The Hidden Benefits of Telecommuting

Working from home rocks!

I telecommuted yesterday and let me just say that the advantages of not having to drag yourself into the office are so numerous as to risk shattering the fragile human mind. There are the obvious proofs: less gasoline being burned, fewer distractions, boosted morale*. There are the more subtle ones, too: no need to pack a lunch, no need for headphones, no need to wear pants. And then there are those boons that really aren’t even considered until they are experienced first hand.

I do it several times a month, you know: just roll from the water bed to the steno chair, fire up Photoshop, and VPN into the office. People tell me it’s just like I’m actually there in the building, only without the baritone bellowing of the phrase "What the HELL, people!?” occasionally rolling over the cubicle walls like an angry thunder clap.

But I don’t much care about the benefits to the people in the office when I’m working from home.
I’m a team player – don’t get me wrong – it’s just that I work better in solitude…

…where I can scratch and fart and badmouth the utter incompetence of certain coworkers without, you know, getting my ass fired.

I got a tremendous amount of work done yesterday and yet I felt far less stressed than I do after a typical day in the office. And as I sat on the sofa reading Life of Pi last night, I found my mind continually wandering back to all the cool things that had occurred earlier in the day as a direct result of my working from home.

Being There

One of my dearest friends, Marque, had a hell of a day yesterday and I couldn’t get over how awesome it was that I was available to take her phone calls as soon as they came through. Of all the days for me to stay home and work, I chose the day that my friend really needed me to be there. I am SO thankful for that.

Love you, M!


My best friend, Marley, also enjoys perks from this telecommuting gig. My lunch break ordinarily consists of a jaunt to Starbuck’s and a quick look at a few VOX posts. But when I work from home, I spend that chunk of time taking Marley on a leisurely stroll around the block: let him sniff and mark his regular places, harass that annoying pipsqueak Sheltie that thinks it’s a Mastiff, check the perimeter of our cul-de-sac for raccoons and fast-food wrappers**. By the time I go back to making graphics, I’m remarkably relaxed and clear-minded. It’s just wonderful.

Special Delivery

You know what I like? I like getting my mail. I sincerely appreciate not having a valuable FedEx package simply left on my doorstep for any karma-challenged crack addict to drag off to the Pawn-n-Smoke. Working from home allows me to be available to sign for the DVDs I spent far too much money on.

I often wonder how many of my VOX peeps also work from home and if they’ve ever thought about the little things that make it such a valuable treasure.

Well, do you? And have you?

*It should be noted that because the bean-counters cannot attach a figure to morale and put it in a spreadsheet, it does not exist to them.
**High school kids like to use our relatively secluded dead-end street as a spot to hang-out in their cars smoking pot and grubbing on greasy food from Wendy’s or Jack in the Box. Even though Marley is never allowed to partake of the morsels he finds, he still searches for them every time we go out.

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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11 Responses to The Hidden Benefits of Telecommuting

  1. IG says:

    hey kirk. I am set up to work from home too, with full functionality, but i do so only rarely (boss' preference, not mine). on the days when I have permission to work from home, I am so much more happy and productive, i can't even tell you. not having to wear pants is of course the best part.

  2. I don't but I wish I could, love 'no need to wear pants" and '*It should be noted that because the
    bean-counters cannot attach a figure to morale and put it in a
    spreadsheet, it does not exist to them.'just great.

  3. Rev Stan says:

    Yay for working at home I say. I occasionally get the chance, generally when I've got a feature to write because it just wouldn't get done in the office. I'm far more productive and can log on to the network as if I was in the office.I love the fact that I don't have to go through the whole getting up and going to work routine. I can pop to my local fishmongers to pick up something for tea which I can't normally do. Run a load through the washing machine and get it dry, have nice music playing and work hours that more suit me.

  4. Aurielis says:

    Hey hey! I work from home, and the only disadvantage I forewarn others about relates to 'contract work/your own business' which has inherent social differences, as you don't have an office of regulars to interract with, and so, you should get to know the other contract workers in your community. We meet for coffees, we keep in touch with mailing lists, and support each other with the stressors related to bad contracts. Extra advantages? I burn a candle in a beautiful latique lotus candleholder (see Kitty Voxing pic!) and use incense; I have the cat & plants around me, very soothing, and I can add any apps I'd like to this PC!! LOL
    Great post!!

  5. Kaivalya says:

    I'm self-employed, so I work from home a lot. But my favourite part about working from home is not working from home: I enjoy working from a cafe (which is where I am at the moment), working under a tree in the park on a nice day, working at the library, working over sushi…the variations are endless. But plain old 'working at home' is nice too, for all the reasons you mentioned. Especially the pants. And the walkies. 😉

  6. erin*carly says:

    hence the reason i want to move into full-photography-mode. and get this – my new room in the house i'm moving into is big enough for an office. i'd love to work from home even just one day out of the month. a nice change.

  7. arbed says:

    luckily bean counters are more and more able to put a price on morale as the costs of disability due to stress leaves are coming to the forefront of healthy workplace-conscious employers – there is indeed a great annual cost due to the lowered or lost performance, temp help if it's necessary, training time for new fill-ins, claims against insurance plans for disability, drugs, and doctor's visits – flexible work schedules are the way to go
    and after that, I have to admit that I've never been able to get my damn remote access set up on my home pc <grumble grumble>

  8. Lurkertype says:

    The no pants thing is very very important, especially in summer. Although I suspect the bean counters will NEVER be able to codify that.Mr. LT works from home fairly regularly. It's nice for me and the cats both. You do have to find some other way to set the work/home barrier though.

  9. Amanda says:

    Oh how I wish I could work from home! Unfortunately, the database I'm in all day is too large to work effectively over a VPN. No pants! I want the no pants!

  10. Matthew 25 says:

    I telecommute two days a week. I understand all you say. In Atlanta though, commutes can be so long that a telecommuting helps you regains some of your life.

  11. Marque says:

    phew. you are my guardian angel, i swear. and i have a few others working with me that made sure you were there for me! i would never have gotten home between downtown traffic and damn one way streets…oh…and the breakdown and you – thanks for always bringing me home. xxoo

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