A lot of people ask me about work or how I work from home. I’ll try to explain how and what I do.
For those who don’t know me, I work as an SAP Consultant, focused on ABAP development and system integration. Or simply the computer guy. I’ve been doing this for the last 16 years and I like it!
The first thing everybody asks: how can you work from home having four kids? It is not a big deal, but it does require some rules and lot of talk.
I’m in full work from home mode now, but it all started 4 years ago when Coral was born. Before that, it was an everyday home-office-home journey, tiring, stressing and not having the time I want for the family.
New Zealand, in particular, is a quite fair place to work from 9 to 5, so you can balance your time with family time very well.
When she was born, we’ve decided that I should be more present at home, working a couple of days from home and the rest at my company’s office. I had a chat with the management and they agreed that I could do that, the only requisite was to be available when they needed me, but still doing 9 to 5 work days. It didn’t last long, as most of my workload is demands from customers from different time zones, so a normal workday was not actually the best to do it. Another round of arrangements with the company and I got a green card to perform work as per my own schedule. My own schedule! Great! I can do whatever I want! No! When you work from home, unless you have your own business, people will be looking at you trying to find any mistake to blame your “freedom”. So, I had to find a solution. I normally work in the mornings and then late nights; this is my general schedule. It means, I work a couple of hours in the morning, while kids are still in the sleepy mood, then stop for lunch and afternoon, get back at night after shower and dinner while the kids are cooling down from the day or even sleeping. Days like this are longer, but worth a lot when you can spend time with family.
Not all days are the same, as a consultant I have to be there for my customers, attend meetings and conference calls. When I need to attend a meeting or conference during the day, I normally set my headsets on and ask for silence or lock myself in the bedroom. It works very well. If you don’t have a space with doors and you have an important meeting, maybe you should let them watch a movie or something similar, it will keep them down for at least half an hour. Also, it is important to work together with your partner: Thais helps me a lot when I need to focus, when I have meetings or when I have to deliver something urgently.
Just keep in mind two things: ask for help when you need and when your kids ask to play, you can tell them to wait, but not for too long, enjoy the time with them.
So, no matter where you are, you can always do something you like. We are in 2016, and being stuck in an office 9 to 5 is no longer acceptable, unless you need to, unless your demand requires it!
Please, share your experiences, ideas. Do you work from home? Are you interested in doing it? Go for it!