Home sweet office
David Weigel has a new seat. It’s not in an office. He now fills a chair at the family breakfast table and a seat next to his son’s bed during bedtime stories. He knows that trading his corporate office for a home office turned a few co-workers’ heads, but it was a move in the right direction for him and many others.
Over the past several years the trend in home office employment has escalated. That means more and more moms and dads are setting up offices at home. Sure, these couples get to see each other more but is that a good thing?
Christine Weigel of Bellingham, Mass. made the home office transition a few years earlier when she left the corporate workforce to take care of their son Jack, now five. She transformed their dining room into an office and became an in-home sales consultant for Arbonne International. Feeling he was missing out on his son’s early childhood, David approached his employer with an at home work proposal.
“I used to leave at 5:30 a.m. and not return until 7 p.m. or later,” said David, who now spends his mornings at home before leaving to make sales calls as a Bio Pharmaceutical Account Manager. “It was strange at first, it was like you’re in the way, that was tough,” added David. “The most difficult transition to home employment was blending with the morning routine Christine and Jack had already perfected.”
We’re familiar with the adage ‘Don’t bring your work home with you’ how can one do this when their work is in their home? The Weigels’ simply close the office door, and turn off the blackberries when they need down time.
“It’s not like we’re working the conventional 9 to 5 job, it’s a different work environment where you blend work and life, and there are times our day extends into evening hours. I can put Jack to bed and he knows I’m right across the hall in my office” explained David.
Five-year-old Jack knows the routine too. When asked what he likes best about his parents working from home, without hesitation, he answered, “When they’re not working!”
Jack recently asked his dad where his office is now. “He had seen my office in my corporate building, and from his point of view kids think dads go to the office,” explains David. “I look at it like I’ve got my life back, I’m home with my family more, and I see my son more than the usual 45 minutes before he’s off to bed.”
The statistical findings noted individuals who reported working from home did so at least once per week; with 1 in 4 reporting a formal arrangement with their employer had been made prior to working from home.
In May of 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor reported 20.7 million people did some form of work from home as part of their primary job.
Brenda Wight is a wife and mother of two living in Westwood, Mass. She works as a freelance writer and is a sponsor of Sportron International “To enable all people to improve their economic well-being and enhance their
quality of life.”
Top 5 Tips for couples working from home
1. Separate offices are a must!
2. Close the office door and take time out of your day for ‘home time.’
3. Limit distractions and be careful not to replace office-based interruptions with home based ones.
4. Separate your home ‘work’ area from your ‘living’ area. This includes your computer and phone.
5. Work on networking. Not having co-workers doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out and get to know people who are doing the same things as you do.