Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Working from Home

Luke and Ray in teh cat condoFor a number of years now I've done most of my work from home. Of course, from the start, the time I've put in on my business, Cyber Data Solutions , has been from the home office. In recent years, though, even my University of Michigan work has been largely done from the confines of my home.

Of course, as with most things, I've discovered both the good and bad aspects of this situation. On the good side, I can pretty much work whenever I want. I can schlub around in my sweats and slippers all morning and take a break in the middle of the afternoon to get in a workout. I get to arrange and decorate my office exactly the way I want it -- the way that helps me to be my most productive. As if this weren't cool enough, a little over a year ago, my lovely wife's job shifted. From that point on, she, too, was able to work from home. I'll have to admit that it's more than a little wonderful to be able to share my breakfasts and lunch hour and the occasional afternoon break with her -- to hear all about the challenges of her day.

Now, before you start to think that it's all buttercups and warm Spring days, working from home does have its downside, too. I have to provide and maintain all of the equipment in the office. I occasionally have a cat or two who think that the keyboard is the perfect place to take a nap, no matter how many times I shoo them out. Working from home can also lead to a certain level of professional isolation. I have to make a much greater effort now to maintain contact with my peers.

Of course, the biggest disadvantage, bar none is...

... the job is always there. From the moment I wake up in the morning to the last key-click before I retire at night, I hear the siren call of the work. This is Lisa's major concern about me going off on my own to focus on my business -- that the business will consume me. I can't say that it isn't a valid concern. Heck, after Lisa went to bed, I sat down "just to check my email". Two hours, ten emails, two web scripts and the beginnings of a proposal later, I'm still here sitting at the desk.

Fortunately, I'm still loving what I do -- right now. I guess I'd better re-read my copy of The E-Myth Revisited before I get too much farther into this adventure.

So, do you work from home? How do you keep the job from taking over?

27 days.

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