When I moved to the West Coast, I was immediately introduced to a delightful concept called "working from home." It is amazing how many people do this on a regular basis. Some people work from their house, while others go to coffee shops, libraries, the park, etc. More and more co-working spaces are sprouting up all over San Francisco as people want an office environment closer to home.
When I got my job (29 mile commute across the Bay Bridge to the East Bay), I negotiated with them the ability to work from home from time to time. Working from home has taught me the following things:
* More time. To drive to Contra Costa County and back takes a minimum of 2 hours a day and can take up to 3 hours depending on traffic. Yes, it is only 29 miles, but I have to cross the Bay Bridge and go through Caldecott Tunnel.
* Saves money. On top of gas (Toyota Tundra), I also have to pay $6 each day to get across the Bay Bridge and back into the city. I figure I save around $18 a day by working from home.
* Efficient. I get more work done when I work from home. Every day a portion of my day is spent socializing with volunteers and staff. This is actually part of my job. When I work from home, I can just focus on paperwork, stats, mailings, returning phone calls, etc.
* Relaxing. At the end of the day when I shut my laptop, I do not face a grueling commute home. It is a stress free day.
* Contact. I do stay in close contact with the office. They can call me, text me, e-mail me, etc. I have several different ways that they can get in touch with me in an emergency. Recently, I was working from home and they needed something done quickly. With the help of my trusty laptop, the phone, and a good Internet connection, I got the task done with time to spare. Who needs an office?
* Work Space. My favorite work spaces are coffee shops like Sugar Lump Coffee Lounge in Outer Mission or Jumpin Java in Castro. One space that I frequent a lot is Panera Bread in SOMA.
Working from home is a wonderful gift that employers can give to their employees. It doesn't have to be all the time, but it feels great to do it occasionally. I think it makes for a happier and more productive work force.
Now if you would excuse me, I have a report to work on that I will present at a meeting next week. Before I start, I should probably order another Panera Bread bagel and refill my tea.