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The Constant Telecommuter
When I started working remotely for Red Nova Labs more than two years ago, I knew I had the discipline to get the job done, even allowing for the potential distractions that come from working out of a home office. What I didn't realize at the time was that I would actually miss the interaction with my peers. Sure, we keep in touch daily with technology like Google Hangouts, chats and phone calls…but there's also nobody hiding around the corner from my office door getting ready to launch an attack with a Nerf gun. And some days, I kind of wish there was.
There are definite perks to working from home. My favorite during the winter months is avoiding the snowy commute. No scraping windows, no slipping & sliding all over the road, and no need to bundle up in seven layers of clothing to get to the office. Walking up the stairs and taking a quick right sure beats a 180 on black ice during a blizzard. Yes, that actually happened once. Telecommuting has saved me a lot of money on gas and car maintenance. I've probably driven less than 5,000 miles total since I started telecommuting. I've also saved a lot on pants. Who needs them when you're only seen from the neck up? Kidding! I'm totally wearing pants right now (as far as you know).
Didn't have to drive on this day. Score one for the telecommuter.
Perks aside, I do miss out on the instant collaboration, camaraderie, spontaneous lunches, and random happy hours with my co-workers. But in my case, the biggest downside to working from home is the inability to shut down and disengage at the end of the workday. Because my office is just several feet away instead of several miles down the road, it's easy to eschew my personal life and get caught up with jots and tittles.
Having good self-control and discipline is absolutely essential for the remote worker. If you are the type of person that requires constant reminders, human interaction and reassurance to get the job done, then telecommuting is not for you!
Share your stories about telecommuting (good, bad, ugly) in the comments.