Washington, DC traffic has finally gotten the best of me. Well, that, and my sense of duty to the environment. I’ve started working from home one day per week. It’s a tough change for me – even though I know that telecommuting is a great way to reduce environmental impact and my boss is completely on board, I still feel a bit like a slacker for sitting at home in my sweatpants with my cat clawing my feet as I work away (she only looks sweet & innocent).
The major disadvantage for me (besides worrying about being perceived as a slacker) is the ability to track down the folks I need. When I’m in the office and I need to talk to someone, I can always go right over to their desk. If I’m at home, I can’t tell if they are available or not and have to rely on them checking voicemail and email regularly.
I think that having instant messenger (AIM, G-Talk, MSN Messenger, Office Communicator, etc.) available to the entire office would help with both of these issues. IM would at least allow me to see if people are at least on their computer, and they can see that I’m at mine. Also, it allows for shooting over a quick question/comment without having to have an entire conversation.
That said, there are many green pros of working from home:
- No need to drive = fewer miles on the road, less wear & tear on Ralph the Prius, and less gas used
- No need to shower and blow dry hair = less water and energy use
- No need to dress up = fewer clothes to wash, dry, and iron or dryclean
- No need for dog walker = less miles she’s putting on the road + less expensive for me
- Desk next to window = happier Millennial 4 Earth + less need for electric lights
- Temperature control = no need for space heater since I have blankets available
- Not at my desk = people only bother me when they really need me
- No particularly delicious lunch joints nearby = healthier eating, less spending money, and less food in my fridge rotting from not eating it.
What are your experiences?