Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Working From Home

In early March, at the same time my girls' school went to remote learning, my workplace went remote. I thought it was great at the time, and for the most part my enthusiasm is undimmed 9 months later. 

I had actually asked to work from home before that (I started working for the company in September of 2019 and probably first asked around December or January). But my manager at the time felt that working from home was a privilege that needed to be earned. I'm a software developer, so the work certainly could be done from home. In fact, everyone on the team that I worked on worked from somewhere other than my location, so my only interaction with them was email or Skype. This was even true of my manager. 

So I was glad to have the opportunity to work from home when it became mandatory. It was also good timing, since we'd discovered that my mom was in the early stages of dementia and she came to live with us. Caring for her would have been a lot harder if my wife and I were going to work every day! 

But, of course, working from home is a lot different when the whole family's home than it is when just one person is working from home. My wife saw a meme the other day: "2020 is the year we realized we had too many children." While we're not ready to give any of ours up for adoption, it's definitely true that all of us being confined together these last months hasn't been easy. Children are a lot more managable when they spend all day at school and you spend all day at work and then you see each other in the evening, put them to bed, and see them again in the morning. As opposed to never not seeing them. 

From September until Thanksgiving, my wife and girls were back at school, so a couple of those months it was just me and Mom home during the day, and then after she moved into assisted living,it's just been me. 

Anyway, here are things I appreciate about working from home:

1) no commute! While there is something kind of nice about the alone time you get in the car, I don't really miss commuting a half hour each way through Cleveland traffic. We hardly spend money on gas and it really minimizes the opportunities to get into fender-benders (which happened to me once during the 7 months I was commuting

2) Along with 1), I don't have to get up so early, or if I do more of that time can be "me time." Over the summer I could get up and go for a run or walk. Even now, having to get the girls up and going for school, it's still better than having to do all that and commute to work. 

3) Exercise during the day. With the commute and kids in school, I was never able to go to the gym, except occasionally on weekends (rarely). Now I fit in "micro workouts" during the day. I've put together a small home gym setup, and I can just do a set between meetings or whatever, spread out throughout the day. So instead of having to set aside an hour or more to work out, I'm getting exercise in every day without really even noticing it, in terms of the time it takes.

4) Not packing a lunch: I go to the fridge and there it is

5) No guilt over leaving the dog(s) alone all day, because they're not alone. 

6) Easy to slip in some light housework between meetings: throw in a load of laundry, fold during a meeting; throw dishes in the dishwasher or pick a few things up. In the office, I'd be going for a walk, either inside or outside, to get up and stretch. At home, I can get up and stretch by getting a little something done. 

7) Packages don't sit on the porch all day, at the mercy of porch pirates. 

And the things that I actually do miss:

1) My work friends, and playing ping pong with the same on our lunch break

2) Someone else making and paying for the coffee

3) My little Funko Pop Freddie Mercury that I got for Christmas last year--he got stranded at the office! 

4) Every so often going out for lunch. 


  1. After our office opened up again last October, I made one trip to pick up my toys. Now Bob the Minion is next to me again and all is well -- especially since the office shut down again.

  2. Working from home definitely has its perks. It was so nice when my husband was working from home (and it saved us a ton of money too.)