Work at Home Observations

Learning to juggle

After working in an office for nearly 10 years, life is very different now that I am working at home.  It’s been a bit of a culture shock, but I’m learning to adapt. Here’s a few of my insights:

  • There are no set hours – This is both a good thing and a bad thing. When a person works in their office, they know what needs to be done, they do it, and then they get to go home. If they don’t finish what they are working on, they can either choose to work late or just pick it up the next day.
    When you work at home, the boundaries are less defined. If someone were to ask me how many hours that I work a day now that I’m at home, I really couldn’t tell them. It’s not really important how many hours a day that I work. What does matter is that I am fulfilling the goals that I set out for myself.
  • Setting goals – This has more to do with the set-up of my project than actually working at home. I am currently working on my project alone. When I worked in a corporate setting, there were other people that I could rely on to get things done. The problem isn’t finding what the goals should be, the problem is prioritizing between the different goals.
    I have to worry about content and community and marketing and media and development and design. Trying to split up all the pieces neatly so that nothing gets dropped has been a real challenge. I haven’t come up with a magic formula yet, but I’m working on it. All I can say for now is learn to juggle.
  • Knowing when to take a break – Every time that I take a couple of minutes off to do anything, I have guilt. It’s not the breaks per se, but instead of getting a cup of coffee and gabbing it up with people from the office, I might put up a load of laundry. Glamorous, I know.
    It is not cheating to take a bit of time to do stuff that needs to get done, but since I’m doing house hold chores during work hours, it just feels wrong. I don’t need any more breaks than I needed before, I’m just spending them differently. No matter what you do or where you do it, it’s important to take a few minutes here and there to get perspective.

All-in-all, the transition is going very well. I’ve been drinking a lot less coffee and my house is a lot cleaner. I’ve successfully come out with the major part of the redesign for The Pet Wiki and have started working on some tweaks to make it even better. I’ve been adding and modifying existing content. Oh, and did I mention that I actually get to see my kids once in a while? That has really been terrific.

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