Thursday 23 September 2010

Experiments with Working from Home

Today was a new experience for me as I tried working from home. I had been given permission from my line manager and was keen to give it a try (on moving to a new office, our organisation found that there were not enough desks and working from home suddenly became the next great idea – plus our management are particularly partial to working from home so could not really say no to me).

I asked ICT to sort out my access from home and my brother-in-law kindly furnished me with a new laptop as my home computer regularly crashes and loses all of my work and documents. I took the laptop in for the ICT people to check the connection so that I didn’t find myself stuck at home with no access the next day meaning I would have to go into work. I also made sure I had something specific to do which I could do in one day to show for the time I worked from home.

It was nice, on the day, to wake an hour later in time to get the kids ready for school and drop them off to school (although seeing me at home, they were convinced it must be the weekend). Once I got back, it took me a while to get settled in. At work I have the bulk of my work done by 10am as I am a morning person. At home, I had just started by 10am so I had missed out on my most productive time period.

It also took me time to get comfortable with moving between my bedroom, computer table and the living room floor. The other thing that distracted me was the other people in the house and things that I needed to do at home. I felt inclined to hoover and cook lunch for my in-laws. This being the case I found I had to be very disciplined and manage my time so that anything I wanted to do had to wait until the hour i allocated for lunch.

I was lucky that my husband and in-laws were supportive and felt that I was at work and shouldn’t be bothered with lunch or disturbed. In other words, my day was treated as work time even though I was at home. Many women may find that because they are at home the people around them feel that they should get on with home-related tasks. Most likely we ourselves, myself included, feel that we should be doing domestic tasks when we are at home. Either way we have to weigh up how much work we are likely to get done.

Something else that was lovely, was being able to pick up my youngest from nursery at midday. It was good to talk to his teacher and ask how things are (I got a frown and “he’s very chatty”) and it was nice to feed him (your never quite happy when someone else does it and my kids always embarrass their gran by behaving as if she has been starving them). It was handy that he napped through the afternoon and I got the rest of my work done before I picked the older two children up from school.

In all, it was a good experience, but one that requires discipline and preparation. I also found that I had to concentrate a lot harder to be as productive as I can be at the office and I will need to get better at getting more done from home. I’m glad to have tried working from home though and will ask to be able to do it regularly as it means more flexibility for my husband, who works around me, and more time with my children insh’Allah.

1 comment:

  1. hahaha, thats teacher talk for 'he's a lively one!'