Back from my West Coast support and done with La Grande Tour, I am not settling into a period of time where I am spending a majority of my time at home. Don’t worry, it won’t last … and kinda hasn’t. I’ve been in and out of Hartford last week and this week, and am just a few weeks away from 10 days in England; which then I get punished by nearly non-stop work in plants around New England. But that’s so not the point I am trying to get to.
When I am home, I work from home. If you have never done it, I don’t know if I can recommend it or tell you to run away from it. Working from home has a strange mix of things that are great and things that aren’t. The most obvious one is the hours. I usually have about nine hours a day of work to do, whether it be calls, webinars, e-mails, or just working projects. That nine hours is typically spread over thirteen hours in the day. I usually get up, check the e-mails, respond to some, figure out a plan, then take a break for breakfast and a coffee (and maybe an episode or two of cartoons … I am kinda partial to We Bare Bears, go figure). Then I settle in and work through some of the pressing issues and ‘deal with the east coast’. That typically clears up by lunchtime .. when I take lunch .. and a shower (this is probably the point to make note I am still wearing what I wore to bed last night). After that, and maybe an episode or two of more cartoons (or Game of Thrones, if it’s a Monday and there was a hockey game). The afternoon has three routes. One – if the west coast has something to deal with, and now is the time to deal with them. Two – I pack up and head to a coffee shop (or if I skipped lunch something like that) to bang out a fair bit of computer time on a project. Three – get some errand done that are easier when the rest of Boston is at work. Finish that up, and I am back at home and then the day seems to go in multiple different ways. Like I said, there is usually 9 hours a work in the day, and if that isn’t done – guess who has to get back to work. I’ve been known to work late just to get the stuff done that needs to get done (late meaning, second or third period of the hockey game … it is playoff season). But then again, if I start early and my plate is clean early, I am spying that bottle of wine calling my name somewhere around 4PM.
The point being, when you work at home, it’s not like you are ‘working’ and you are ‘at home’. My home is really my place of work.
Yes it means everyday is ‘bring your dog to work day’. Yes it means ‘casual Fridays’ is ‘casual every day of the week’ … and ‘casual’ is slightly gross. It’s just that the work day never starts and never ends, it just always is.
I can tell you, that frame of mine hasn’t helped my ‘work-life’ balance. When you spend all the hours of the day in some state of working, you tend not to look to do something outside of ‘work’. It’s quite possible that I can spend the whole day without leaving the condo – and while I had a screwed up knee a couple weeks back I didn’t leave it for nearly three days straight. While you are at it, who will you know to go with? My workmates are either somewhere else or … my dog. I feel less like a person freed of the office life, and more like a shut-in.
Of course, when I do go out, it can be misleading to those who see me. Shorts, t-shirt, days from the last shave, days from combing my hair … I look as much like someone who is homeless than anything (which makes when I ask for the $35 bottle of wine enough to raise eyebrows).
You could say I am just complaining about the good life. You could get on me that I spent so much time about traveling I should be happy to be home.
Well … no one said I wasn’t a complainer.