Home > Articles > Management & Leadership

  • Print
  • + Share This

Java Jolts

Whether you've decided to do a home office fulltime, halftime or sometime, another question you need to ask yourself is what working from home means to you? What kinds of time sacrifices are you willing to make? Does being home with your children mean you are willing to work at night? What does working from home do to your social schedule, entertaining, or what you call "your time"? If you're not a night owl by nature, can coffee or exercise help you adjust your body clock? Are you willing to work at night?

Just as in a corporate office, time management might mean having to attend a meeting instead of getting in a few hours on a pressing project, working from home necessitates flexibility. It helps you feel less frustrated by these kinds of sacrifices if you can remember times when a long-winded supervisor kept everyone in a meeting or the office gossip trapped you in the hallway to discuss the latest scuttlebutt. Time is managed—and wasted—in both corporate and home offices. Personally, we'd rather "waste" time having a chocolate chip cookie and story time break than another meeting with 10 colleagues talking and no one truly listening . . . and nothing productive really getting done besides griping.

Perhaps the home office is a way for you to exercise at a certain time each day, or to schedule a tee-time at the golf course. Maybe it lets you pursue an avocation. If so, see how time sacrifices here and there can help you achieve those goals. Remember to think outside the box as far as time goes. You may be surprised that many little chunks of time can actually add up to a true 40-hour workweek. Jessica Stasinos, an indexer and publishing professional, works during her son's nap time and late at night. It adds up to over a 30-hour week but is broken up entirely and never in one fell swoop. "I made this decision," she says, "and I budget my time accordingly."

Telecommuters vocally reminded us during the writing of the book that sometimes they don't have such choices. They may need to be in a home office for very specific hours corresponding to those employees in the office. However, even in cases where hours must conform to an office, having access to your files, computer, and so forth at night and in the early morning may allow windows of more relaxed time during the day. In any case, examine your motives for working from home and know that sometimes the best-laid plans go awry. When that happens, there's always caffeine and working 'til midnight. As one telecommuter recently told us, "I had planned to work this evening, but my husband had to stay late at the law office, leaving me to do bedtimes and bath. I'll be working late. Bring on the coffee."

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account