I think I’ve worked from home four times in the past 4 years. For part of the time, I really didn’t have the type of job that worked well with remote work. I was in crisis management – well, communications management, but it felt like we always had a crisis. It’s the type of work where walking around and sitting in someone’s office until they did what you really really wanted.
My current job, which I’ve been in for 2.5 years, lends itself a lot better to the occasional work from home opportunity. About 60% of my job is meetings that I either host or am invited to. However, due to our incredibly lovely flex time commitment for our staff, it can be really difficult to schedule a meeting on a Monday or Friday. Which means that I occasionally have a day that has no planned interactions with other humans at all. Or, as I refer to it, heaven. Unless I’m in the office, when I refer to it as “the endless suck of people popping in to ask me for something”.
Today was a day with no planned meetings. I noticed this aberration on Thursday and immediately booked it as an out of office day. Why? Cause I have a lot of paperwork to do, people. HR paperwork. The type of paperwork that managers bitch and complain about because we know we have to do something and there’s a deadline but it’s not our deadline and… You know what I’m talking about, right? Sadly, I’m actually responsible for most of the programs that create that paperwork. Seriously. I need to fix that.
Anyway, I worked from home today and you know what? One of the best work days of my recent career. First, I wore jeans and a tshirt and a hoodie. Then I sat down to work at my regular time (around 7:40am). Not only did I get a lot done, I communicated with my network rather extensively and urgently by phone about a thing, and I did so in front of a giant window overlooking my incredibly weedy back yard. Considering I normally have a window that’s tinted a medium blue shade through which it’s difficult to tell if it’s sunny or overcast, this was heaven. Considering I’m moving to a building in the middle of January where I will have no access to a window, this may be the only thing that keeps my sanity.
Not only did I get a ton of work done, I also did my laundry. And during my lunch hour, I made muffins. And did I mention the natural light? Seriously. I actually have a doctor’s note requiring a window. The new building just doesn’t accommodate closed offices near windows. And when my work day ended around 4pm, I turned off my laptop, put it away, and had a short nap during the time when I would have commuted home. Seriously.
So, to recap:
- natural light
- jeans and a hoodie
- no commute
- nap after work
I know I can’t do this every day (see my note about the meetings), but I seriously am committing to do this more often. I feel way better than normal after a Monday. I feel … good.