What I love about working remotely
Like a lot of people when the pandemic hit in 2020 we were forced to leave the office and work remotely from our homes. This wasn’t my first time working remotely. Before I moved to Kentucky I worked remotely until my kids could finish up their school year and we could secure a new house.
Now that things seem to possibly be winding down two things are happening. Some companies are forcing their employees back into the office. And some are realizing that working remotely is going well and allowing them to stay remote, even if on a part-time basis.
The first time I worked remotely there were some things that frustrated me. One was the lack of decent high-speed internet at the house during that time. Also, there really wasn’t a space I could go and be away from my family when I needed uninterrupted time. But this time is different I have high-speed internet that is consistent and I have a large enough bedroom I was able to set up an office space and can close my door if needed.
At this point, I really enjoy working from home. There are so many pluses to why I want to stay remote. Here are some of the reasons I love working from home.
Getting a few things done during lunch
If you have kids then it is no secret that your time is to get things done around the house is limited. Trying to get a few chores may only happen if your spouse is watching the kids or if they are sleeping. But working from home I can get a few things done during my lunch.
Before my wife leaves for work she will throw a load of laundry in to start. And at lunch, I will grab them and throw them in the drier. Or if the laundry is done I will try and fold a basket or two during my lunch.
Typically my older kids take care of the dishes but even the kids are busy some nights so the dishes sit. If the dishes are piled up I will try and load the dishwasher and get that knocked out while I am waiting on my lunch to cook.
Eating lunch with your kids during the summer
Before the pandemic hit we would get a few chances to eat lunch or breakfast with my kids at school. Right now that isn’t really an option as they are trying to limit the number of external interactions within the community. But when the kids were virtual and during the summer I got to eat lunch with my kids every day. I cannot stress how important it is to sit down and have a meal with your family. During breakfast, everyone is in a rush or waking up at different times for this to happen. But adding in lunch as a time to connect is very powerful.
The other awesome thing about this is it lead to a new tradition with my boys. We are big Star Wars fans and in the middle of the boys being virtual the Mandalorian released. Every Friday that a new episode came out we would sit down and eat lunch and watch the Mandalorian. Now even though they are back in school we have continued that tradition, albeit we moved it to Friday night. I hope when summer hits we can start watching the new episodes again at lunchtime.
Having your pet by your side
I call my dog the laziest coworker ever. He is pretty good at letting me know when a rogue leaf flies by or if the neighbor’s cat happens to walk by the house. But other than that he can be found sleeping the day away on his nice comfy bed.
When working from home the perk of having your pet by your side all day is a huge stress reliever. You can take them for walks throughout the day and they don’t have to stay confined in a crate or room all day while you are at work.
Even now when we leave on the weekends he gets a little upset because we put him in his cage. But when we get home he is always super excited.
I live in a very rural part of the country. The traffic is very minimal but I still live about 15 minutes away from my office. That is time and money spent that I could never get back. Now that I don’t have to commute not only am I saving money on fuel I am using my time more wisely and getting more done.
If I need to log on earlier to get a jump on my day I can. If I need to take care of a bill before I start work I can do that and walk it out to the mailbox. Or if I want to sit and read my bible in peace for that 15 minutes I can do that also.
Not having a commute means fewer miles and wear and tear on my car also. For several months my car sat and didn’t move. If we left to go shopping we would just use my wife’s vehicle. This means I can go longer between vehicle purchases and save money again.
No pop-in office conversations
One of my biggest pet peeves when working in the office was pop-in conversations. This is where someone stops by your cubicle or office unannounced and starts with a work question. Then that work question turns into a 15-minute conversation that typically doesn’t have anything to do with work. Is it a horrible thing to have those conversations? No. But it is bad for your productivity, especially if it happens more than once a day.
As seen in this article at nexalearning.com workplace interruptions can have several negative effects on your productivity. When working remote people have to either call me or send me an instant message. I can’t avoid the calls but with instant messaging, I can at least ignore them until I am ready to take a break from my work.
Not having to worry about that 12 to 5 window
How many times have you been told by a service company that a repairman will show up between 12 and 5 pm? This is one of my biggest annoyances with service companies like cable or plumbers. If you work in an office that might mean you miss half a day of work to sit at home and wait for someone to show up. But if you are working from home you don’t have to worry about this anymore.
Same for deliveries. Our address is notoriously known for showing up wrong on google maps. And most delivery companies will deliver a package to the wrong house or will refuse to deliver it. And then you have to worry about porch pirates stealing your packages. But working from home I can get those packages and bring them inside immediately.
Views from my home office
In my office and many around the world, the view in the office is usually non-existent. You are lucky if you have a window in your office and even luckier if you sit close enough to see anything out of that window.
In my area where I work the only view I have is of other employees and cubicles. But at home, I have a nice big window where I can see the flowers blooming, the blue sky and a trampoline that when the kids are outside I can see them having fun. During the spring there is a crab apple tree that just lights up with white flowers when it is blooming and the goldenrod in the field next to my house is an amazing sight to see.
If I could continue to work remotely there is nothing stopping me (as long as I have internet) from going to the mountains and working somewhere with spectacular views.
Being home when your kids get home
One of my most favorite parts of working from home is I am there when the kids get home from school. My girls every day run into my office and give me a big hug. In fact, if I am in a meeting and they can’t come to see me they get very upset. And they let their momma know that they want their daddy.
This also saves money on after-school care. While I was working in the office we would have to pay for my son to ride the bus to an after-school program and then we would pick him up when we got done. Now he comes home and he can work on homework or play until I get done with work.
I spoke earlier about getting to eat lunch with your kids and spending a little time with them. But the biggest benefit is eating something a little healthier at lunch. When I worked at the office I would always bring in something that wasn’t the healthiest or the freshest because I had to pack it in a lunch box and it would sit half the day. But being home means I can pull fresh items out of the fridge and prepare something fresh.
And if I wasn’t eating a cold sandwich for lunch in the office someone was inviting me to go out to eat with them. And most places you eat lunch are fast food or pizza and not the healthiest of food for you to eat on a consistent basis.
Not missing work because of sick kids
Early in my career when working in the office if my kids got sick that usually meant missing a day for work. As technology advanced I could always work from home but before that, it always meant a day missed from work. When the kids are little you probably still won’t get a lot of work done. But when they get older and they can pretty much take care of themselves when they are sick you can still get a lot of work done.
Now some may argue that there is a negative for almost every positive I have given about working remotely. But to me, it is all perspective. Weigh the pros and cons and see what works for you and your family. And some people just do better in a work environment where they can interact with people face to face.
Right now if given the choice I think I would stay and work remotely. I probably would do some work on my house and order some things to make my home office a little more comfortable and functional. I still do work on a fold-up card table because this was all supposed to be “temporary”. But I like to look at the bright side. Because of this whole thing I have spent more time with my kids over the last year than ever.
Do you work from home? If so let us know how you feel about the prospect of working full time from home. Drop a comment or visit our Facebook page and join in the conversation.