About 10 years ago, I somehow landed a work from home gig when I lived in California. This was a position of need, as my commute was 90 minutes each way.
Side Note: I once calculated that the time spent driving in traffic was approximately 30 days a year. Those are 24 hour days…
The company I worked for didn’t have an actual remote worker policy like many companies now do. The CIO liked me (I worked with him previously) and when we were working out the details of my return, I asked about working from home full time. Ultimately he said that I could do it and we agreed that I had to come in 2 days a month. Looking back at this deal, it was pretty awesome! In fact it was VERY awesome.
Side Note: For 4 years I worked from home and commuted to the offices 2 times a month. I was in the office for less than 100 times over this period!
I loved working from home. I got so much done and since nobody knew how to manage remote workers I was often finding myself having a lot of free time at the end of the week.
I had a ton of time to do the kids doctors appointments. I Picked up and dropped off the kids at school every day. When 4 o’clock came I was out the door for the kids different practices. I didn’t have to worry about commuting any where. It was very convenient.
WFH TIP: In the beginning of my work from home experience, I would have to remind myself to go outside and get the mail somedays. I found it very important to have a schedule. It was way too easy to not take a shower and get dressed. So, working out, taking a shower and getting dressed for the day quickly became an essential thing to do.
Things were going great in the beginning. I would go in for the 2 days a month and would catch-up with my friends. It was great! After a while when I would come into the office, I slowly started to notice that I didn’t know a lot of the new people. Eventually my friends got their own WFH agreements that didn’t coincide with when I was in the office. So the social aspect of the office changed for me.
I know that my managers looked at my deal as too sweet. There were several other reasons that things started to “go off the rails”, the biggest factor for me was that the work culture began to change. By the time I left, I had absolutely no connections in the office, I was a stranger there. Even though I had been working there for a total of 8 years.
Ultimately I left because working from home isolated me so much that I was craving attention. The company was/is a GREAT company. By working from home though, I could no longer see that fact. I left a great company for the 1st company that talked to me. It was such a rookie mistake, but it was a mistake compounded by my isolation. That company I left for, was TERRIBLE it was a spectacular disaster for me!
I realized my mistake about week 2 of my 9 month tenure there. I was devastated as going anywhere else was going to give me another 90 minute commute! I just couldn’t do it. Ultimately this lead me to moving to Colorado which has been a great move for me and my family. The old adage of when one door closes another one is opened is very true for me in this situation.
WFH TIP: To work from home successfully, it takes a specific type of personality to do it & companies have to know how to manage remote resources. Don’t work from home if you have distractions or managers don’t know how to manage remote employees.
I am in the office every day of the week. Very rarely do I work from home now. I prefer working in the office. I think it holds me accountable & I’m socially grounded in the office. I’m glad I got to work from home. It was definitely an itch I got to scratch and I know it is an unpopular opinion to have, but I like working in the office.