In a word, awesome.
Pros, off the top of my head:
Can sleep later because there’s no commuting
Can wear sweats and slippers all day
Available to accept deliveries
Scheduling repair persons or contractors is a snap
Can work in a coffee shop or anywhere quiet with Wifi
Hot, healthy lunches made in own kitchen
Easy to concentrate when others aren’t around
Able to get more done in the workday
Able to spend my day with my pets
Sure, it’s not for everyone. If you get your energy from being around other people, you’d probably feel isolated. I love being alone so it suits me very well. It’s so efficient to have a company that’s set up this way. Brilliant, even.
I worked in the journalism field for many years, but journalism is dying — in fact, it was on its way out when I was on my way into the field, before people even realized that the Internet would be the daily newspaper’s grim reaper.
But now, as a web content manager, I still get to work with words, punctuation, sentences and paragraphs, but rather than the words I write or edit ending up in newsprint or in the pages of a magazine, they’re solely on the web.
I feel grateful every day that I don’t have to work in public relations anymore, an ill-conceived choice I made in an attempt to evolve beyond journalism a couple years ago.
Despite the fact that this is truly a great gig, I find myself explaining my situation a lot and even defending it.
Nope, I don’t wear my PJs all day.
Yeah, I still have to take PTO even though I’m home all day.
No, it’s not freelancing — it’s a normal, full-time job with benefits and all that jazz.
No, I’m not afraid I’ll be forced to go into the office every day eventually because there’s no office — it’s a virtual company and everyone works from home.
No, I don’t have unlimited free time during the work day to do random stuff.
No, this isn’t some fly-by-night company. It’s been around for 12 years and it’s been on the list of the top 100 fastest growing companies in Philly. We’re creating new positions all the time!
I have an office area set up in our basement, which is finished, and I rarely sit at my desk when I’m not working, so it’s my established workplace. (Even sitting here now, on a Sunday, it feels weird.) I have deadlines all through the day, so if I had to go somewhere, like a long lunch or shopping for a belt for a relative (wtf) I’d have to spend a day or two working ahead to carve out that time that I’d be away from my desk. I’d also have to let my coworkers know I had to go somewhere.
But, I mean, I get it. Most people work in the traditional workplace and don’t know what this kind of setup is like.
I get up, go to the gym (um, like only twice a week; three or four if I’m feeling really motivated) and I’m signed in between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Since my work is so deadline-driven and I’m racing against the clock every day, I’ve had to find ways to maximize my time.
One method that’s worked well is an app called Phocus, which is pretty much a timer. It helps me stay, well, focused. I use it every day. I end my day when Mike texts me that he’s on his way home, anytime between 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Do any of you work from home? What’s your experience been like?
P.S. Private bathroom!