28 January, 2016

Working from a home-corner

My home office-corner
I usually work from my desk at home, in the corner of our dining room. There are many things accomplished from the little computer desk in my dining room

But it's a question I'm often asked: do you have an office, do you often go down to the JEMA office downtown to work? Well no. The only time I go downtown is like today, when a magazine is ready to post out, and that is only four times a year. 

As I type this on my phone on the way into the office, I'm standing on a crowded train with sniffs and occasional coughs. I am glad that my commuting most days is minimal. Even though my house is chilly, this is a very convenient arrangement and gives me lots of flexibility in how I use my time and allows me to be available for my family when they need me most of the time. It also has a better view than either the JEMA office or the OMF office.

The city office of the organisation that publishes the
magazine. Of course my work from home doesn't
just encompass this editing work, I have a number
of roles, most of the others are related to OMF or CAJ
or are our own news/prayer letter or my own writing.
My boys understand that I work from home, but sometimes I don't think what that means fully registers. Because my computer is in the dining room it is hard for me to work once they're home (although not as hard as it used to be). So the arrangement isn't perfect. School holidays are tricky. So are days when I haven't finished what I wanted or needed to get done before they come home from school. 

Yesterday I wrote about 35 emails during the course of the day. I had not quite finished a couple of important ones when two boys came home. My youngest, who is only just getting used to his own email, watched over my shoulder as I typed. I mentioned to him it had been a high volume email day and he said, "Yeah, while I've been watching you've already written two!"

I never thought I'd work willingly from home  because I grew up in a house that also housed my parents' electrical contracting business. Them working nights and weekends in the office doing paperwork was common, even normal. I never wanted that. 

Yet then I became an aspiring missionary and was working nights and weekends to raise awareness of what we believed God had called us to do. After nearly two years of that we flew to Japan and both began full-time language study while taking full time care of our very active toddler. Guess what? We were working nights and weekends. Then another boy was born while still at language school and the pattern continued.

Life as a stay-at-home mum took up the next few years and I was working at home because that was where my kids needed me. It's how I got into the writing/editing business, because I could do that from my home computer corner.

So, now the boys are all at school and have been for a few years now, I'm still working from home, and liking it. I do, though, have my rules. I generally don't do housework (except for grocery shopping and sometimes putting the slow-cooker on) when they're all at school and I try to confine my computer work to school hours. I also try not to do work in the evenings, if at all possible.

I am an extrovert (or ambivert, explanation here), so I do need my times out of the house with adults. I get that mostly by meeting friends for coffee and going to school and mission prayer meetings. As I wrote earlier, I also get a lot of email interaction (and social media, to tell the truth), that helps tame the extrovert beast in me. I get antsy if I can't spend face-to-face time with one or more adults after a day or two, though.

How about you? Do you have experience at working from home base? How did you like it compared to going to a work-place/s?

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