Working at home

Every time I work at home, I make the same mistake: I forget to take breaks. I do not eat enough (not really a major loss for me) and I end up very stiff with my back hurting like hell from sitting in the same position for to long. I also often end up too cold as I am sitting still for so long.

On the other hand, it is nice not to be constantly interrupted and be able to get on and concentrate on some critical tasks.

My wife now gets up around 5.45am so she can go for a swim/gym session before she attends college. She also does it to avoid traffic. I would like to take the rare pleasure of lying in bed a while longer, but once I am awake, I start thinking about work and all the tasks I need to follow up on. That leads to the other problem with working at home: you don’t stop when you should even though you have started early.

I have fallen foul of the long hours culture, on client site Mon-Fri every week before. I promised myself not to do it anymore. I had lots of feedback that I was working myself and my teams too hard and working too many hours – for which you get no recognition or reward (getting the job done right is the goal). Fortunately, the project I am now on has a much more sensible setup not least because a bus service is provided between where I work and my work flat (or offsite car parks instead at the top and tail of the week) which forces you to leave the office at a sensible time. I still end up working in my flat (often too late) but not as much as I used to.

Most weeks, I now get to work from home on a Friday (something that I have not been able to do for years). This can be treated with some degree of flexibility providing you have put the work in earlier in the week (in the office or back at the flat/hotel). It is also a chance to catch up on some non-client stuff (e-learning, expenses, general career admin, etc.). The previous week I stayed over in my flat for the weekend and did a lot of extra work and, owing to a clash of parents’ evenings, I have had to work from home for the last couple of days. On site Wed-Fri this week, and if I don’t get done what I need to, will probably travel back Saturday. I have a fourish hour drive to/from my client’s site from home, so have to make sure I am not too tired for the drive. (Sadly, the trains are not practical for me.) The Friday at home option means I am now enjoying weekends at home properly again. I even get to go out with the family on Friday evenings sometimes.

Not sure how to fix things at home though. This is one of the downsides of telecommuting. People who work exclusively remotely learn of special ways to manage it (or die young).

Posted via email from kyber’s posterous

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