It seemed an apt day to publish this when part of the tube is even more delayed due to strikes, and I spent my 3rd morning in a row waiting for 6 trains to pull out of Finsbury Park station before I could get on one myself. Research by Citrix Go To Meeting suggests we spend over 11 days a year commuting and that the average commute is 45 minutes – which would be my commute length if I didn’t have to spend a good proportion of time waiting for a train I can fit inside…
Which is why I really like Fridays. On Fridays, I work from home. I make some coffee, do the school run and am back at my desk at home by 9am, blood pressure so much lower, feeling so much calmer, and ready to begin work. If I have a lot on, I can also use my commuting time to spend working, gaining an extra 2 hours of useful time back. I also use it to spend more time with Pip, and have some contact with her school, which I think is hugely beneficial to us all. Additionally, I use my lunchtime to catch up with the laundry and housework, meaning we can spend more time as a family at the weekend. Win, win, win!
My company prides itself on being flexible and family friendly, but it is still a big corporate and working from home even once a week is not standard. I wish I could work more days from home particularly as I think meetings are pretty easy using new technology for everyone to dial in from home and it is just habit preventing a more flexible approach. I wish we could get to a point where management can see the benefits that I can see… I gain back an extra 8 hours a month working from home, 5 more than the average 3 that the research suggests and even if that is split between time for me and time for work, that is still a whole half a day per month in terms of person hours.
Do you ever work from home? What do you do with your extra time?