I am reminded all the time how nice it is to work from home. From my company (termed as a tangible benefit), from my family (Mom thinks I am saving millions of dollars in gas... far from the truth when you have a toddler in preschool 30 minutes away and you own a gas guzzling SUV), from friends (who exclaim I must be in "heaven" working from home), and even mere acquaintances who think working from home is so great because you work so hard at home (wink, wink).
The truth of working from home?
Yes, you do save gas, over the long term.
Yes, you can wear WHATEVER you want sitting at home. No one cares that you have a hole in your t-shirt.
You can accept deliveries from Fedex and the postman, without fear you won't be around to sign for something.
You can multitask (if you are really good) and throw in a load of laundry.
You can save money buying lunch out... however, if you are also a coffee addict like me, your AM/PM stops at Dunkin Donuts negates that savings.
You don't have to deal with annoying co-workers (unless they are in your immediate workgroup)
Sounds good right?
Here's the not-so-good points of working from home...
You work more. That's right. Now that you don't have the two-hour commute, you end up turning on the laptop at 6:30am, and work right thru the day. Have dinner with the family, put the little one to bed, and log more computer time.
Co-workers expect you to be available ALL THE TIME.. via e-mail, phone, IM.
Remember that nutritious lunch you had planned? You never eat it, because you got hung up on calls and when you looked up at the clock it was already 3pm .
The wash you started in the AM, is STILL in the washer (getting moldy) and you don't remember until the next morning.
If your little one is sick, you might as well take off too. No work gets done when a toddler is using your pens on your desk to write on important documents. Or worse, they overtake your laptop and instead of playing Blue's Clues they are reformatting your harddrive.
The bathroom is literally ten steps away, and you sit at your desk with a bladder about to burst.
Sometimes, yes, it's lonely... and you miss having co-workers around.
Instead of having office meetings nearby, now it requires jumping on a plane to have meetings (because everyone works at home and isn't nearby anymore).
Yep, working from home doesn't sound so attractive does it?
Working from home is a blessing and a curse.
Moms who have jobs and have not had the opportunity to work from home think that getting that golden ticket to work in your pj's is a dream. They dream of working a little, cleaning a little, cooking a little, and sneaking in the hair appointments.
The reality is that most Moms who work from home still need full-time childcare. They find it hard to schedule that salon appointment. Letting the dog out to pee interferes with your conference calls. Cleaning the house? Forget about it.
Unless you are self-employed or extremely disciplined with a job that doesn't require full attention, working from home is not a picnic.
When I think back 4 years ago, to the times that I commuted a total of 3 1/2 hours round trip per day, I think WOW, I am so happy I don't have to do that anymore!
BUT...I secretly wish that I still had to go into an office (just once in awhile), if not for anything, to just give me an excuse to dress up and see people in person. To waste some time at the watercooler, and grab lunch with my co-workers. To use my suits and wear heels.
excuse me, I have to go... in the time it took me to type this post, I have 4 IM's and the phone rang twice.