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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Working From Home

Working from home means:

*You never leave the office. When you are home you can always work, but you are also never truly away from the work.

*You can never leave behind the home environment to be in one devoted exclusively to work. Why do people go to writers' colonies? To get away from home.

*You don't have all your work materials in one place, since you have to bring them home, and might forget some of them.

*Time is elastic. For example, it is 9:46 and I am at home.  Am I working?  I'm not sure. I've done some work related things this morning, but I am not fully committed yet.

Like virtually all academics, I do some work at home, but I don't necessarily see this as ideal. It is great for night owls and super early risers. If working at home were that great then my colleagues who are rarely at the office would have published two more books each.

2 comments:

Leslie said...

But working in the office means you can't commit, either. The noise, the heat (we don't have air conditioning or windows that can open), the interruptions, the bad energy.

I can really only concentrate out of town, if it is a question of being able to commit, focus, etc. Otherwise there's always a reason to keep and eye and ear cocked.

I realize it is best not to have to work at home but the university expects it and will say it to your face. It saves them $10K a year in air conditioning to have us assigned to work at home part of the time, it explains. If we had decent physical circumstances, a good internet connection to the library, etc., on campus then that would be different. But for the library / libraries, for instance, if I am not there in person I am better off entering databases from home.

Jonathan said...

Yes. Out of town is the best place sometimes! I am thinking of going to a writer's colony of some kind after Buenos Aires.

If the office is not an office then working at home has to do. Another disadvantage of working from home is that it is imposed by the institution itself, by the factors you mention, rather than being a true choice. Yes, anyone would work from a comfortable home if the alternative is what you describe.