In case I haven’t announced it, I started a new job last August. After five years working out of an office that was ten minutes from home, I took a job working for a company that is a 37 mile commute. The adjustments required were instantaneous, as well as gradual, if that makes sense. My personal schedule went from casual to necessarily regimented, including getting up much earlier than I was accustomed to each day. My previous job required me to be in my seat by 8:30 AM or so.. give or take a few minutes. If I was late or early didn’t matter. Suddenly, I needed to be in my seat, prepared to go, at precisely 7:30 AM. My new job is a product support position, a call center of sorts, which means I need to be available and accountable for all of my time, log off a call log when I use the restroom or take a lunch break. For five years, my work life was very relaxed.
Part of the adjustment has been financial. I took a $6000 per year cut in pay, by necessity, because my previous job couldn’t pay me any more. My last month of employment at that job was at half pay. When I took the new job, my commute cost me quite a bit more, as I take the tollway to work (almost $6 in tolls per day) and the gas costs tripled. I pay my ex wife close to $900 a month and couldn’t afford to go to court to have that amount changed, so I am paying the same amount. My lawyer suggested that I talk to my ex wife to see if she would accept less money (yeah.. right.. no way has she agreed to that). Three days before I started my new job, my VW bit the dust and I had to buy another car, which added more expense. Federal taxes last year hit me with a wallup, so I had to put nearly $5000 of the additional tax, plus $3000 of property taxes, on my credit card. Financially, it sucks to be me.
Financially, I know that seasons come and go. I am old enough to realize that. Ain’t no thing, even as I worry through the tough season.
When the company I work for introduced a work from home option at the beginning of this year, I jumped at the opportunity. For a trial period of three months, I get to work from home one day a week. The understanding is that I have to prove I am able to do it, am able to handle the responsibility. Temptation can be to goof off. Some can’t handle the responsibility, need the office to present the discipline needed to work. Working from home is not for everyone.
Today was my third day working from home. I pack up my laptop every Wednesday evening as leave the office for home, set it up in my home office when I get home. I have an old 48″ TV set up on my desk at home, a comfy old executive office chair. My view is the berm outside the back of my condo. The way I am set up, I log in, clock in via a remote badge reader, connect via VPN to all of the online tools I use when at work. I log on to the phone system, take calls as they come in just like I am at my office. Someone commented today that there is no way to tell I am working from home. I like it, since the commute is far shorter.. about ten feet rather than 37 miles.. and far less expensive. This morning, I logged on at 7 AM, went right to work, the day so busy that I barely left my chair (except for lunch) until my shift was over at 4.
Years ago, I didn’t have the discipline to pull this off. Judging from my production the last three weeks, it looks like working from home has improved my work output. Success!
Oh… and I do like the change in wardrobe that working from home allows…..