Our company goes by the Federal Government when it comes to weather-related closures and delays. Today they announced a two hour delay due to some icy conditions. In addition to the two hour delay, employees have the option for “unscheduled telework.”
I have been telecommuting since my daughter was born seventeen years ago. At the time she was born, I had planned to come back to work part time. My forward-thinking boss asked if I might be willing to continue on a fulltime basis, but telecommute half of the week. I jumped at the chance to give it a try. When Allie was an infant, it was easy to squeeze in eight hours of work. As she got older and slept less, I would set my alarm for 5 am in order to get a few hours work in before she woke up, and I would work during naptimes and after she went down for the night. I’m not sure I was establishing a work/life balance. It was a really stressful time. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat because I got to spend that important time with her.
I still enjoy working from home as much as my schedule and new boss will allow – at least one day a week. I honestly get more done at home, plus I find it’s very helpful for keeping up with the laundry. I’ve been doing this long enough that I have disciplined myself not to clean the house on the days I work from home. (That’s really not difficult.) I have also created little rules, like I can’t have my first cup of coffee until I’ve answered five emails, and if I need to run an errand, I do so at lunch time.
I love that I don’t have to sit in traffic on the days I work from home. Despite the fact that I leave for the office at 7 a.m., there is still a fair amount of traffic at that hour, and the ride home is consistently worse. My dog loves telecommuting because it means his morning walk, a tad longer on these days, can wait until the sun is actually up. And he general spends the day right by my side. He is by far the sweetest co-worker I’ve ever had.
On nice days, I find the wi-fi is adequate for working on the front porch; however, when I work there, I run the risk of drop-in visits from the neighbors – the telecommuting equivalent of the office water cooler.
I think my favorite part of telework is the dress code. I can work in my pajamas for hours. And when I finally do shower and get dressed, it’s a much more leisurely routine. No make-up is applied and elastic waistbands are the norm. I wear my slippers all day. I sure do love “unscheduled telework!”