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A million years ago – at least that’s what it feels like, I wrote a blog trying to get feedback about working from home.   I also posted the query in different forums.   Honestly I was trying to get reasons to support working from home.  That way I could take some comments specifically from the SAP world back to them.

What did I find?

Well if you didn’t read the last post – you know the one a million years ago.   That’s OK, I’ll tell you now.   Most people did not work from home.

New post

So lets just jump into what I really want to say.   I work from home now.   How much you say?  Almost 100% of the time.   <GASP>  Really?  I travel to various offices as needed.  I would guess around 15% or less of the time.   YES!  Fist in the air! 

So what does it mean to me?

I have more time with my family.  Yes, really…. More time.  I may be working longer hours.  And I do that sometimes, sometimes pretty normal SAP hours.   Around 45 – 80ish hours a week.   Even when I’m working on the high end I spend more time with my family.   I usually lock myself in my office.   But I do come out for breaks, lunch, and to be there when my son gets home.

I do not drive to work.   I’m saving a lot of gas money that way.   I also get 1 1/2 hours extra in a day.   So when I’m working longer — I don’t have the drive.   When the snow is high my family isn’t worried that I’ll be stuck in a ditch somewhere either going or coming home from work when I’m tired.  (And some days when I’m not tired.)

There are no sideways looks when I leave the office and come home and work.   My boss knows I’m working or well… The good fairy – she would not be doing my programs.

The downside

Well for me – it’s not really too bad of a downside.   The expectation is that I’m available over the weekends for support issues.  (I was when I was working on site as well). 

I have a work cell phone, and they like me to carry it so I can get e-mail and text and… well you get the picture.   I have my own cell, and they are nice enough to use that so I’m not juggling them around.

My work – we are spread out across the globe.   Sometimes, I have to listen very carefully to understand what people are saying to me over the phone and during Webex meetings.   I’m sure they do the same with me.

Meetings – AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH – I think I go to more of them now that I’m woking from home than when I was in the office.  Yuck.  I really get sick of meetings.   But I can live with them.

Difference – not good not bad

IM – I am becoming an expert.  We use IM like I used to use yelling over the cubical walls.   I can ask my co-workers technical questions and get responses quickly.  Very quickly.  We all work well as a team.

Team – we have to be a strong team.  We have to be a good co-worker.  Why is it so important?  Without the face to face we rely on eachother via IM.  If we get no response, it’s hard to tell if it is because they are busy or because they hate us.  OK hate is too strong of a word.   Really unless in a meeting or “do not disturb is on”, we should reply.   Even if it is to say we can’t help right now.  Usually we drop everything and help.  Why?  Because they wouldn’t have asked if they hadn’t already researched.   And we know they may not be able to reach anyone else.

You have to be a self starter and you have to be able to make your deadlines.  (Or explain you’ve been yanked off to a different project.)  Communication is key here.   Immediately let people know that you can’t meet the deadline and why.  They may want to escalate the issue.  They can’t do that if they don’t know your not working on their project.

Communication.  It is different.  Using IM, e-mail, Skype, Webex are important.   Questions and communications are usually not via a phone call.  In a tight deadline or high priority – yes call.  

So me

I am in my dream job.  I am learning and working with new technology all the time.  Deadlines are fast and I’m very busy.  I am working from home most of the time.  And I do travel some…. That’s OK too.

Sadly that leaves little time for SCN.   But I’m going to start trying to make time.

Plug for the day

OH – and my plug for today.  Try to get to Teched.  I will be there – I will be presenting.   My presentation is geared towards the beginner but others may get one or two things from it!  Yes, I’m making time for The LV Teched.  I might even be paying my own way there this year.   But I still have my fingers crossed for some funds from my work.  (Oh and that’s a downside.)  Approval for training seems to be slower in coming.  If you see me in the halls please stop and say hi.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I’m really a shy person.

Don’t expect me to be wearing the Mentor shirt.  Those people are very active on SCN.  I am an Alumni.   So I get to dress pretty much like you.  I do have to change my picture so it is more current.

The end

Wether working from home or at the office, I hope you are enjoying your job.  You are actually spending more time doing your job than anything else.  If your ready for a change because you “hate” what you do.  Make the leap.  It can only be better.  And if you are complaining to your co-workers more than you should.  That’s a good hint to start looking.  🙂

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11 Comments

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author

      If you want to stay where you are  —- you have to be happy there.    Then start doing the research.  You have to present a sound reason to your company to work from home.   Just how will they save money if you worked from home?  Tell your manager.  Usually  if they are open to it, they will start you out with a couple of days.   If it sounds like something you would like to see, I can write another blog — at some point, that helps detail some of those reasons.  However, only you would know the exact ones to motivate your boss to allow work from home.

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        1. Michelle Crapo Post author

          That’s what it’s all about – getting those policies changed.  Start with your manager then go up the line.  It may be possible to make an exception until it is determined if it works or not.

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author

      Thank you Tammy!  You are always an inspiration to me.  I saw your SIT in Chicago – and tried at the last minute to get to go.  BUT kudos to you, it was full.  🙂

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  1. Simon To

    Welcome back Michelle!

    In my humble opinion, although work from working has some upsides as you have stated, the major downsides are:

    1. You are disconnected from your business. Of course, it depends on your job function. Some job need more interaction with the business than others.

    2. You lose the social aspect with the business and the coworkers. Phone calls and IM are not the same as sitting down with your coworkers to share the kid’s photos or weekend events, or to act as the Monday morning quarterback on your favorite sport team. The social aspect is very important in maintaining a healthy relationship with the business and with the coworkers. Otherwise, you are just a name and a number.

    3. You lose the team dynamic because of #2 above.

    My $0.02. 🙂

    simon

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author

      Hi Simon,

      It’s great to hear from you!   I hope to see you in Las Vegas.   I think your comments are valid.  I think it depends upon the workplace and how good it is on team making.  Or maybe the manager.

      I’ve never felt cut off from my team.  Of course, we meet up about once every 3 months.  Usually sooner depending on the project.   Or maybe I’m just an anti-social person.

      Either way – I think you have some valid points.

      Remember also that I am a programmer.  I usually work with a business anaylst, and not directly with the business.   However, yes, at times I work with them.  And surprise, surprise, I make a trip to the site to meet with them directly.  So I am not completely disconected.

      Even developers, need to know the business side of things to be able to develop sound applications.  We need to know the questions to ask.   Why?   Because sometimes they don’t tell us everything.  (LOL)  And even then, we will miss things.   But a lot less than if we didn’t know the questions to ask.

      Face to face time…..   Mmmmmm… Yes we miss that part.

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