This summer it will be ten years since I worked full-time in a corporate office.
TEN YEARS!!?! HOW did that happen....??
Well.... I know how that happened.
I had a baby.
And then another.
And then we moved to America.
And then back.
(You can 'read all about it' ;-) here...)
And here I am, fast approaching ten years since I first left my job, and nine years since starting down this road as a 'mumpreneur'. And with that has come a lot more of working from home. I was very lucky when I was working full time that I was actually able to work from home quite a lot and I actually think that any forward-looking company should let their employees work from home some of the time.
I could wax lyrical on my internal self-analysis about how I feel about this mumpreneur journey I've been on, but that's for another blog (if you and I can bear it ;-))
But today, I just wanted to get down a few thoughts about the pros and the cons, the pluses and minuses about working from home.
Let's be positive and start with the benefits....
- More relaxed, comfortable work space
- Often quieter - more able to think and focus, and/or not worry about disturbing people when you're on calls
- No commute - no walk to the station, no packed trains, no delayed or cancelled trains, no long drive stuck in traffic
- Choice of food from your own kitchen
- Can multi-task - put the washing on and let it wash while you're on your conference call; hang it out while the kettle is boiling for a cuppa
- You can get a bit more on top of the house work and house admin in the the five minute breaks you take between tasks.
- Sitting out in the garden in the sunshine at lunch-time
- Working for myself I can be very flexible and have been very present in my girls' lives as they've been growing up - I can volunteer to help at the school, I can cook for them every night, I can host play dates, and I can go to a yoga class in the day time, or the see the physio without having to worry about how long I'll be.
- Can be incredibly lonely - I must admit I am OVERLY chatting to any delivery person who comes to our door ;-) I used to love lunch-times at the office, building up real long-lasting friendships
- The pull of home life can be distracting to focussing on work - 'I'll JUST do this first, oh I'll JUST do that'
- Especially when you're working for yourself, the pull of parenthood means you can sacrifice your work time for chores, such as cooking and cleaning, which if you were in an office you just wouldn't be able to do
- No opportunity to 'look smart' and fully feel 'a professional at work' in large, smart, offices; to just feel detached from your dual-role as 'home-maker'; to feel like an individual, not a mum or wife
- Starting work can feel like heading into an office that's had an office party the night before and still has all the debris of used plates and dirty cups everywhere - no wonder it's sometimes hard to focus! ;-)
- If you don't tidy up / squeeze in a few chores you feel guilty for not having done so, even though if you were working out of the house, you wouldn't.
I have to admit that even now, I'm not fully bedded into life fully working from home. It has such great perks. I'm sure I would find it hard to go back to full-time working in an office.
But there are times when I do wish I could be squished on to that train with a million other people, clutching my laptop bag and my coffee (in my reusable cup of course ;-)) getting lost in the anonymity of work, heading into a smart, professional office that had been cleaned by someone else over night, ready to forget all the pulls of home, and start work.
I'm sure after a week, I'd be fed up with smelling someone else's armpit and constantly hauling a*se across town. But for now, while I enjoy a cup of tea looking out over my lovely back garden with it's super green lawn, I'll ponder as to whether the grass really is greener.....
As always, with my love from our family to yours,