working from home

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I work from home. Which has its perks. Especially with a small child.

When I was young, working moms were rare. Most of my pals from school had moms waiting at home with a snack for the evening. After which they supervised their homeworks.

I think I was the only one with a working mom in my class.

My brother & I opened the lock and entered an empty house, made some jam sandwiches or simply changed out of our uniforms and walked to a nearby bakery to have Gold spot, cake & Fivestar. After which we went on to play & came home only when we saw our mom walking home from the bus stop.

Most of my friends envied us for our freedom.

But sometimes I used to nag my mom to resign, so she could be home when we get back from school.

She always reasoned softly that she was in a government job (which was difficult to come by those days) and she just cannot throw it away…

Later on, when I was a trainee, I saw a senior colleague give up her full-time job to be with her kids. Since I stayed close to her, I was entrusted the job of dropping off work at her place on my way home and picking it up on my way to office. (This was the pre-email era) We had strict instructions never to call her between 2 and 4.30 pm, because it was nap time for her kids.

All this put together, I decided to be a work-at-home mom too when it was my turn.

Fortunately for me its much easier with the world wide web.

But I soon realised working from home is not for the faint-hearted.

The boundaries between work and home are so blurred…

Its pretty stressful to hear a client briefing you on a new job, while your baby’s howling away in the crib.

I’m terrified of sounding unprofessional, so I once spoke to a client in a full-fledged business-like tone, pretending to take notes while I was in fact wiping my son’s derriere!

I try not to ignore him while I’m working, so often I work after he sleeps at night. Sometimes from 12 at night to the wee hours in the morning!

And as Murphy’s law will have it, the child always falls sick when there’s a short deadline.

Sometimes the child choses to be most difficult when all you need is ten minutes of peace to finish some work which was actually needed yesterday.

Of course, there are some understanding colleagues & clients who’ll ask “Is this a good time to talk?” the minute they hear a whimper in the background.

But I don’t miss working in an office.

No mad rush to beat the traffic to reach office on time…

No attendance register to give me a red line when I arrive 10 minutes late for work…

No layers of hierarchy for anything…

No twiddling of thumbs and getting bored when there’s no work…

No guilt trips if I check personal mail during working hours…

The list is endless.

But I do miss the general camaraderie and of course the lunchtime gossip-sessions.

But they seem a small price to pay for the freedom otherwise!

For starters, I can blog as and when I please!

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3 Comments

  1. maami said,

    February 2, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Lucky you.

  2. Harish Ramaswamy said,

    March 19, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    i know. working from home seems like a very viable option. although it has its share of disadvantages, the advantages win over.

  3. Pearls said,

    June 2, 2009 at 2:52 am

    I work from home. Apart from the lack of lunch break gossip and a cafe full of food I do enjoy it.
    But I am so used to the office that I come up with new ways to simulate work environment.

    – dress up every morning
    – go for a jog during lunch break so I do not spend 11 hours in front of my laptop.
    – try not to do any household tasks during work… so on and so forth.

    wow! u r so organised! my days are always chaotic! though i’m trying to work in some semblance of order! dressing up for work sounds great! i shd try that too!!:)


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