Blog Archive

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Glamorous Home Office Life

Written by Kim McLaughlin
Talent Acquisition Manager
New Jersey

Kim McLaughlin, Talent Acquisition
I often tell people that I work from home, and they oooh and aaah at “how great that is.”  I appreciate their unique interest and have to admit that, more often than not, it is a really great gig.  At the same time, I can’t help but wonder if they truly understand what working from home is all about.  So today, I thought I would share with you this one insider’s look at working from home.

My office is in the basement—the very definition of glamour, right?  One little window at the top of my plain white walls tells me what the day is like outside.  At the end of my day, I have a 14-stair “commute” home which works well while trying to manage the hectic schedule of a 5-person family.  But, there are days (especially when my young girls are overly excitable) when a 20-30 minute commute by car or public transportation would be a welcome way to unwind.

The dress code here is casual.  I find, though, that the days when I “dress up” can be far more productive than the days I spend in sweatpants and a baseball cap.

My schedule is flexible.  Without the physical presence of co-workers by my side most days, I am able to decide what I work on throughout the day.  It’s an ideal arrangement for someone who is self-motivated and disciplined, and I believe I have gotten more skilled at flexing over the years.  Each year and life situation (the addition of children, pets, etc…) brings a new piece to the puzzle and some trial and error until I can get it to “fit.”

I love my work-at-home arrangement.  The benefits of it far outweigh any drawbacks that come with the deal.  And for those considering such an option some time in their career, I offer the following suggestions:
  • Talk to others who have worked from home and find out their tips and tricks
  • Make it a rule to visit your main office on a regular basis (and define what “regular” works for you and your company)
  • Schedule recurring calls or video chats with your team members; voice-to-voice is always better than email or IM
  • Plan your days flexibly and focus on your work during work hours and your personal items during personal hours.  In today’s multi-tasking world, these hours often overlap, but using this as a guidepost will help you feel that neither life is getting short-changed
  • Review your arrangement frequently to determine if it’s working for you, your co-workers and your family/friends.  Your work life changes as quickly as your personal life so it’s important to keep your pulse on the reality of your situation
Do you work from home?  Do you know anyone who works from home?  Are you considering working from home at some point in your career?  I would love to know more about your situation and have you share suggestions from your own experiences.  Please be sure to comment below.

1 comment:

Adolfo Villeta said...

Hello Kim,

I also work just one staircase from home. We have a two-family house, the residence is upstairs and my office is on the ground floor. My wife is a financial manager with Con Edison, and I am a solo practitioner Tax Attorney.

Aside from the close proximity to home, my schedule allows me to work around the scheduling needs of my eight year old daughter: I am the cook, school bus, and shuttle to figure skating and gymnastics classes.

What I like best about my flexibility is that I spend much of my day out meeting with clients and new prospects (networking is not a job description, it is a way of life) and I spend my nights drafting. As my wife and daughter go to bed around 9:30PM, I go back down to my office and typically work until midnight to 2 AM (it is so much more productive to draft throughout the silence of the night when there are no interruptions, phone or otherwise.

While I love what I do, I am just beginning to search for a more "regular" job as my wife seeks her own career change, and hence I am contemplating the more typical regular employment.

Have a Great Day,