2013 Lessons Learned: #1 Working from Home

Like all traditions it has come to kill off my yearly goal post and instead focus on lessons learned in 2013 that are worth sharing.

Lesson #1: Working from home is not as scary as you think. I’ve happily worked in an office since 1995 so working out of my house brought on nightmarish visions of disheveled PJ video conferences, in between frequent trips to the fridge, while just holding on to being a productive member of society.

The reality:

  • I am more productive because I get interrupted a lot less, have fewer unfocused meetings, and have more control of the rhythm of my day (ie hit a road block so I take the dog for a walk).
  • I had a fear no one would want to have lunch with me anymore. My lunch/coffee/adult beverage list is longer than it has ever been and I get to spend better quality time with people because I can now meet at 2pm for a cup of tea and feel no guilt.
  • I’ve lost weight and not gained it as feared because I get more exercise. Floyd my lab sees to that.
  • I love the commute and there is always stuff I like in the fridge.
  • Video conferencing is pretty good for 80% of your meetings. The other 20% you can still meet in person.
  • It forces you to be more organized and you come to love tools like Basecamp, Webex, and Skype.

Ok, great it works for you but what about your team? Indri has a team of 9 at the moment and 50% of us work remotely. I find no productivity gap between remote and office in fact I might argue that the remote team members have the edge. If you are thinking about taking the plunge here are a few thoughts:

  • Have a clearly defined work space. Where work stays and lives.
  • Get a good office chair
  • You are the IT Dept. so pick technology you can support yourself or find good local support
  • Lots of people are going to be jealous/cranky/trapped in the past regarding your working from home. Hug them. They have long commutes filled with crazy drivers, on icy roads, so they can rush to meetings that start late, and where they feed you doughnuts to make you productive.