I’m currently sitting next to my daughter’s sleeping body on the couch. She’s been up all night with a stomach virus. I’m tired, cranky, and not feeling like a million dollars myself. As I sit here with my laptop, I think about how lucky I am that I work from home. While working from home isn’t always as great as some people think it is, it definitely has its benefits!
- Staying home with sick kids. If I worked outside the home I’d have to call my boss this morning and tell him or her that I can’t come in. I can’t send her to school, and no daycare will take her. Last summer, she broke her wrist in several places, and we had to see an orthopedic surgeon every two weeks for 12 weeks straight. I brought my laptop and worked from the waiting room. If I’d had to miss a day of work every time I took her to the doctor, I’d have gotten fired.
- No driving in inclement weather. Last year, we got 37 inches of snow in a 10-hour period of time. Can you imagine driving home from work in that? That’s another day I’d be calling my boss and saying I can’t make it.
- No commute. My office is upstairs. I literally walk out one door, up a flight of stairs, and into another. Before I had an office, my work area was my dining room table. Even closer!
- Getting dressed is optional. While I’ve never had a Skype meeting without pants, I have absolutely attended meetings dressed in a nice sweater on top and a pair of gym shorts on the bottom. And if you don’t have to do video conferencing, you can really work wearing anything you want! Working from home is all about the comfort level!
- I have a flexible schedule. This is different for different jobs. Because I work for myself, I can work when I want. Sometimes that means I’m writing blog posts at 3 am. Sometimes that means that I’m on my phone discussing marketing strategies with a client while shopping for tomatoes. My flexible schedule allows me to go on field trips and volunteer at the school without asking for permission and then receiving a guilt trip.
- Vacation whenever and for however long as you’d like. While I haven’t done this, I know that some work from home parents only work when their kids are in school. The summer months are their family time, and they don’t work at all. I do, however, give myself 3 weeks vacation plus bank holidays. I take off a week and a half at the end of the summer and the time between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day each year. Again, I ask permission from no one.
- Working from home saves money. I save money in so many ways, and that means I can afford to work from home fewer hours than I would if I worked outside of the home. For example, I have no travel or commute expenses. I put gas in my car once a month. To be honest, I really don’t even need a car. I also have no daycare expense and I don’t need to buy dress clothes. The money aspect is actually the biggest reason I decided to work from home. Once I added all of the work related expenses, I wasn’t making enough money to go to work in the first place!
- When I work from home, I’m a better mom. When the little one is sick, I can make homemade chicken soup. I can spend time browsing Pinterest and then creating spiders on her head for crazy hair day. I can spend extra time in the morning with her and take her to swimming lessons and gymnastics after school. She’s only going to be little once. I’ll never get these years back. Since I work from home, I’m able to make the most of them.
While working from home isn’t for everyone, it certainly has its perks, and it’s been a blessing for me. I’d be lying if I said it was always awesome, because it’s not. There are some days I’ve even gone so far as to browse classified ads. (That’s a story for another day.) For now, though, I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
Do you work from home? What do you love about it?