20 August 2011

Working from Home

I've been working from home since the beginning of April. When I made the transition from full-time to part-time, my work was very accommodating but did set forth a couple of expectations.

One is that I still have to go into the office two days per week. I'm actually really glad they require me to do that. For one thing, it gets me out of the house and around adults very consistently. I find that on my at-home days I really do miss adult interaction, and I miss my co-workers whom I quite like. I have a few very good buddies at work, and I'm glad that I still get to see them consistently. Plus, Ike really loves to hang out with the baby-sitter and her kid on those days.

The other plus-side of going to work is that people don't forget about me, which means I always have enough work to do. The only way for me to be able to research for a client is to have somebody else give me client work to do. (I don't have any of my own clients because of my job position.) Going in regularly allows me to communicate better with the case managers about how hefty my case load is, when I'll have certain things finished, and how much work I need. The truth of the matter is that the case managers have a hard time keeping track of who needs work, so being in their presence keeps me closer to the forefront of their minds.

The second stipulation is that I must work twenty hours per week. By going in to the office twice per week I come pretty close to that mark. I usually don't have any problem hitting my twenty hours and have occasionally hit closer to thirty.

As I've been working from home I've developed a few things that really make my work-from-home days more successful. I don't always do all of these things every day, but I find that when I do them I can get a lot more accomplished:
  • Eat breakfast. Also eat a real lunch.
  • Don't go back to sleep during Ike's first nap. (This one entirely depends on the night before.)
  • Wear real clothes. I don't dress up for work - usually jeans and a medium-nice top - so what I wear to the office is what I wear at home as well.
  • Do make-up. I just feel better about myself when I am looking decent.
  • Make a to-do list every day of cases I'll be working on and things I need to finish in that day.
  • Spend Ike's awake time interacting with him as much as possible. Use his nap times to work and his independent play-times to get housework done.
  • Keep the desk and work area tidy. (Everyone can have a good laugh now. Papers, papers everywhere!)
  • Keep in communication with co-workers about major projects, change in protocol, etc. (You would be surprised at how much I miss by only being in the office twice per week.)
Anyone else have tips for working from home?

1 comment:

Packrat said...

"Papers, papers everywhere!" Yes, and not a piece to write a note on. LOL

Another hint: Tell as few people as possible that you work at home. If someone asks, just tell him/her that you work and take Ike to a babysitter. People think that if you are home, what you are doing isn't important. Yes, there is some flexibility, but... I used to get so frustrated with those who thought that they could just drop in whenever they felt like it. (I've actually made one friend mad at me, because I'm always busy.)