Monday, March 01, 2010

What to do, what to do...

Yeah.... in my dreams.

Good morning, world. I just had a ham cheese and tomato sandwich on wheat with mustard for breakfast, I've poured my first cup, and we need to talk.

Does anyone out there work from home? I don't mean hobbies and crafting, I do that already (see the lovely photo boxes on the right hand side). I mean like for their companies. Like at a computer, at home, connected to the office database, and talking to clients over the phone, right from home. I mean, I know that people do that, and in my company we have about 60-90 already working from home.... and they've just recently started for the most part. But I'm just looking for feedback, opinions, stories of success or even challenges from those who've been doing this a while - I'm thinking of taking the leap.

OK here's the thing - I work for a large telecommunications company, doing customer care mostly. My office is about 8 minutes to drive from my house. Not bad at all, even on the same road.

However in the middle of winter, when I'm scraping ice off my windshield and the wind is trying to remove my coat for me, sometimes I think, AH if I could only stay home! Even stay home and be working... at least I'd be warm right now!

So here is the requirement: ya gotta have a private place to work - A home office or room where you can close the door and be undisturbed. Check. ya gotta have a fire extinguisher. Check. Ya gotta have quarterly inspections. No prob. Ya gotta have a quiet work environment because clients will hear kids or dog in the background.... uh oh, Houston we have a problem.

My kids are 12 and up, so they get the whole do not disturb thing .... in theory. I worry they'll be slipping notes under the door with dire messages such as DAD SAYS WE CAN'T WATCH AMERICAN IDOL >( :( >( HELP. Etc etc.
And I worry that while Noopie is gone (bless her heart) and she was the yappy one, there are still time when Buffy the lhasa apso will see a cat whirl by and bark after the cat for a minute. Just enough to be loud, but that sound comes through to my room, where I've sectioned off one deep closet for desk and chair. So yep, I can close the door and it's private. Nope, haven't figured out how to make it QUIET. Thinking of buying sound-absorbing curtains like in recording studios, but that's kinda expensive. So... maybe I could Mike-Holmes-ify my one finished basement room, which at this point is actually a mildew-friendly and windowless storage room. EWW.

Sigh... I'll have to think on the logistics some more. Until I can figure out the noise part, anybody who works from home on the phone and who likes it? Hates it? Benefits/ crap that comes with it? I'm asking my friends and anyone else who happens along. More the merrier. **Except for the one person who keeps spam-linking to some ad site - CUT THAT SHIT OUT.

The rest of you, hope to hear from you soon! :)



資料 said...
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Jade said...

I work from home - have (off and on) for about 9 years, however my experience is varied.

When I worked for other companies, it was doing tech support and was about 95% via email, so noise was not an issue. It was also a casual situation, where I'd work from home to avoid the heavy commute traffic, then wander into the office for a few hours mid-day, then return home to beat the traffic.

Having our own company, I work from my home office. I spend more time on the phone these days, but I make my calls while G is at school, and we only have a few fish in a tank so I don't have a noise issue.

My challenge, though, in working from home is being able to separate work from home. It is a challenge some days when you are prone to walking by the laundry room and saying "Oh, throwing a load in will only take a second..." then you realize you've been doing housework for a half hour when you should have been working.

It helps to have a separate, private space. My office is my office - and in my mind I consider it separate from the house. But even if *you* can separate the space, sometimes other people can't. Neighbors will stop by, friends will call, and even family will wonder what you're up to (and don't seem to comprehend that "I'm working" is the same as being in an office, because they only see that you are in your house)

Granted, it's up to me to not answer the house phone when I'm working, but sometimes it's just an automatic reaction to the ringing sound and I push the button before my brain says NO!

Jenn said...

I hope you find some solutions to this!! I'm so sorry to have read about your dog below. So very sad.... =(

PeppyPilotGirl said...

I work from home too though I do not have heavy phone/client contact anymore - I've managed to reduce it mostly to email as my kids are so small as to make the house tremendously loud.

Jade raises a very good point in separating work from home. My problem tends to be the opposite though - popping on the computer "just to check" and getting drawn into work crud when it's not work time.

It does very much to have a separate quiet space. With a door that you can close. Because that makes it feel like "ok, I'm at work now" which helps with the mental focus.

What I'd suggest re: the soundproofing? Quilts - back the door with a heavy one that overlaps the edges and goes right down to brush the floor. Or cheap heavy drapes (2 layers if necessary).

Good luck!

smileymamaT said...

Very good advice, you guys, thanks. And PPG - I had not thought about using quilts. HMMM. That may work. I really do have to be on the phone nearly all day as I do a lot of customer service (sure, I can help explain your bill or get a technician dispatched, etc)... only occasionally do I work in the email response dept. So I'm still working on it. I think I'll need a quilt or heavy rug on the floor too as I'm right over the kitchen!

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