The search for work/life balance
Working from home can seem like the dream job. Aside from abolishing commute times, it can make managing work and family significantly easier so that you’re doing the shopping when everyone’s in the office and catching up on work when the kids are in bed.
I’ve had a few cracks at working from home in different locations over the years and there are some definite ups and downs to this kind of set-up.
Firstly, it’s about as good as it gets if you have primary school-aged kids. You can do pick-ups and drop-offs without too much drama and make up the time later in the evening. There’s also the opportunity to get a quick load of washing on the line on sunny days or stack the dishwasher for a new cycle.
Without the distractions of an office environment, you can potentially get a whole lot more done.
Mostly, though, you’re swapping one set of distractions for another so that you need to be quite disciplined about ignoring the vacuuming or the unmade beds and heading straight for your desk.
I know people who have set themselves up so that they need not set a foot outside their own office space, which has included a separate toilet and kitchenette for tea making.
I’ve never been quite that wellequipped. The closest I came was a study at the front of the house where I spent perhaps a little too much time staring out the window watching the neighbours.
For someone who works in the communications industry, I’ve also found working from home a little isolating. That was made worse by moving to a new city with no network of family or friends to fall back on.
Still, there are days in the office where it feels like your time could be better spent working from home. As long as someone else does the housework.