Contemplating a future in which I work from home

One of the good things about renting is that it’s affordable for us to live in a fairly central location. We’re two minutes’ walk from a bus stop, two minutes’ drive to a mall and supermarket, and about five minutes from both of our families.

Buying a house would force us further out, which in turn would mean a longer and more expensive public transport commute for me, and/or necessitate buying a second car – especially if we have kids.

But a job posting that happened across my Twitter stream recently got me thinking. What if I were able to work remotely, full time?

It’s not something I ever really thought possible. After all, I don’t want to freelance full time. And my industry is not one that really lends itself to working from home when you have a staff job. But as I move further away from it, the opportunity does open itself up…

This particular listing wasn’t one I would apply for – at least not at this stage, it’s a bit beyond me. I’m happy where I am and plan to stay put for a while longer. But it’s the kind of thing I might well want to do in a couple of years, either for a corporate or a cool startup … and the startup route could well lend itself to working from home (as all the staff at this one do).

The next logical question would be “would I enjoy working from home?”

Well…

  • I enjoy the serendipitous interactions with coworkers I get throughout the day – in just-small-enough doses that I fulfil my need for adult human interaction and get to feel like a competent person, but not enough to overload my introvert’s bucket
  • But god damn, I hate the ‘good morning’ / ‘how are you’ / ‘I’m good, how are you’ / ‘Good thanks’ back and forth

 

  • I love the frequent and spontaneous freebies – cake, pie, cheese, books, skincare, and other goodies – that are often randomly available
  • But I truly hate the interruptions that inevitably come with being in an office environment (an open one, not that I’ve ever worked in anything but)

 

  • I appreciate that it forces me to leave the house, as I have quite strong hermit tendencies
  • But commuting is annoying, especially when it rains

Ditching the office paradigm doesn’t have to be an either/or, of course. People work from cafes, coworking spaces, and there are plenty of other flexible options for office space in NZ.

In all honesty, while face time is valuable in its own right, as someone who deals much better in limited doses of interaction, especially online, I think the benefits of working from home would win out for me.

I’d just need to force myself to step outside at least every other day and put on real clothes as much as possible.

7 thoughts on “Contemplating a future in which I work from home

  1. I went on a RTW trip last year and started full time work again in May, now I only have 4 weeks a year in which to travel – not so great when I have a travel blog to run! Luckily enough I do have quite a few travel stories I am yet to tell. However in the New Year I am doing an evening course in graphic design, which I am hoping may help me work from home in the not so distance future and I’ll be able to travel more and work on the road!

  2. I am not one for the formal office but working from home is difficult regarding setting a schedule, the lack of social interaction.. You can find lots of jobs that are a fine balance of both.

  3. My boss jokes about living in his jammies, as I do, and we’re both highly productive but I suspect that has to do with being workaholic types to begin with. And it happens to be perfect for conserving my energy for all the really important stuff, rather than the draining social pleasantries I no longer have the patience for :) I do miss the good people I enjoyed working with but eh. I was never at work to make friends, just to do good work, and that helps me not miss the watercooler aspect of things.

    Depends on your work style, really! And personality. I’m VERY hermity but I don’t care that I rarely leave the house ;)

  4. If I were to ever work from home, I would need some type of dedicated work room. Otherwise, I think I would get distracted too easily with everything going on around the house. Mainly in the form of our two dogs. That said, I would enjoy the aspects that came with it like not commuting and avoiding the pointless small talk. Where I work now, I’m fairly isolated so I get to avoid most of that now, I just have to deal with the daily commute.

  5. I am really hoping to work from home starting a year from now. I hate working in an office. I HATE IT!!! BLAH!!! I love my colleagues, but I just feel trapped. Also, I HATE COMMUTING!! I HATE IT! The Denver/Boulder region is a great area for people who work remote or for themselves. There are a ton of places created to keep people social. Also, I could go snowboarding :)

  6. I’ve been working remotely since April and I love it. That being said, my company does pay for me to have a desk at a coworking space, and I can’t really imagine not having that either. Not only does working from a coworking space give me that daily human interaction, it also helps me focus. When you work from home, it’s so easy to just work work work until whatever hour, because there’s no real start or end time. When I go to my coworking space, I force myself to finish by a certain time, so I can walk out and be done for the day.

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