Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I have given myself a break

As of today I am working from home for the next two - three weeks (right now I have a hard time imagining coming back at all, but I hope that feeling will pass). Thanks to my 9 to 5 work environment and endless counting of hours, I have four weeks worth of overtime to do with what I want. Rather than blowing it all on some exotic holiday or an extended family visit I have decided to give myself a mini-"sabattical" at home. I will be working because I have many, many things to do, but I will be doing so at my own pace, and since this is the first day I have given myself permission to do nothing for a little while.

I am excited and motivated and feel like I want to do twice the amount of work I do on a regular day. I really don't know why it is so liberating not to have to come into work each day. People there are nice. I have a nice office with a view and there is really nothing wrong with anything. But I love that I can sleep as long as I want, and work on the hours that fit me rather than 9 to 5. I love that I can start up quietly, blog and do hobby-things in the morning and work into the evening. I love that I don't need to spend time packing lunch and that personal errands, shopping and cooking don't need to be crammed into a small time window between 6 and 7 pm, when I'm already hungry.

I have tried to explain to my colleagues why I think working from home for an extended period of time is great, but judging from their expressions, when I talk about it, I don't think they get it. Most people either use the overtime for flexibility throughout the year, for vacations or simply let it disappear when the clock is zeroed once a year. Generally people without families(or with grown kids) don't take off the overtime, but use it to point out how much work they do all the time. I don't want to defend myself for taking off the time, I have rightfully earned, just because I don't have a family. I also don't want to defend myself for using that time for work, because developing a research proposal for my new job and writing papers is not only something I do for my work place, but basically something I do for me.

I am also looking forward to have more time and freedom for blogging and I think I will spend some time developing this work-blog this I have been talking about.

10 Comments:

At 2:25 PM, Blogger post-doc said...

I think this is very cool. I hope you continue to feel relaxed and productive for the next weeks and do so guilt-free.

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Amelie said...

That sounds great. I'd often rather work from home, but it's not really an option at the moment. I hope you enjoy the coming weeks!

 
At 12:50 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

Your plan is really awesome. And you shouldn't defend yourself for taking your earned time off... especially if you plan to work during that time!

 
At 4:16 AM, Blogger EcoGeoFemme said...

awesome! Enjoy. And let us know how it goes. :)

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger saxifraga said...

Thanks all. So far, one day in, I can say this is the best decision I have made in a long time.

 
At 6:44 AM, Blogger Mad Hatter said...

That sounds really good...and I'm very jealous! Nobody keeps track of their hours where I work. People simply work until they've finished what they need to do, and take time off when they want to. I don't even know how many official vacation days I get per year. Sounds good in theory, and I do like the flexibility and inherent trust in not having someone track my work hours, but the actual result is that I always end up wasting my vacation time because there is always more work I need to do.

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger saxifraga said...

mad hatter: I used to work in a place like that and I do understand get what you're talking about (even if I always rant my the 9-5 job here). I used to think that no one would find out if I just stopped coming into work, and that thought really saddened me. When I started in my current job I thought the time control system was one of the most positive changes from my previous job. Now after two years of counting hours, I can't wait to get some of former freedom back. I guess I am not easily satisfied.

 
At 5:01 AM, Blogger Wayfarer Scientista said...

enjoy your "sabbatical"!!

 
At 5:10 AM, Blogger EcoGeoFemme said...

I was wondering: how do you think the number of hours worked in the 9-5 way compares to the number worked in the sprinkled throughout the day way?

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger saxifraga said...

Ecogeofemme: Generally I think I am able to concentrate for about the same number of hours per day. But when working the 9-5 shift I tend not to work much in the evening, because the day in itself wears me out and it feels like a major hassle to find all my work things at home for one or two hours work after dinner. The day is always interrupted at work at some days I am lucky if I can squeeze in 2 to 3 hours on real research-related work and that is simply not enough. When working from home I can get 5 to 6 hours of real work (i.e. not including breaks, lunch, surfing the internet etc) in in a relatively relaxed day, and much more if it's crunch time. For the past few days I haven't worked very much though. Since I have also taken this time off to make room for some personal priorities I have spent quite some time on those.

 

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