that it's 4 p.m. and I still haven't actually sat down at the desk.

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  2. i wish i could work from home ha. and that office is STUNNING and almost exactly what i'm hoping to do to makeover my own here in a while. so glad i came across your blog through the linkup and i can't wait to read more! hope you'll stop by mine!

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    1. I already have! You have been on my reader for the last several weeks and I am enjoying your posts, Cait! :)

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  3. The two years that I teleworked full-time (with the exception of trips to my employer's office in Nashville for hearings, depositions,conducting training sessions on legal issues, critical meetings, etc.) were the absolute most satisfying and structured years of my professional life. I would (and plan to in the future) tele-work again in a heartbeat! I am very disciplined and always have an extremely heavy workload with hard deadlines so distractions aren't an issue for me. I need solitude when focusing on work, particularly matters that involve extensive writing, reading and critical thinking which are 80% (or more depending on the type of practice) of what my profession requires. I do not enjoy office politics, a lot of chit chat, unnecessary meetings nor disruptions throughout the day so teleworking is ideal for me. Don't get me wrong, I like to socialize, but there is a time and a place for that in my book work just isn't that time/place because I always have more work than I can manage to get done in a day. Additionally, there are the added benefits that you mentioned of not having to take time out of your day to get dressed, commute, and prepare lunches to transport to work or deal with eating out -- reduces stress and expenses. I've always told people that our dogs were my best workday companions! I'm very glad teleworking is still going well for you and your family. Flexibility is critical for working parents who have a spouse with a demanding career or are single parents. Employers need to recognize that fact and get with the times or lose good employees.

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    1. I agree absolutely! I think that more employers should utilize non-traditional employment opportunities. I know a lot of SAHMs who would love to step back into the workforce but are limited by childcare and other circumstances. And they would make excellent employees too.

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