Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the pros and cons of working (mostly) at home

my wonderful new job is in norway. i live in denmark. so, i've made an arrangement whereby i work most of the time from home and only "commute" to oslo to spend a few days every other week (tho' that's fast becoming every week). thanks to the miracles of modern technology (secureID, smart phones, VPN connections and the ubiquity of broadband), this works pretty well.

the pros of working at home:
  1. no one interrupts me
  2. i have time to make sabin's lunch "pakse" in the morning
  3. i get to drop off sabin at school every morning, right before school starts, instead of an hour before like we used to
  4. i can wear pajamas most of the day
  5. i don't have that panicked feeling on sunday evening if the laundry isn't done
  6. i'm home when the mailman comes to deliver packages
  7. i can play the same 4 songs 600 times in a row if i want to and no one complains
  8. time and peace to think and to concentrate
  9. i can pick up sabin mid-afternoon so she doesn't have too long a day
  10. i get to make dinner on a daily basis
  11. i enjoy being by myself
  12. i have created a lovely, pleasant, inspiring space upstairs in which to work
  13. i'm never far from my juicer
  14. since i am a night owl, i can work into the wee hours and not have to worry about getting up and getting ready for work in the morning
  15. i can drink 2 giant pots of fragrant, hot chai all by myself and not have to share
  16. small time-outs during which i (perhaps a tad obsessively) carve erasers into stamps

cons to working at home:

  1. no one interrupts me
  2. wearing pajamas all day is a bit embarrassing when the mailman comes to the door at 1 p.m.
  3. i actually sit and work for too long without a break because there are no interruptions
  4. if there's IT trouble, there's no IT guy to call (thus i have to just tell myself to restart the computer and see if that helps)
  5. if i have something i need to discuss, i either have to wait til i go to norway or call someone (and i hate calling people, except for a very few "phone friends" that i can while away hours talking to on the phone)
  6. no one to bounce ideas off of
  7. i pounce on husband when he comes home, telling him all of the things i've been thinking of all day (this can be a bit annoying for him)
  8. distractions (like those erasers just sitting there, waiting to be carved into stamps)
  9. the smart phone is ugly, ugly, ugly
  10. not enough interaction with other adult people

but, largely, it feels luxurious and very nearly decadent to have a great job and be able to work most of the time at home, thereby getting much more time with my family. and that the job involves traveling is great too, so when i'm not home, i'm going somewhere fun--like oslo or singapore or manila or marseille. so, i can't really complain. and looking at the list above, there are more pros than cons.


Relyn Lawson said...

I dropped by after your kind comment and really enjoyed your two recent posts. I can certainly relate to your Monday morning ponderings. I decided that this post would be where I commented, though, because I love your lists.

I don't know your story, but it seems to me that you needed a work change and were brave enough to make it. Now you are in a situation with more good than bad, and I say, "Yeah you!"

I know you will always treasure your extra time with Sabin. And your travels - lucky you! Best of luck.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

The only part of 'Robinson Crusoe' I've read is where Crusoe weighs up the pros and cons of being on the island, and it changes his entire perspective on his situation. He laments he is singled out to be on the island, and yet singled out and spared from death, and so they balance.
I definitely see balance in your days, and because not everything will be perfect all the time, it's so very important to do that. This was lovely.

julochka said...

relyn--thank you for stopping by. you're right that i recently switched jobs and i'm a little obsessed with pondering it. i guess that's how i'm processing it. and yo're also right that i treasure my extra time with Sabin. and so does she.

theelementary--that's exactly what it was about..not so much changing my perspective as assessing it...and finding balance. balance is exactly what i was lacking previously, so i think it's especially important to me.

Danielle said...

Your pros and cons lists are spot on!

When working at home with no adult interaction then my partner comes home.....o the amount of thoughts I have in a day might cause me to be single. Or given the shush look.