- Well I was going to write a follow up blog about working from home… That was a couple of years ago.
My head is just over the water. That’s a good thing because I love to be busy. That’s a bad thing because I’ve had to learn how to saw no. I’m not very good at it. I usually just do the job, and work more hours. OK, that was before I hit a little over 80 hours in one week. Now I’m trying to find a better balance.
So working from home:
- I am a self-starter.I do make sure I am available 7 AM – 4 PM. Normal hours. Usually a lot more than that.
- I DO make my estimated dates, unless another 200 things pop up and then I document.
- I do not get dressed for work. 😉 You can usually find me in a t-shirt and sweats. Hair brushed – optional. No makeup. See above. I do look like a bit of a beached whale – but oh well, it’s for a good cause.
- I do still get up an hour early. I like to check to see if I have more things I need to do for the day. I also need to wake up. Tea – I love black tea. My favorite is a Scottish blend. I love my machine that makes my warm team in the morning too!
- I do have an office. Complete with two large monitors. I do use it. However, most of the time, you can find me in my recliner with my laptop on the arm of the chair. Working away. It just depends on if I need 2 monitors or not.
- I rarely drive anywhere.
- My productivity is high. I get a lot done. A whole lot done. If I didn’t, I’m sure I’d be fired. You have to be motivated by the work. And actually it helps if you are like me. I’ve always loved the technical side of SAP. So I’m at home doing what I love. (Most of the time.)
- I am a solitary person. That’s a good thing. I like to do some heads down work. But with IM, WebEx, and Skype that doesn’t happen very often.
So do I Like it:
- No, I love it.
- My normal work hours at my job was 7 – 4. Then I would work over. Not as much as my work at home job, but I wasn’t at home. However, at home I can usually take a break and hear about my son’s day.
- I don’t drive to work. I DON’T DRIVE TO WORK. Forget about dealing with bad weather. I live in Michigan – we get bad weather a lot.
- When I get annoyed, I no longer have to school my features. I can even put my phone on mute and spit and sputter. Then I can get back on and be reasonable when presenting alternatives. WooHoo! I always had issues with that before. I tend to get emotional when I feel strongly about something.
- My dog climbs into my lap during meetings. You have to love that. Petting him makes me much more reasonable.
- My music is no longer in my headphones it is on a stereo. Much better for my ears.
- Hours – what hours? I work an average of 40 hours extra a month. Really it’s not as bad as it sounds.
- I had to learn to say no. I worked 80 plus hours one week. I was starting to burn out and had to say no. No more.
- My company is global. Sounds cool right? What it means is someone is usually on line 24 hours a day. Right now no one is working on Saturday. So you guessed it. That means it’s transport day. So there is some minor support that is needed then.
- And so – the obvious, with no time to waste, I rarely post or read SCN. I do use the forums to find answers to issues, and then feel guilty when I don’t give back. I keep thinking things will slow down. Maybe?
- I do travel. Not very much though. They like to keep those costs down. I have met some of the people I work with. Keep in mind we are in MANY different countries.
- This year I missed D-Com (Teched). 😥 It was the first time in years. Last year, even working from home, I did go.
Outside of working from home challenges:
- My company – I am the only internal SAP developer. What does that mean – I work a lot with off-shore consultants. It’s just different. Sometimes, the hours between our work schedules are an issue.
- There isn’t a code review practice in place. That is hurting us. Yes, I believe my code should be reviewed as well. There will be, it just takes time that we don’t have right now.
- I honestly have lost track of how many off-shore consultants. My boss would know.
- I struggle to be able to do new project work. Mostly I do support work. Not the most fun thing to do. That’s really why I increase my hours so much. I want to make time for a fun project.
- Working through some really bad code. I mean really bad. The kind you want to throw out and start over. But you don’t dare to, because it might break something you don’t know about. (And yes, there is good code too)
- And last, hoping that you stay an employee. Yes, I know this is everywhere. They have outsourced so much to off-shore. And I do work from home… But I would have that wherever I worked. More and more countries are moving to an off-shore model.
- I LOVE the people I work with. They are all motivated, friendly, helpful, professional, and I could go on and on. These guys are top of the line. I can’t believe how well we connect. Some of them, I’ve met in person. Some I haven’t.
So is it for everyone?
- Doubtful. A good friend of mine worked from home for a while. After she determined that she was working more hours from home than as an individual consultant on the road. She took back to the road. And she was good at working from home, she just didn’t like the longer hours.
- If you aren’t a self starter. DO NOT DO THIS. You have to set hours, and keep to them.
So there you have it. My experiences working from home. And a little extra feedback too! Feel free to ask questions, and add feedback. If you work from home – what has been you experience? Do you like it?
And now you know why my blogs and comments have slowed down. (OK – so they stopped for a while.) Sorry guys. I’m going to try to at least comment on things. I am still using SCN. I feel bad not giving back.