Thursday, November 29, 2012

Flexibility Matters

I wanted to write a post about how things are going with my special work arrangements. Working 2 days a week from "home" (actually, my mom's home while she watches the kids), has been totally amazing.

I was very skeptical at first. In lawschool, every one of my attempts to study at home failed. I simply could not muster up the self discipline to hunker down and focus on school. Same thing with my first attorney job. But so far, whether I'm working on my dining room table or in my old room at my parent's house, I've been super productive. It helps to have scary court-deadlines looming over your head. Or maybe it's the fact that I still feel like I need to prove to my new employers that I can make this working from home thing work.

The days I work from "home," I get an extra hour of sleep. After work, I get an extra hour of play time with the kids. (I even took them to the YMCA yesterday after work!). When I get to my mom's, I lock myself in my old room where I am free from interruption by partners, paralegals, phone calls, etc. There's no one to entice me away from my desk with an invitation to lunch or coffee. I can take five minute breaks to raid my mom's pantry and give the kids a hug.

Mentally, just knowing that I don't have to make the 2.5 hour one way trek into Seattle everyday, has made all the difference in my attitude. I'm not stuck in traffic. I don't have to deal with extremely slow walkers clogging up the sidewalks. I don't have mini-panic attacks about missing my bus or ferry. If I'm half an hour late, no one knows (I just work half an hour later). It's so much easier to manage an unhumane commute when you are only doing it every other day. 

Plus, I get to work in my yoga pants! Or jeans. Or shorts. Or heck, my underwear if I wanted! From a wardrobe perspective, my job is perfect. Half the week I get to play dress-up and wear all my favorite work wardrobe pieces and the other half of the week I get to work in my casual clothes that otherwise get very little use.

And double bonus: I still love my job. Like, to a sickening degree of job-love. It's challenging. It's interesting. I get to write a lot of motions and briefs. I occassionally get to attend hearings and depositions ("occassionally" is the perfect frequency for these types of tasks). I get to help strategize on litigation efforts. I get just the perfect mixture of self-management/autonomy and guidance. Probably the most exciting thing of all... I get my picture on the firm website! Hey, it's the little things right?

So, the take-away? A little flexibility from an employer as far as letting you work from home or work slightly-reduced hourse can make a huge difference. Without the flexibility, the job I absolutely love would be unsustainable and implausible. I still don't know how I got so lucky!

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