I am a strong advocate of telecommuting. I think we should rapidly transition our workforce to their houses. The results would be less fuel burned, less infrastructure for companies to maintain, less coal burned, less hydrocarbons released into the air, reduced traffic on the roads, reduced pollution, better relations within families, etc. Many types of jobs such as customer service (over the phone), accounting, technical support, quality assurance, … most office jobs, could be done from the house. Maybe once a week they staff comes into the corporate office for a few hours of face to face. Everything else can be Skype, instant messengers, webex, and other online tools.
All that said, working from home is hard! It is a huge exercise in self-discipline. You have to fight the urge to just lay in bed, or play with kids, or fix that hole in the roof. Finding your work groove can talk a long time. For me, my best performance is when I wake at 4am and get a couple of hours of work done before the kids rise for school. Those hours allow me a few distractions in morning or afternoon without hurting my productivity. My most stressful times are when I have not given myself a buffer for distraction. Fortunately, 4 out of the 5 children are in school so school acts as a natural buffer. School holidays are tough!
When the schools take breaks, the children are wild. A holiday messes with their OCD, their karma, their routine and they get a little charged up. Of course, they also assume that since they are on break, so is the rest of the world which makes it difficult for the work-at-home parent. Of course, when that parent works around the globe and we have a US holiday like Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday and only some of the US celebrates and none of the world recognizes it then the schools tack on an in-service day to make it a 4 day weekend, my stress sky rockets since I feel I’m being torn multiple directions. Many times I have thought about declaring my work scheduled to be the same as the Knox County School’s calendar.
Yesterday was actually a productive day. It did not get quantity checked off my list but killed off a technical hurdle that was driving me nuts. A CSS issue was causing a webpage to render far differently in Internet Explorer 7 than in Firefox. The goal was to have a box of text with a large green border be partially underneath a photograph that had a large yellow border. Naturally the green border underneath the picture should not show. The text could not slide under the picture instead it had to wrap along th edge of the picture. Got it to work for any size photo and any length of text!
All that said, its back to work for me!