Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Working at Home

I've been working at home a lot lately. This has advantages and disadvantages. But the world is shrinking and many are being pressured to cut costs, one of which is office space. So get used to it ... knowledge workers will be doing this more and more in my opinion.

The advantages I've found include: time savings from the lack of a commute, easy access to meals that you like and not meals of convenience (important when dieting for example), and in my case a faster internet connection than that at the office -- I VPN directly into Toronto instead of the local Ottawa office, so my link is not shared by thousands during the day. One other is the ability to take care of chores as a normal part of the day ... meet the furnace man, receive a package, that kind of thing.

Disadvantages, though, include: distractions (although this is actually a wash for me as I end up having a lot of people stop by when I am in the office and the interruptions can wipe out hours of productivity), and a lack of contact with fellow workers. But since my role is what we call an "individual contributor", the people I work with are all over the world anyway. And Skype makes that a breeze ...

The main disadvantage though, is that the line between work and play is blurred ... my machines are set up 24/7 and I check email and respond at all hours ... so am I at work, or at home? Well ... I don't really know ... I just know that it works and it allows me to be responsive to requests (and I get a lot of them.)

So, all in all it works for me right now. The classic "underwear" developer ...

But I posted this because there is one advantage in the summer that supersedes all other considerations ...


No external distractions at all, just a nice, pleasant atmosphere with music and a relaxing swim at lunch ... working at home is a very good idea for those with the right setup ...

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