Working from home · · 3 min read

Working from home... away from home!

You work from home and yet you decide to leave on vacations carrying your workload with you. No matter how well prepared you may be, do not expect much.

Working from home... away from home!

What I do for living is considered work from home. However, as I am now on vacations with my family I do not actually work at home. In effect, I do my work from home… away from home. Confusing?

Not at all! My job is done as long as I have a computer and an internet connection.

Unfortunately, as I realized, things are not that simple. If your goal is to work from home and carry on your workload during your vacations, you will probably have a hard time. Unless, of course, you are already rich and can afford to book an extra hotel room for doing business.  But let’s be real. You wouldn’t care about your work in that case, would you?

A chair and a phone

It’s said that all smart professionals need to make a profit, is a chair and a phone. In the internet era, this is paraphrased to a chair and email to have the job done. However, concerning my job and, I suppose, dozens of others, this is far from the truth.

You see, a lot of additional… prerequisites are needed. For starters, calmness and order.

When you work from home, calmness is more or less guaranteed. If distraction takes place, this is because your family or roommates (parents, partner, and friends) may not fully understand the nature of your work. On the other hand, eventually a new member of the family may arrive. In my case, the latter happened. Still, I managed to continue my work from home.

Now on my vacations, things are worse. We all neglect our familiar schedule, and balance is lost. Furthermore, there is no room strictly marked as my work space.

Generally speaking, vacations suck.

If you have kids, you know what “daddy, can you…” do this and that means. Instead of following a work schedule in their daily life, on-the-go professionals have to take care of the children, mom’s grocery shopping, chit-chatting with the father-in-law, and the whole family routine that can easily take them off schedule.

In the end, calmness is not always guaranteed. But let us talk about order.

This is my office desktop, obviously, at home.  Sure, I confess, I spent some time having everything clean and tidy for the photo. Nonetheless, in my real everyday life things are not far from what you see on that picture. I am quite meticulous and attentive when it comes to organizing my work. You won’t find a duplicate of a photo unnecessarily occupying disk space (anywhere from the PC to the cell phone or cloud), while I do know exactly where I have saved my electronic payment receipt of the electricity bill dated December 2011. Beat that!

Spending some time in the countryside does not stop me of being well organized. Of course, not in such a degree. I began writing this article on the table in the living room. Then, I laid down on the floor to get relieved from the heat (cold tiles can save lives when air conditioning is missing). Now, I am on the couch. Who knows? After a moment, I may go out on the terrace and enjoy the pleasantly cool afternoon breeze.

No need to be so disciplined about the order of your stuff during your vacations. After all, your laptop and a mouse are all the assets you carry with you. But, one way or another, a clean surface is a must.

I did my best to monitor my stocks during the week. On Thursday, I opened positions for the first time here in Skyros. Oh, the glory!

Of course, that was more of a rushed decision. In the end, this is how work from home ends up when you do not work from home. It becomes rushed work from home with subpar results.

Therefore, do not have huge expectations when you are about to leave for vacations, hoping to continue your work from home at the same rate. Sure, I know… We are talking vacations here. Vacations… off work. Still, I also know that some people get excited and enjoy most of their time when they are busy working! They seem not interested in vacations because they have a great time at work. They cannot stand a moment without being involved in something…

If you are one of them my advice is simple: accept that you are going to work less and worse in terms of performance or else everybody around you will be doomed to have their vacation time turned into a misery! And that will be the outcome whatever plans you had, unless you are willing to let everyone else go on vacations while you stay at home. A win-win scenario in my book.

Photos posted from my Flickr.

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