Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What is it like to Work from Home?

It has been about 7 months since I started my new position and have started working from home. I had a bunch of preconceived ideas about what working from home would look like and I always get asked some of the same questions I had thought about when I considered a work from home position. I figured I'd open it up and tell a little about my day-to-day and some of the realities of working from home.

Working from Home FAQs:

Q: "Don't you get distracted? I could never work from home because I would be doing laundry, watching TV, cooking dinner, etc.!"

A: Some days are certainly harder than others, but I am generally so busy that getting distracted isn't really a problem. I am sure it also helps if you like what you are doing. I also have enough work that if I do have an off day, I pay for it working late nights and early mornings to get caught up. A few months in you will get into a schedule that works best for you and if you want to contain your working hours to daytime- then you will easily be able to tune out any potential distractions.

Q: "Do you get to work whenever you want? I would work all sorts of crazy hours if I got to pick my schedule."

A: I certainly have a lot of flexibility with my schedule, but when you work in a customer/client facing role- you need to maintain hours that make you available to your customers during their hours. I do work some varied hours, but that is more to make sure I am staying on top of everything, but if I want to get a little later start than normal, then I just plan to work a bit later in the evening to make sure I get everything done.

Q: " Don't you get bored and lonely? I would miss working with people."

A: It is a bit strange sometimes. I've only met my co-workers a handful of times, and my manager and I have had to build our relationship through phone calls. That being said, I really enjoy the interactions I do get to have with people I work with and it is critical that you take advantage of ways to stay connected. Make sure you learn about people on a personal level, and pick up the phone for some of those items that could be done through email, but those interactions go a long ways. On the getting lonely piece. Nope, not at all. I talk to people all day long, and my productivity has gone through the roof now that I get to control when I talk to people and in what medium. Overall, this hasn't been an issue, but I do know I have to put in some effort to grow those relationships a bit more than if I were in a traditional office.

Q: "Do you go to coffee shops and work from there?"

A: 99% of the time I am camped up at my desk that I've dedicated for work purposes. Training myself to know that when I am sitting at that desk, I am focusing on work helps me distinguish between work time, and home time. Depending on your job, I am sure you could work from a coffee shop fairly effectively. My position requires a lot of phone time, and I don't think to have to talk over the background noise. 

There is my stab at some of the questions I get! I am sure I will continue to hear and think of others that I will share. If you have a question- leave it in the comments or email me and I will do my best to answer your work from home questions! 

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