I have worked from home, off and on, for several years now. While there are things I miss about having a job, like income security, a pension, benefits and colleagues, there are days when I feel incredibly lucky to be working from home. So, here are the seven things I love about working from home:
1. The Flexible Hours: I love being able to sleep in when I have slept poorly. I usually don’t sleep beyond 8:00 am but sleeping until 8:00 can do wonders when I have been up half the night with insomnia. That extra hour of sleep can make a world of difference when it comes to productivity and perspective on life.
2. The Work Schedule: I love working to my own natural schedule. I usually work 9:00 to 5:00 to keep my life aligned with my family and the rest of the working world, but I love that I can work, and get credit for it, when I feel inspired. I have done some of my best writing in the middle of the night and I often get a second wind around 4:30 in the afternoon. When I was working in an office with a commute between me and my family, I often had to leave work just when my creative juices were just starting to peak.
3. The Office Assets: I am very disciplined about work. I usually work at least 35 hours per week and will work much longer hours when I am working to deadline, but I love that I can take an hour off when my energy is flagging to run an errand, watch an episode of The West Wing, or hang out in my garden. That kind of break leaves me mentally refreshed and ready for another few hours of work.
4. The Slow Mornings: I have never been a morning person. When I had a “job” to commute to, I would sleep in as long as possible, then dash out the door with no breakfast, and buy a coffee en route to work. Now that my office is 10 seconds from my bed, I can read the paper while I drink my coffee, walk the dog in the conservation area, and still be at my desk by 9:00 am. How cool is that?
5. The Commute: Like many people today, I have spent far too much of my life commuting to and from work; 90 minutes a day by car for 3 years for my last
“job” and 3 hours a day by train for 6 years when I worked for in Toronto. Commuting is exhausting, it is stressful, and it is a time-stealer. When I was commuting on a regular basis, I did not have the time or energy for anything when I got home. With my 10 second commute, I have time to cook meals, garden, exercise and relax with my family.
6. The Family-Oriented Workplace: Over the years, I have discovered that my kids will tell me things about their days when they first come home from school that they would never tell me about at dinner time. They have come home from school with: complaints about a teacher; the details of the latest drama between the girls at school; excitement about a good mark on a math test; and anxiety about the latest assignment. While I have found these “sharings” distracting at times, and downright annoying at other times, I have loved knowing what is going on in my kids’ lives over the years.
7. The Dress Code: I love the dress code. While I made, and for the most part keep, a commitment to myself to wash and dress before sitting down to work, I never wear dress clothes, I seldom wear make-up, and I have been known to work in sweat pants and a t-shirt while I work. I have a few power outfits that I save for meetings and presentations outside my home office but that is it. This one scores for comfort and financial savings.