Work is the key word in Work From Home

  1. Work is the Operative Word in Work from Home

    When I tell people I am a field nurse case manager/independent contractor and have worked from home for almost 30 years, they seem to focus on everything except the fact that I am really working. I hear responses like, "Oh, you get to set your own schedule," and "I would love to work in my pj's all day." While I confess to the latter on occasion, I definitely don't set my own schedule.

    Working from home requires a lot of self-discipline and is not for everybody. The level of independence and self-reliance it requires, as well as the physical setting, doesn't suit everyone's lifestyle. For instance, it's really true that you need an isolated, quiet place to work. If you can't keep family members and pets out of your workspace - especially when you're on the phone - working from home is not for you.

    Many people think flexibility means your work becomes your last priority. That is a myth. You are already working without direct supervision, and perhaps for someone who isn't really a fan of supervising staff he or she can't actually witness working. Therefore, there is added pressure of being punctual and producing on or before deadlines as a way to reassure the supervisor in absentia. If you're someone who is chronically using excuses for being late because of kids or traffic, you don't have those excuses when you work from home.

    I have sometimes tried to recruit colleagues still working in clinical settings. Many aren't interested because they enjoy the social, interpersonal interaction of working among others. While I will admit I have had moments of wishing there was someone else around to catch the phone so I don't have to carry it into the bathroom, for me that is an easy trade-off for not having to listen to people telling personal stories, i.e., drama, when they're supposed to be working; or having to respond to inane changes in facility policies by people who may have never even been in a facility.

    What are the advantages? Obviously, having uniforms or other work clothing is a non-issue and you save a ton on transportation and food. I have laughed about the fact that I have literally been deposed while loading the clothes dryer and that I can fix supper and work simultaneously. BUT, again, never forgetting work is the top priority.

    When nurses in facilities ask me about working from home, I first ask them questions such as: Would you have anybody in your house while you're working? Can you say no when all the relatives and neighbors start asking for favors because you're "only" working from home? Do you have great time management skills and self- discipline to "stay at it," when you'd rather be curled up on the couch? Can you manage keeping your printer paper and toner in stock so you don't hold up production because you're out of supplies?

    The more important question I ask is why that person would be interested in working from home? If it's to accommodate something that involves another person, such as childcare or elder care, or to be able to study, then I suggest that working from home is probably the last thing that person wants to do; because working from home does not give you more free time from working.

    Wherever you are, you need an emergency plan for loss of power. I live in Florida where we have occasional threats of a hurricane. In other parts of the country, winter weather may create an equal threat. Therefore, unless you've banked a lot of PTO or can afford to be on leave without pay, you need a plan to keep working when you have no power. The easiest recommendation is to leave before the storm gets there. Sometimes you have no warning. So, keep a full tank of gas if weather threatens and auto chargers for your laptop and your phone. Those small provisions can keep you going until alternate arrangements can be made.

    If you are tempted to work from home, be sure you are independent, don't need a lot of interpersonal interaction from your job, and that you are able to have the physical set-up required to do your job well. To maximize being hired for a remote job, get licensed in multiple states. If you live in a compact state, all the better. Look at ads for remote jobs to get an idea of where there are a lot of remote opportunities and have licenses for those states in hand when you apply. Telling an employer you will get the license if hired moves you down the eligibility list after all the already-licensed competitors.

    Be honest with yourself. If you know the real reason you want to work from home is to choose when you work, forget it. If you want to work from home for legitimate reasons - and a potential employer will ask you about this in an interview - then go for it. You really can cook supper and get the laundry done while pumping out the work, but the work comes first. Good Luck!
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  2. Visit LJRNPENSFL profile page

    About LJRNPENSFL

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 1; Likes: 1
    from FL , US

    1 Comments

  3. by   wondern
    Quote from LJRNPENSFL
    ...for me that is an easy trade-off for not having to listen to people telling personal stories, i.e., drama, when they're supposed to be working; or having to respond to inane changes in facility policies by people who may have never even been in a facility.

    What are the advantages? ...you save a ton on transportation and food. I have laughed about the fact that I have literally been deposed while loading the clothes dryer and that I can fix supper and work simultaneously. BUT, again, never forgetting work is the top priority.

    ...Can you manage keeping your printer paper and toner in stock so you don't hold up production because you're out of supplies?

    ...If you want to work from home for legitimate reasons - and a potential employer will ask you about this in an interview - then go for it. You really can cook supper and get the laundry done while pumping out the work, but the work comes first. Good Luck!
    Sounds good! Do you work for an insurance company?

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