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Dr John Hawkins

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Working at Home

Posted on 2006/09/17 13:57:21 (September 2006).

[Friday 15th September]
This week I'd finally managed to get the remote access thing working for my company, and so today I took advantage of the opportunity to try out working from home. My current assignment requires lots of communication with people in the US, but pretty much none with any of my colleagues in Tokyo. Given that from the office all I'd be doing is connecting remotely to a PC in the US, it occurred to me I could just as well do this job from home.

If I were to sum up the experience of working from home in a single word, then that word would have to be luxurious.

First of all not having to go through all the usual routine in the morning associated with going to work. Comparatively speaking I have a fairly short commute - about 45 minutes each way door to door. Still though that accounts for 1 and a half hours out of each day which is effectively wasted time, which only adds to the attraction of working from home.

The office I work in is a big open plan room, split up by high partitions, which means we can't really communciate with other teams, but we can easily be disturbded by them, and we feel we have to whisper all the time so as not to get on other people's nerves. Add to that the fact that it is a bit dim and dingy (not many windows) and not very imaginatively decorated and altogether I find it a bit of a dreary environment to work in.

So by contrast it was great to work at home, with the window open and my music of choice playing, no concern of annoying the other teams, but still with all my colleagues only an email/IM/phone call away if I needed them.

It also meant I could have a proper lunch for once, I could drink reasonable tasting water without having to pay for it (at the office it's either tap water or bottled water from the vending machine), and even pushed the boat out a bit and fit in a bit of a nap after lunch.

All in all it was quite luxurious. Not sure if it is something I could do every day - let's be honest you don't ever manage quite the same level of productivity working from home - but as an occasional break from the crappy work environment I have to put up with, it was most welcome.

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