So I had a chance to visit the Super Secret iThemes HQ this week and I remembered that I owed Cory Miller a Blog Response to his earlier post on working from home. You can read his original post here http://corymiller.com/work-remote/
So when Cory’s post came across my twitter feed, I read it and laughed.. He spent all this time going over the pros and cons for working at home for an individual but he left off some of the challenges one might think about for family.
So in background I am a honeymooner who married in August 16 and lived with my husband for a year and a half before we married. Still to this day, we live in the house I bought as a single woman and lived in by myself for 7 years.
When we started living together, he worked in OKC and it was dream. He was on a modified schedule, he left at 6:20 to get to work by 7..(because if he left at 7 he would get to work at 9) He would get up, get ready, make coffee, and wake me up on the way out the door. Then I would luxuriate on the couch drinking the coffee he had made for himself and watch Gayle, Nora, and Charlie to get ready and go to work at 8.
Oh those were the days..
I love my husband dearly, but now HE is ALWAYS home!!
I actually think he talks to more people during the day now working remotely, he is constantly on the phone and Hipchat etc..
But when I get home, he does want to talk to me!!! And sometimes after being a professor, I want to be home alone too..
I miss those days when I could sit on the couch, and do nothing or watch secret shaming tv during the day (you know like Fuller House or Hoarders on Netflix)
Sometimes when he has a local programmer meeting or is out of town, I feel as though I am running like Kate in The Cutting Edge to get to the ice first – and enjoy being in the house by myself.
However, I love my husband, I love that his current employer appreciates him and his love of learning. I love that he is excited to talk about work and feels part of an organization.
That all said, it took some negotiation.. I asked him to quit planning his programming club meetings for days he knew I was already gone. I have sent him out of the house once or twice to give me some home time. He likes getting out and mixing with people, and I like the alone time. For someone who works remotely, joining user groups and Meetups can be important social interaction and time out of the office/house.
Our routine has changed, he does not have to get up before 6 to go to work, and I often make the coffee or if we are organized enough we let Mr. Coffee make the pot we set up the night before and he now makes us breakfast..(and making breakfast is his special gift).
Moving forward, we have started looking for a different house that allows him to work from home better. He can have a work office (and we can claim it on taxes) but still have a “fun” office at home like I do for my things. The ideal situation would be a mother in law suite or an upstairs bedroom with separation from the hustle of the main living space.
I have had to adjust to his work schedule too.. I lack work life balance in my job, and now that he works at home it is more important to have work life balance for him, and that affects me. Working from home, he has to work at it and creating clear boundaries. We try to have dinner together and set a separation time for work. Currently, this is my challenge, more than his. I have to learn to take the lead from him if he is successfully navigating work from home. It is one way that I can support his work success.
In the end, like all good relationships, it takes negotiating. He is so much happier in this job, and is a pretty good remote worker, as a couple we need to commit to this lifestyle and as he supports me in my professional endeavors, I need to support him too.