In my semi-retirement I’ve moved to the next step towards removing myself from society by extending the time I work from home. My boss at Automotive News is either extremely flexible, brilliant, or simply tired of seeing a senior citizen drag his sorry ass into the office every day. Whatever the case, this senior citizen is grateful for the opportunity to replace a 60-mile round trip to/from downtown Detroit with a jaunty trot down 15 steps to my basement office where I can hide Snickers bars…from my wife.
I’ve often heard that working from home can be harmful to one’s career since you’re not visible to the bosses and it’s difficult to form alliances. Luckily, I’m not a contestant on “Survivor” so I’m not looking to form an alliance. I’m also not interested in climbing the corporate ladder, since, at my age, the only thing I’m capable of climbing is the walls every time I hear the Arby’s guy yell “we’ve got the meats!!!” I’m always tempted to respond, “you’ve got the crabs!” At least that’s how I imagine someone with that condition would act out.
Someone pointed out to me that it’s more difficult to collaborate with co-workers when you work from home. I do not have that problem. That’s because I’m not really interested in someone else’s ideas. I’d prefer to screw up on my own, or hog all the credit when things go right. Actually, I’m not that obnoxious. I’m happy to share some of the blame when things go wrong.
My home office is a room tucked away in a remote corner of my basement. I have everything I need to conduct business: desk, computer, Walter White bobblehead, adjacent bathroom and microwave oven for nuking popcorn and experimenting with exploding a number of polymers. I also have photos of my family in case I forget who those people are plodding on the hardwood floor one level above me.
I have a phone, but never use it. If I need to communicate with someone from the office I can email or text them. Not only is it expedient, it’s an efficient method for avoiding co-workers with speech impediments.
Most importantly, I can do at least twice the work, twice as fast, with higher quality results by working at home. That’s because at work there’s free coffee and vending machines, which I am constantly drawn to as a means of filling my stomach and filling my hours, thus avoiding work. At home I’m much more focused since to grab more coffee or a snack I would have to walk up those 15 steps.
Oh sure, it’s nice to see my co-workers in person from time to time. They’re very pleasant and often bring in snacks to share. Working from home, you do miss out on the shared snacks, which is one of the few downsides.
Indeed, my days as a full-time desk jockey are over. At some point my semi-retirement will morph into total retirement, at which time I’ll simply sit at my home office desk, crank up my laptop, make Walter White’s head bobble, bounce some ideas for kazoo-based operas around in my head…and order a pizza.