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Friday, April 04, 2008

The Grind, She Calls

As of next Monday, I will be back at work. It's not as bleak as all that as I'll be working from home. I'm the first person in my organization given this opportunity and I absolutely want to do a stellar job.

Naturally, I'm a bit nervous, so I'm going to do a dry run on Monday. It will be a day's worth of work - unpaid - but it's worth it to see how well I do managing a two month old and a full time job in the same house.

I imagine I'll be stressing about it all weekend. Because I'm a freak like that.

Do any of you work from home? Whether you have children or not, do you have strategies to stay on task?


Ree said...

This won't work for you honey, but the only thing that keeps me able to work from home (which started this week!) full time is to close the door.

I can do it because the 52-year-old that I live with knows that if the door is closed, I'm working. On task. Focused.

But if I open the door, he walks in and starts talking.

I can order him to bring me coffee though.

I'm so glad that they're letting you do this though Marianne. How cool.

The Wooden Porch said...

Work during naps and happy moments. Stick him in a bouncer next to you, but if he starts fussing, give him attention because you won't be able to work anyway. Make Daddy take him out in the evening so you can finish up anything you didn't get done during the day.

I'm such a know-it-all. I'm sorry. I seriously just can't help myself.

Good luck!

Lady P said...

My experience will be a little different from yours but mine came about from necessity. My son has Asperger's Syndrome (autism) and school & life was hard on him and even harder on me. It seemed I was forever being called away from work, etc. Things for my son went from bad to worse and eventually I pulled him out of school in grade 8 and put him into a special school for high-risk teens.

Due to the years of appointments, meetings, him being sick, etc, I ran into problems at work. Essentially someone who had at one time been my friend, progressed to a position of authority within the company and decided to make some changes to the organization. One change was that if I was late for work (I ALWAYS made the time up working through a break or lunch, or staying late...etc) one more time I was going to be disciplined. Read: on the way to being fired.

Everyone was well versed in our family life. This was a federal department complete with an union. I had to go to the union and then the Human Rights Commission to fight them on their stand. The upshot of all the meetings, stress, etc, is that I had to change jobs and I was offered a chance to work from home: telework.

I teleworked for a year. There was good and bad about it. I set up an office and it was in its own room. That way when I was "at work" I was in a space set up like an official worksite. I could work around my son's needs and schedule and not lose worktime. That took off a lot of stress.

Some of the issues I ran into though, did cause some problems. The first was other people's perceptions and comments. They felt that I wasn't really working or that it must be nice to roll out of bed and use a laptop wherever I felt like it. A lot of coworkers didn't approve of it or understand why i was allowed this "privilege" when they weren't. Be prepared for possible talking behind your back and to your face and resentment.

Then, how to fit in the hours? I found some days I worked from 6 in the morning until midnight or after. I had to break my work time into small segments and fit them in. It made for long, long days. Sometimes I'd work on a Sat or Sun to make sure I'd made up for lost time.

People forgot about me. I was lonely. I wasn't invited to functions, information was not passed to me; essentially I ceased to exist except to all but a few people. On the one hand, it was nice not to have all the unneccesary chitchat taking away from work time.

My bosses felt they could ask anything of me... and it was hard not to feel overwhelmed when they alternately supported this endevour and frowned on it.

I will sit on this for a day or so and add more that hopefully makes sense to you.

Christi said...

As you very well know, I am starting a stamping/cardmaking business and with two kids (and a possible third on the way) it has been a major challenge. I think a schedule is going to be the best idea. When they're young like that it's easier in my book. Now that my boys are older they are always wanting me to play with them and tugging on me left and right. Atleast when they're that young you can put them in the bouncy or swing and (hopefully) keep them occupied. Good luck sweetie! You've been on my mind lately. :)

Mommy's Boot Camp said...

I work from home with 3 little ones 4, 3 & 4 months. I work when the baby naps, she plays in the office when I'm working & I work after they go to bed. "Closed door policy" works well for kids & hubby. It is great to be at home full time & still contribute to the family. I find I am very productive when working from home because there isn't the walks to the water cooler or chatting along the way! I've also found it better if I get up & out of the pj's right away. GOOD LUCK!!

Liz said...

I worked at home for almost 4 years (but not with children), and the two biggest challenges I faced were getting out of the pj's and staying off the internet. :)

Anonymous said...

Hiya dear! Good luck!! I worked from home for 1.5 years (before kids), and my best advice is to take a shower & get dressed. The one day I tried to work in my pajamas, I found myself curled up in our office chair just not able to focus...I felt too comfy. If I got dressed (in jeans, not like "office wear") and ready for the day, that made me focus. Honestly though, this was BEFORE I found blogs and the internet was more I think it would be more difficult now. Please let us know how you fare. And again, BEST OF LUCK!!

L Sass said...

Hope today goes well for you, Marianne!

Michelle said...

Good luck and I hope it works out for you. How nice that they were able to do this for you!