Monday, January 5, 2009

Working from Home

Many of you know that when I moved from Indy to Charlotte six months ago, I also moved from working in an office every day to working out of my house. I get lots of questions about working from home, and how it is different from office life. Most of the time I think that people just don't have a whole lot to talk about with me and they're just being nice, but anyway, I thought it would be helpful to create a work from home faq post. So I'm sorry if you were planning on pulling out the "How's working from home?" card next time you see me. I guess you'll have to stick to something like "How's Charlotte?" or something else. Here we go...

Q. What are the best parts of working from home?
A. There are several things here, so this answer will be longer than the others.

1. Less driving. When I worked in an office, I had about an hour commute. This meant two hours of my day were spent driving. That's 10 hours per week. 40 hours per month. 480 hours per year. Which works out to be 20 days out of a year that I spent in a car driving to work. I'm not sure how I'll spend those 20 days, but I can assure you that I'll be able to answer all questions about Law and Order, House, and any other show that USA decides to put on for days at a time. Oh, and it's probably better for the environment too. But that's probably offset by the 16-18 hours/day that the TV is on.

2. Decreased emphasis on hygiene. I guess some people (Kate) might see this as a downside of the WFH lifestyle, but it's my blog, so I'll put it in the positive column. Shaving is now a weekly activity, instead of every other day. I think I've had two haircuts since I moved. Oh, and I've gone entire weeks without wearing anything with pockets. Unless the kangaroo pouch on my hoodie counts. I don't consider that to be a pocket because things can fall out. So the look that I'm currently sporting is somewhere between Howard Hughes (without the peeing in bottles or creepy fingernails) and Ted Kaczynski (without the manifesto or bombs). Since I don't really like the character traits of either of those people, lets just go with a cross between Bob Ross and Tom Hanks in Castaway. Yeah, that sounds better.

3. More time for other stuff. Yeah, I know that this one is related to #1, but I think it deserves it's own section. I'm doing lots more cleaning and laundry in my spare time. Oh, and I can go to the grocery store when it isn't dark outside. This means it's pretty much just me and the retirees, and I can easily out-maneuver them to the front of the 10 items or less line.

Editor's Tangent: I really think that there's a better way to sell bananas than the bunch form that most grocery stores use. When you buy them as a bunch, they are either all ready to eat right now, or none of them are ready to eat right now. I don't want 5 bananas that are ready today, and I don't want 5 bananas that are ready five days from now. I want one banana ready today, another tomorrow, etc. I'd like to propose breaking up the bunches and placing the individual bananas into corresponding baskets based on their ripeness. There would be 5-6 baskets, labeled things like 'today,' 'tomorrow,' 'day after tomorrow,' etc. Each day, the grocery would just have to move the labels down by one slot. Oh, and the basket that is labeled 'today' today...if there are any left the next day, they will go into the basket labeled 'banana bread.' I've sketched out what this would look like (I even used colored pencils) but this is a graphic-free blog, so you'll just have to use this description and draw your own. If you own a grocery store and want to see my original sketches, just send me an email. 

Uh oh, Double Jeopardy just started and I've only made it through one FAQ. This means I only have 14 minutes of blogging time left, so I'll have to speed things up a bit. I just thought the banana thing was important enough to write, just in case Gilbert eats my sketch.

Q. Don't you miss working in an office?
A. Yeah, there is stuff that I miss. My company does lots of fun stuff during non work hours (happy hours, softball league, celebrity book club, etc) and I miss those types of things. Celebrity Book Club probably deserves its own post, but it's basically a bunch of people sitting around with copies of US Weekly and People discussing the Hollywood gossip of the week. So yeah, I miss that kind of stuff. And I have lots of good friends that still work in the office. You know who you are.

I also miss office drama. Most of the WFH crew would probably lie and say that they are happy that they don't have to deal with office politics and drama. That stuff is fantastic. In its place, I make up drama about strangers at the grocery store or dogs at the bark park. You know, stuff like "I heard that the Rottweiler got really pissed when the Dalmatian started humping the Pug." Or, "Crazy guy in Aisle 5 is just being nice to old lady in produce because he thinks that being nice to her will make her break up the bananas into daily bins." It just isn't the same as good old fashioned office gossip.

Q. Now that you're WFH, do you really watch TV all day?
A. No. The TV is on for 16-18 hours per day, but I'm not always watching it. Sometimes I'm just listening to it. Kathy Lee Gifford is no less ridiculous when you only get the audio of the 4th hour of the Today Show. And I'm really not going to make anything that Martha Stewart is showing me how to make, I just enjoy the soothing sounds of that domestic goddess/ex-con. Gilbert is the one you should be looking at. He watches TV all day and gets pissed when I turn it off. My dad actually told me that when I get a new TV I should look into an industrial television that is designed for being on for long periods of time. Probably not a bad idea.

Q. Will you ever go back to working in an office?
A. I don't know. Maybe, I guess. I feel like I'm actually more productive when I'm working from home. Like some sort of hyperactive eight year old that is spending his first day on Ritalin and has some sort of super focus. I don't know if that's true or not, but it sounds good.

Well, that's all the time we have for today. Final Jeopardy just ended. Time to do some laundry, or maybe work on creating a daily banana bin prototype in my garage. Talk to you all tomorrow. I'll be the one without pockets.


Kath said...

Unless the kangaroo pouch on my hoodie counts. I don't consider that to be a pocket because things can fall out. <---- HAHHAHAH.

Bananas - hilarious!!!!! I concur.

Nate said...

Well, you know it was during my oatmeal shopping trip that my banana bin idea was born. I guess that means you'll get some of the profit once the idea goes mainstream.

Sarah said...

found you thru kath's blog,

i bookmarked - HILIARIOUS. totally agree about the bananas bins!

Holly M said...

All I wanna know is where and when celebrity book club takes place.

Nate said...

Holly - It used to be on 10. It might have gone defunct. I'd say ask Taylor. I'll be in the office on Monday if you want to discuss who wore it best.