Thursday, 22 January 2015

Working from Home - the reality.

To some, "working from home" sounds idyllic or perhaps just plain cushy. No more commuting to work, no more dressing in clothes you wouldn't normally be seen dead in, no more chained to your desk till lunch time, no more irritating colleagues and most importantly, no more distractions.

Well, most of us work-at-homers can probably tell you, it ain't like that. Here's a little touch of reality-

Hint - it's not like this. 

Deliveries - your spouse forgets to tell you (till the night before) that a very important FedEx/parcel is coming next day. The window of delivery? 8am-1pm, or 1pm till 6pm. Oh great, 'cause of course you have no kids to get to school, no errands (read "food buying") to run, no Post Office visit to make. Nothing like that. Though you'd love not to have to leave the house, the reality is you sometimes have to. (Hint - a one-time missed delivery usually does the trick. Spouses, if they can, arrange to have stuff sent to work thereafter.)

Workmen - ditto hanging around for workmen to show up. And if they have to come more than once, they seem to know you're in a lot and they start showing up at whatever-the-heck o'clock.

Being asked to do stuff - word gets round very quickly that you're at home, which often also translates to watching other people's children, for a little while, in an emergency, a one-time only thing. Thank you so much. Similarly, when the school is looking for volunteers (of which I do a lot), working from home, for some reason, also seems to mean "doesn't have much to do".

Technical problems - when you work in an office, there's usually someone around to fix the technical stuff (unless that's your actual job). At home - it's up to you and nothing gets done till the problem is fixed. And sometimes it can take hours out of your day.

Me, this morning -

  • go to retrieve a file, which is stored on our home server. (Don't ask me why we have a home server.) 
  • Laptop isn't "talking" to the server, so can't access the file. 
  • Switch server off, wait five minutes, clean up kitchen, switch server back on. 
  • Still nothing. 
  • Power down laptop, switch off server. Feed dog. Switch both back on. 
  • Can see server on "devices" but can't connect. 
  • Restart laptop. Eat apple while letting it "warm up". 
  • Still can't get to document. 
  • Hit upon fabulous idea of finding the last e-mail I attached it to, download document to my desktop. 
  • Voila. (Now all I need to remember is that I'm now making changes on my desktop version.) 

And don't get me started on all the distractions..... 


  1. As much as I like the "thought" of working from home I don't think I could deal with all that.

  2. I'm sitting here in my robe and slippers, drinking a cup of coffee. I can do this because I work from home. That said, your post reminds me that I have a delivery due today (between 8AM and 1PM) and past experience assures me that it will arrive just as I step into the shower, so I'd better hop to and make myself presentable.
    And then, of course, do some work.

  3. Oh I feel your pain! I love working from home, but having no one to help me when my lap top plays up can be very frustrating. ..I've also found I'm putting on weight thanks to the proximity of the biscuit tin and the fact that I don't walk around as much as I did in an office. However I still prefer it this way. I love being in charge of my hours and not having any office politics to deal with is gold. Unless I start getting political with myself. ...

  4. I know what you mean about the deliveries (and workmen). It would also be nice to have an IT department on hand (instead of husband on the end of the phone having to second guess why the wi-fi has gone down)).

    But I also wouldn't swap it for an office at this particular stage in my life. I can concentrate much harder at home, can grab a cup of tea without having to make one for the whole office, and can keep on top of the neverending laundry basket....

  5. You've just described my life. And now my husband works from home there's two of us scheduling each other into being at home long windows for washer drier drop off

  6. This is so true! Ever since I started to work from home, my mom only asked me twice if I am going to find a "real job" soon!


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