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Thursday, May 29, 2008  

Work From Home!

For a couple of months now, Trash and I have been quietly strategizing how I should broach a delicate subject to my bosses. That subject is me working from home full-time. A couple of my coworkers work remotely, and I've been doing it myself on Wednesdays only since the beginning of the year. But since I never brought it up during my interview and hiring process, I felt a little weird asking for a total telecommuting package less than a year after I started.

It's kind of a shame that we wasted all that effort in planning, because one day a couple of weeks ago my boss's boss asked me out of nowhere if I wanted to work from home full-time and now here I am and I haven't shaved, showered, changed my clothes, or left the house in a week. This is awesome.

Okay, I'm exaggerating. I groomed myself a bit last night, and I've either driven M. Small to school or picked him up every day this week. My ass hasn't fused to my desk chair like some people warned me it might. And I'm loving the perks; used to be that while I was waiting for a response to an e-mail, I had to sit at my desk and read something funny on the Internet. Now I can get up and vacuum the living room. How great is that?!?

One of the reasons I wanted to do this was to save money, and I think that's going to work out pretty well. With the price of a tank of gas where it is, I was spending Monday and half of Tuesday just working to cover the cost of that week's commute. But now that's not an issue. I mean, I do still have to drive M. Small to work and/or pick him up, and since his school is the opposite direction from Trash's office, the gas for his commute is going to get burned one way or another. Plus someone has to make the trip twice a day. But since it's less than a third as far as my (former) office is, we're still coming out ahead. It'll be even better when the Montessori school gets wi-fi in its parking lot so I can just work in the car there all day and cut the traveling in half, but this will do for now.

But now I'm finding myself thinking about all the minor expenses of workday existence that I'm now covering instead of my employer. For instance, my workplace provides free facial tissues in the office, but now I have to use my own during the day. Given my allergies situation, this is quite literally nothing to be sneezed at.

I once basked for eight hours at a stretch in the glow of overhead fluorescents and a monitor that were powered by electricity paid for by my employer. Now I work under compact fluorescents, but they and my other equipment run on juice that I'm paying for. Maybe at some point I'll figure out exactly how many kilowatt hours it takes to fully charge up my laptop battery. If it costs more than a scone, maybe I'll start my workdays at the coffee shop. And expense the scone. They sent me home a giant all-in-one printer/fax machine/copier/scanner as well, which I'm sure will also be a major energy hog if I can ever figure out how to get it working.

My giant water mug no longer gets its daily refill from the workplace sink, but from my own pipes. And since the water meter is also connected to the toilet, I should probably stop being quite so cavalier about my regular midmorning double-flusher.

And I kind of miss the vending machines in the workplace break room. You know, I had no idea how much power those things burned until I got my own here at home.

I've also decided to give up coffee. It was one thing when it was free from the machine. But now, pouring myself a cup so my coworkers think I'm normal and then secretly dumping it into my trash can just isn't cost-effective. Especially since I take the trash out around here.

But all this is small change. In the long run, I'm going to be spending less money transporting, feeding, dressing, and cleaning myself, and after all air and gravity are still free. I'm living the dream, and I didn't even have to sign up for an e-mail scam to do it.

posted by M. Giant 7:16 PM 9 comments


If you can find another family (or 2, or 3) at the Montessori to share car pooling with, you'll save even more!

By Blogger Bunny, at May 29, 2008 at 7:48 PM  

Oh you lucky lucky man. With a commute of an hour each way (even though I can take public transit) I am shaking with envy.

By Blogger Elizabeth, at May 29, 2008 at 8:28 PM  

In all seriousness, since you are working from your own home, you can expense part of your rent/mortgage, as well as electrical costs, when you do your taxes next year. Keep track of what your monthly costs are - it's worth it. I speak as one who's done it.

By Blogger Her Ladyship, at May 30, 2008 at 8:00 AM  

I did the work-at-home thing for my company for 2 years, and after slowly going insane and become somewhat of a hermit, I quit and found a job where I was required to be at an office. The novelty wears off FAST, but in the meantime - isn't it AWESOME!!?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2008 at 3:54 PM  

Misty's right. I really miss my coworkers! I'd prefer three days at home, two days at the office deal.


By Blogger Teslagrl, at May 30, 2008 at 9:04 PM  

I just talked my boss into letting my assistant and I telecommute 2-3 days per week. In today's workplace, if you have to meet with people in person to get things done, your company is obviously not changing with the times. I attend 15-20 meetings per week with people across the globe and don't have to be in the office to do so. My management has seen how much more productive I can be from home with far fewer distractions and has responded positively. Hope yours will too!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2008 at 9:29 PM  

When I started working from home, I missed my co-workers at first, but then I realized how much more work I was getting done since I wasn't wasting time listening to people bitch about their bosses, sitting in conference rooms waiting for meetings to start, waiting for someone to finish with the copier, etc. etc. I love it!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 1, 2008 at 8:24 AM  

Oh my god, I'm so happy for you. I love working from home. I've been doing it for two years, and the thrill has yet to wear off. Thanks to wifi and my laptop, I can work on my PORCH. In my PAJAMAS. Living the dream, indeed.

By Blogger Tammy, at June 1, 2008 at 7:12 PM  

Oh good for you! My husband and I both work from home; it's a godsend in terms of saving gas money and other expenses. I was forced to start working from home last year, as visual impairment prevents me from driving; it took me 6 months to find a good work from home job, but it has paid off. Earlier in November 2007, my husband was laid off from his construction job and, being 50, didn't want to find another, so he now works for the same company I do. It's great and for anyone who yearns to do this, I recommend it. Thanks!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 2, 2008 at 12:53 PM  

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