This is the time of year when we count our blessings, and lately I’ve been feeling grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to work almost exclusively from home. I have a flexibility that never would be possible were I required to be in an office from 8:30 to 5:30 every day. This way of working feels so natural–both for me professionally and for me as a mom.
A few weeks ago, for example, my daughter came down with pinkeye and had to be taken out of preschool and her sitter’s for a couple of days. Right around this time, we also came up against a tight client deadline. Thanks to my ability to work evenings and naptimes and thanks to the flexibility of those above me, I was able to meet the deadline (and do it well) while staying home with my daughter. At one point, my boss found it easier to call me at night after she got her own family squared away, and we hammered everything out as if it were two in the afternoon. I shudder to think what that week would have been like had I been in an office setting: frantic hours on the phone trying to find someone, anyone, who could take my sick child, bargaining to burn vacation days, feeling guilty about leaving co-workers who may or may not be understanding.
Those dramas affect me far less now. If I need an hour or so to take Little One to the doctor, I just do it. No asking permission, no sneaking away. I just keep my cell phone on me and make up the time that evening. No hauling a sick child out of bed so I can make it into the office on time; I let her wake up on her own, then set her up in the basement with her favorite DVDs while I do my work at the kitchen table (which is a heck of a lot less distracting, by the way, than some days in a cubicle farm, listening to people chitchat or play their music or crunch on their potato chips). I feel more relaxed and able to deliver good work–all because I have control over my situation, both workwise and familywise. I am proud to be working with a company that truly is family friendly. It makes me wonder why more companies don’t do things this way!