Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Work and home

Working from home is great and simultaneously offers a few challenges thrown in.

If the weather is bad, I need not step outside and we can just effortlessly walk from home to workspace. No need to commute either saving fuel, money and time.

In principle we could have as many breaks as we would like, yet in practice getting time to eat lunch seems sometimes a luxury. What is evident is that the boundaries between work and home are less defined. There is no commute to change my thoughts from work to home and vice versa, I am thrown in within a nanosecond. While cooking tea in the kitchen I can hear what is going on in the shop and feel a sense of loss of privacy. It is not unknown for me to be peeling potatoes and being asked when we are expecting a delivery of one or other item which seems odd. That is what I mean about the boundaries between work and home.

Our workplace is our home and our front door is the door of the shop. The children have found this difficult as they like to shout their news out when coming through the door and can no longer do that. The creature that has it sorted in their mind is the dog. She barks at strangers or people who venture a little too close to the kitchen door and seems to know exactly when its time to pick up our son from school ( and she gets a small walk).

The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster and a steep learning curve. Working for yourself from home definitely reduces the carbon footprint. We did not know what to expect and in general we are feeling a little more in flow with the rhythm of the shop. Homelife is still unsettled. Where previously a mountain of washing could be found is now a mountain of paperwork to contend with. Which shall I tackle next.....I wonder?

1 comment:

Moonwaves said...

It's very true about the boundary between work and home becoming blurred. My dad owned a garage/petrol station/shop which was only a few hundre yards away from our house so I grew up in a similar kind of environment albeit with a bit more of a separation. I worked in the garage a few times when I was a kid and then almost every day from the age of 12 until I was 20 and moved to Germany.

I've found that something I still struggle with (although my employers always love it) is my somewhat unthinking reaction to being asked to do overtime. I just do whatever needs to be done. I don't mean that I'll cancel plans for work but if I'm asked to come in at the weekend or to stay a couple of hours late some evening and don't already have something on, I'll do it and not think anything of it. My friends think I'm nuts and many of them really resent being asked or needing to stay at work even five minutes longer than their official hours.

So I'm used to the line between work and home being very blurry. It's something you are right to think about though because as with everything there is a positive and negative side to it. One thing I loved during my childhood was Christmas day as it was the only day of the year the garage was closed and so the only day that my whole family were all at home together. Every other day, if my dad wasn't there, at least one or two of us kids would be.