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I’ve totally fallen into the work-at-home trap

Categories: Career, Making Time, The Juggle, Uncategorized, Working? Living?


Most of the time, I work from my home office, a little yellow room filled with a cluttered desk and stacks of books and product samples. But this week, I was in New York City, where most of my team is based. I had a series of meetings to attend and people to meet, and most of my usual workload to finish.

It made for a long and hectic day, but what really struck me wasn’t just the 400-plus-mile round-trip commute or the working printers or the free coffee. It wasn’t just the face-to-face conversations with the actual people I work with, to whom I talk at least twice a day, every day, even when I’m in my home office. It wasn’t just the make-up and nail polish I put on or the fact that I was wearing a suit instead of looking like the insomniac workaholic that I am.

The oddest thing was the way that I packed up my computer, gathered up my stuff, and left the office at the end of the day.

When you work from home, even if you’re lucky (and/or smart) enough to have an office with a door that shuts, you never really pack up at the end of the day. You are always working, sometimes because you truly love your job (like I do), but more often than not it’s because work is just always there. You check your email as you’re doing other things or after the kids are in bed. You log in to do one little task, or several, to make the next morning go a little more smoothly.

But then it snowballs. Not only are you on the clock nearly all the time, you feel like you be able to keep on top of everything else, too. At least, I do. I look at the laundry and the clutter and I want to have dinner ready and sooth sick kids and have a spotlessly clean house at all times because, after all, I’m at home all day, right?

Right. And, also, wrong.

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3 comments so far...

  • Working at home is better for me. It’s nice to be able to switch between domestic and “work” duties when I need a break from one or the other, or to best prepare for whatever is coming up (deadlines? houseguests?). After all, sooner or later we all need a break from the computer; might as well spend it folding laundry vs. gossiping in the break room.

    Ever since I got my first laptop (~15 years ago?) I have always brought it home even when I worked in an office. I even used to have two power cords so I’d only have to pack the computer itself. So working at home outside of “work” hours is a given for me. Most of the time, I just block certain hours during which I won’t work.

    SKL  |  August 7th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

  • All of your blog posts are kind of whiny. And self-absorbed. And unhelpful.

    MOMofthree  |  August 30th, 2011 at 3:01 am

  • Thanks for taking the time to find my blogs and leave troll-like comments, Marie Hopkins of Warwick, R.I.! Or “MarieAnn Hopkens” or “MOMofthree” or “RUBYPETEROSE” or whatever you want to call yourself today. Your IP address, which is logged by this site, matches the one from the emails you sent me via Facebook last night. Such an interesting surprise to see you here—and so soon after that embarrassing and unproductive thread! Though I’m flattered that you took the time to read *all* of my blog posts, as per your comment. There are quite a few of them. No wonder you were up so late! Have a great day.

    Lylah  |  August 30th, 2011 at 11:41 am