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Why I am not good at working from home

November 12, 2007

Most companies, like mine, do not give employees all the Federal holidays off.  Instead, you get the major holidays of the 10 officially recognized days, and the balance you get as floating holidays to use as you choose.  Veterans Day, today, is one such holiday.  Officially I am supposed to be working today.  However, as a government contractor, my client office is closed, because government employees get all 10 Federal holidays off.  It creates an awkward situation where technically I am supposed to work but I cannot go to my office.

When I got the word early this morning that I should just work from on what I have with me, I was thrilled.  To celebrate, I immediately went back to bed for another two hours.  Since getting up, I have gone out to eat breakfast, gone grocery shopping, started on a pot of homemade chicken soup, worked out, and showered.  A fairly productive day so far, but you will notice not one of those tasks is remotely work related.  In fact, probably the only reason I was so productive was because I have work to do.  I will go to great lengths to avoid doing work I don’t enjoy, and today is no exception.  Master procrastinators do not make for good remote employees.  Not that I need someone looking over my shoulder the whole time, or God forbid monitoring my internet browsing history, but in general my office has far less distractions than my apartment.

I will get my work done, of course, but it will likely be at 10pm tonight, just like in school.  I wrote my senior honors thesis, for which I received credit for two upper level electives, in approximately a week.  And it was probably better than if I had been working on it the whole time.  The pressure of a looming deadline and a very real prospect of failure and humiliation motivate me better than most other incentives I have encountered in my admittedly short career.  Perhaps once I am doing work I truly enjoy it will be different.  Or maybe once I get burned by not finishing something that turns out be actually important I will change.  But for now, the system works.

One Comment leave one →
  1. andy permalink*
    November 13, 2007 11:27 am

    Yeah I got about as much work done from home yesterday as I’m going to at the office today, and I had a lot more fun yesterday.

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