Working from home--not as easy as it looks!
Posted by Cheryl Byrne.Last week, Boston hosted the Democratic National Convention. According to all reports, there was virtually no traffic. Many workers telecommuted for the first time, working from home rather than from the downtown office. It has taken me nearly three years to get the hang of working from home. And while I will be the first to admit that working from home is the absolute best of both worlds, it is not an easy feat.
I am a mother as well as a v-Fluence employee. I am responsible for just about everything involved in making our household run smoothly. My husband is wonderful in every way, but he is not the one who does the laundry, or shops, or pays the bills or gets our two children to school. That would be me. There is very little separation between my home office (a semi-converted sunporch) and the rest of the house. The clothes that need folding are only a step away, as are the beds that need making, the cookies that need baking and the leaves that need raking. And man, they are hard to ignore.
So how do I get any work done?
First, I don’t keep what you would call regular hours. I try to get up before anyone else in the family. I make a pot of very strong coffee, and I sit down at the computer. I am not by nature an organized person, but I find that writing EVERYTHING down really helps—calendar items, daily tasks, everything. And I do as much as I can before anyone else is awake. Then after the children are safely delivered to school or as now in summer camp, I get back to work.
The most surprising discovery for me is just how much I can get done in a fixed amount of time. What in heaven’s name was I doing for 10 hours a day in an office? I mean I have had VERY demanding jobs, but I can’t believe how much time I wasted. I watched CNN for goodness sakes! No TV now.
And no distractions. I have finally learned that I cannot and must not pay bills, or fold clothes or make dinner while my children are in the care of others. Late afternoons are the most difficult for me as far as getting work done, especially if I have no childcare. But the true benefit of working for a virtual firm is that I am here to greet my beautiful children, to hear about their day, and to admire their projects. And I can always get back to my computer after they go to bed.
The Democratic National Convention may have some unanticipated but very family-friendly results if working from home catches on with Boston’s workers and their employers. Let the telecommuting -- from Boston and everywhere else -- begin!