I don't have to
tell you all the advantages of working from home. Time and money saved by not having to drive
all the way into the city. Preventing ozone layer depletion and green house
effect (she says, skipping off to hug that tree). Potential road rage incidents avoided by not
having to sit for 476 hours in the rush hour traffic. (Why
the fark do they call it 'rush hour' traffic? The traffic is not moving at all, never mind rushing anywhere.)
The extra hours I save by not sitting in the traffic I get to spend with my kids. Which makes me happy. Which makes me a better worker. Which makes my employer happy. Everybody wins. Win-win-win. All round winning and happy campers.
Of course working from home is a lot trickier now that I have kids. They are totally disinterested in my entreaties that ‘mommy is busy: go play outside / watch TV / call Rose’. They get completely childish about it and insist on sitting on my lap / playing on the ‘puter’ (if you ever get a garbled note from me, you know where it comes from!) / hitting me on the head with their toy golf stick (true story!)
Working from home when they know I am around clearly does not work.
And so I resort to that age old parenting solution of trickery and deception.
I hide away. In my study. Perfect! They don’t know I am there and I can work in peace. It means whispering on the phone and holding my pee until I can come out between 12 and 2 when they nap, but it is a damn sight better than sitting in the traffic.
Unfortunately however, I can’t just slip away into my study. They will want to know where I am and I can’t just suddenly vanish in the mornings. That would be unfair.
Here is where the real subterfuge comes in …..
I store snacks, water and a comfy outfit in the study, get dressed in my decoy work out (a frock that looks v workified, at least to a toddler), say good bye as I usually do “bye bye my darlings, mommy is going to work, I love you. Kiss kiss” and in my car I get. I drive out the garage, waving goodbye to a smiling Kate and a crying Adam (the crying only lasts 1 minute, so Rose tells me. Still sucks) and up the road I go. Rose then picks Adam up, gives him a hug and takes the two of them outside to hang up the washing / go visit a friend / play on the play gym etc. She gives me a ‘all clear’ call on my cell phone and I zoot back into the garage, nip into the study, slip into something more comfortable and tra la! I can work in peace and quiet. Clever me.
It really does
work out best for all. I get to spend
more time with my kids and I am around if there is an emergency or I need to
take them somewhere. I really do
work harder at home than in the lovely open plan office at work. Quieter,
fewer distractions. Plus I have this fucked up work ethic that says while it might be acceptable to VERY occasionally surf the net / update your blog etc while at work (not that *I* ever do that!), doing it at home would be like stealing. Or lying. Because your boss is trusting you that when you say you are working from home, you really are working from home and not on the beach etc.
I am really lucky that IBM allows for flexible working arrangements. Working from home is a great option. And luckily there aren’t too many times I have to work in complete darkness. (I only have to do this if they are climbing on the couch right outside the window. Like this morning.)