The Working-from-Home Experience

A couple of months ago I decided to start working from home one day a week. I have a couple of cow-orkers who work from home one or two days a week because they have a long commute, but even though I live a lot closer I thought it was reasonable to see if I could, and my boss didn’t have an issue with it. For me, the decision was a tension between liking to be around my cow-orkers, and the fact that I now have an officemate but wanting to have my own dedicated working space once in a while. So I thought I’d try it.

Well, actually I kind of did try it back in 2012 when I worked from my Mom’s house while she was recovering from surgery, and that went pretty well.

It took me a couple of weeks to get into a good routine working at home. From a work standpoint this was because my first two days doing so happened to coincide with days when a bunch of random things to investigate came in and my plans to make progress on major projects got derailed. (This is not uncommon for the project I work on, but those two days seemed to be particularly bad for disruptions.)

Another reason is that the day I chose to work at home is Wednesday, which is also comic book day. Plus I had to figure out what to do about lunch. So the first couple of weeks I went with my first instinct: Go get comics over lunch, and also eat somewhere while I was out. This turned out to take way too long and took an unreasonable chunk out of the afternoon. So I quickly moved to planning to have lunch at home (sometimes leftovers, otherwise soup or something simple), and then go get comics after work as usual. This has worked out much better. And honestly it was a little weird to be getting comics in the middle of the day, then having them sit around unread until the evening!

Since our study is a bit of a work-in-progress (read: we need to replace my ancient desk that we have in there), I set up to work in the dining room. One perk to this is that I have one or another of our three cats hanging out with me during the day. In the morning, Sadie and Jackson come and lie in the sun. Later on Roulette comes in and sits in the window, and eventually moves over to lie on the table. Sometimes Sadie or Jackson lies there, too. And Rou and Sadie each come over to get attention from me at some point in the afternoon. I think they enjoy having something different happen at home.

The other little perk is that I’m driving in one less day per week, which with my biking twice-a-week schedule means I’m only looking for a parking spot twice a week. Not bad. Though I do drive a chunk of the way there to get comics. But you can’t have everything. I do save some commute time, too.

I definitely don’t feel like, “gee, I should’ve done this years ago”, but it’s nice to have the option, and the quality time with the cats has been fun. Plus I get to play my music and podcasts without wearing headphones. So, on balance it’s been a win.