Thursday, February 19, 2015

Home Office

The view from my work desk has change dramatically.  Last month I quit one of my part-time jobs (The "real" job that had an actual office with a desk and my own phone line) and opted to make a go of it with just one-part time job.  (Well, really still two jobs because I'm still a mom.  Or maybe three because I'm also a wife. But that's another post...)  This decision did not come lightly as I did have to give up some income and a few benefits and perks that came with the real job.  Adios, dental and vision insurance.  Goodbye, employer contribution to my retirement account.  So long, little office with big windows where I could watch the wild turkeys stroll by.

I am now officially a "Work at Home Professional"!  My job now is actually a contractor gig, which means I work for myself.  I provide my own office.  I make my own coffee.  And I go to work in my pajamas.  Well, not really.  My son is still in preschool, which means I actually have to get out of the car when I drop him off at school.  So most days, I actually do get dressed.  It might be yoga pants and flip flops, but it is not the clothing I slept in.  Therefore I call it dressed. 

I have to say, for the most part I really love working at home.  I have my own little office (aka the guest room, the storage room, or the treadmill/work out room, depending on the time of day), I make my own hours and have the flexibility to pick up my kids from school every day and/or take a quick trip to Macy's when the mood hits.  The dress code is relaxed.  The commute is a breeze.  And, I must say, my boss is awesome.

Perhaps the trickiest part of working from home is my new coworker.  My husband also happens to be a tele-commuter, so we share this home/office arrangement.  Every.  Day.  He has actually been working at home for quite some time, so he's well entrenched in the pajama dress code and other home office norms.  He likes working from home because he can focus, get more work done, and not get sucked into 30-minute political discussions at the water cooler.

Here is the irony.  My husband spends a LOT of time trying to suck me into 30-minute discussions about anything.  He'll grab a cup of coffee, stroll into my office and ask me what I'm doing....and then SIT DOWN as if to listen to my long, detailed explanation about what type of work I am performing at that very moment.  He'll send me text messages from the other room about a funny article he read online.  He'll come into my office/guest room/gym and lie down on the bed to watch me work or just "hang out".

It drives.  Me.  Nuts.

Truth is, working at home doesn't mean I have more time to sit around and shoot the breeze.  It means I have to prioritize and get stuff done.  If I want to volunteer in my daughter's classroom every Friday, I have to get work done on Thursday.  If I want to have time to shuttle kids to doctors appointments on Wednesday afternoon, I have to get work done on Wednesday morning. You get the picture. I think the problem is my husband doesn't really mind staying up until midnight to get his work done.  He has a more flexible attitude about when he works.  I, on the other hand, prefer to clock out in the mid-afternoon and not return to my office/guest/gym for more work in the evening hours.  So, my work time is WORK TIME.  Leave me alone.  Thankyouverymuch.

Like any new job, it takes a while to get adjusted to your new coworkers and office politics.  In spite of his loitering and occasional harassment, I do enjoy being home with my husband.  I'm confident we will be good coworkers and develop a happy working relationship.  At least I hope so.  Because I haven't yet found the HR department around here.

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