I’ve been working from home for four weeks now, and you know what? It’s pretty much just as awesome as expected. Some random thoughts on the arrangement:
- Lola is finally getting used to having me around all day. For the first couple weeks, she would come pester me every hour or two, but she’s been pretty good this past week.
- One of the best things about working alone is that I have complete control over the environment. I can listen to podcasts if I want to without disturbing anyone. I get to choose how warm or cool it is in the office - to an extent. Our air conditioning seems to be dead, so it was in the mid-80’s in the apartment most of this week, but still: I control the fans!
- Of course, when I say, “working alone,” I mean physically. There are other developers and project managers that I work with, primarily over IM and conference calls, but for most of the day I’m on my own.
- I drink a crap-ton of soda thanks to our Soda Stream soda maker. I’ve been meaning to write about that, but in short: it’s awesome.
- I was surprised to find that I was pretty wiped at the end of the day for the first couple weeks. Since I don’t have any distractions from other people in the office, I rarely stop what I’m doing or get up from my desk. I would spend a solid eight hours completely focused on work, which left me pretty drained at the end of the day. I’ve since learned to make sure I stand up to stretch and take a quick break every now and then. Still, without any distractions from other people, I get a lot more done in a day than I ever have before.
- It would be easy to turn into a complete shut-in. Some days, I only leave the apartment to walk the dog. I’m making a conscious effort to get out of the house more and attend more DC PHP meetings, Drupal meetups, and things like that to make sure I actually interact with real people on a regular basis.
- I work best in the morning. This wasn’t news to me, really: I’ve always preferred to take lunch later in the day, because I know I focus better before taking a long break like that. Now that my commute is all of six feet, I jump right in first thing in the morning. I roll out of bed, take a shower, and get right to work. Most days, I don’t stop for lunch until 2.
- A lot of people I talked to about it said they would have trouble focusing and staying on-task with all the possible distractions, but that hasn’t been an issue for me at all.
- Without having any supervisors around, I feel greater pressure to make more visible progress each day. For example, there was one day that was mostly spent setting up a dev instance for a new project and getting familiar with that project. Near the end of the day, I worked longer than usual to make some changes on that project and get it up on the staging site. Since no one is around to see what I’m doing all day, I’m motivated to make sure no one thinks I’m slacking off on the days like that one, where most of the work is sort of intangible.
- I can actually cook lunch if I’m in the mood. Most offices don’t have the gear necessary to make a proper grilled cheese sandwich.
All in all, it’s a great way for me to work. I know it’s not for everyone, but for me, working from home has been going great.