In praise of working from home

I will give you anything, if you don’t demand it.” – Skydiggers, I Will Give You Everything*

I’m home on professional development time for the rest of the week, so I thought that now would be a good time to share some thoughts I’ve been thinking about the ever-controversial issue of working from home. This is part one, and likely the first of a series of “in praise of” posts (I’m an incorrigible positive thinker); if you check back at the end of the week, we can take stock of what I’ve actually accomplished, and where I’ll share honest observations on my productivity levels and how they would compare to what I would produce if in office.

There are very obvious benefits to working from home for the worker. Instead of reading the news and drinking my coffee on a cold and crowded subway (where yesterday I publicly wept at a story out of Syria – good morning, Scarborough!), I was able to hunker down under my duvet with my heating pad to listen to CBC Metro Morning and ponder the world in peace. Right around the time that I would be arriving downtown, I rose to make the coffee and get at ‘er. As one does when working from home, I immediately sent email to my team as if to demonstrate that indeed, I am awake and working. In my robe, but nevertheless, at my computer as I would be in the office.

Now, here comes the tricky bit. I’ve got a voluminous to-do list. Over the course of the next few days I intend to:

  • Develop to completion a Blackboard learning module for MKT100 to help the students do their research for a situational analysis assignment on a particular company.
  • Analyze the data that I have on ebook usage and develop my thoughts for a presentation recently accepted for ER&L in March.
  • Begin a literature search on weeding in academic libraries in preparation for another conference presentation recently accepted for CLA in May.
  • Keep on top of the daily email and happenings on the ground at the office. I expect this part to be quieter than usual given the time of year.

So, with nothing but my cat’s company and an internet connection, what’s stopping me from absolutely KILLING that list? I’ve got some deadlines here, and indeed, I should be working at peak. I’ll get distracted by snacks and a load of laundry here and there; I suppose that’s what gives employers pause when pondering the work from home issue. I don’t consider this my right as an employee. I am using three of my ten PD days here, and wouldn’t feel right doing so otherwise. There is no prescribed work week in our collective agreement and therefore, nothing official compelling me to go in five days a week. Conversely, there’s also nothing in the CA indicating that I am entitled to work remotely. Nor would I want to see that changed. There are many reasons to go to the office, but that’s for the end-of-the week post where I’ll share what I did get done, and what I didn’t. Full disclosure promised.

Right now, I’ve got to get tinkering in Blackboard, and respond to a couple emails … and my son wet through his diaper last night (TMI MAMA!) so I’ll be throwing a load of laundry in the washer too.

*inspired by above mentioned listen of Metro Morning


2 thoughts on “In praise of working from home

  1. Alison Hitchens

    looking forward to part 2! I find working from home useful on an ad hoc basis to get some concentrated work done on a project for a day or writing up performance appraisals. Not sure if I would want to do on a regular basis.


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