by Jeremy Anderson
I’m a dad and I work from home. This provides immeasurable freedom that you don’t get when you commute and are confined to a corporate cubicle. However, it does requires balance, self-discipline and setting boundaries.
When I started working from home my kids were in elementary school and middle school. It was a major adjustment for me to go from commuting over an hour a day to walking down the hallway in my home to get to my desk. I’m now able to balance my day and have much more control over my schedule. I can get up early and get logged in, take a look at my calendar and answer any urgent emails. Then have breakfast with my family, get the kids to school, then back to my desk. Working from home has also made following my person fitness goals easier. Now, instead of squeezing in an early morning run in the cold and dark, I can go for a mid morning run, or hit the gym after all of the commuters have begun their long drive to their office.
Being a work from home dad also requires self-discipline. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can hang out with you unemployed buddy all day or take your neighbors kids to soccer practice during the week. My day is fairly structured between normal business hours with regularly scheduled meetings and commitments every day. I’m able to work in the flexibility throughout my day and since my office is in my home, it makes it easy to wrap things up or take care of additional details after normal business hours.
For me having a dedicated office in my home has been key. When my kids get home from school if they see my office door closed, they know that I’m either on a conference call or working on a deadline. Being home when the kids get home from school has been one of the most impactful times to be working from home. I’ve had some of the best conversations with my kids right after school when they walk in the door. The events of the day are still fresh in their minds and they will tell me all about their day and what happened at school, whereas if it were 3 hours later at the dinner table they will have either forgotten or decided not to talk about it.
The freedom I have felt and the control of my schedule have both been unexpected benefits of working from my home office. It has not only changed my life for the better, but has had a positive impact on the life of my family.
Jeremy Anderson is Director of Client Services at FlexJobs.com