The beauty of working from home April 29, 2011Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.
I am sitting in my hotel room after the Welcome Reception for the ATA’s TCD conference. Corinne McKay gave me and several others signed second editions of her popular book, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator (hot-off-the-press – it’s not yet available for sale but it will be very soon). After staying up late last night to finish translating a particularly tricky contract and packing to then wake up early to fly to DC I declined joining several friends for dinner, choosing to crash in the hotel. I started reading the book, and something in her Introduction resonated enough with me that I wanted to immediately blog about it. She talks about work-from-home opportunities and how translation is one of the few legitimate work-from-home careers. The sentence “…working from home, you’ll probably experience greater job satisfaction and less stress, since a relatively minor disruption like a dentist appointment or furnace repair won’t derail your entire work day.” made me say “right on!”
I recently experienced this first-hand. Wednesday night my Internet kept going down and was running at an average of 36 MPbs. Repeated reboots of the cable modem and router – and even my computers – were unable to speed up the connection. Frustrated, I turned the computer off, hoping it was a momentary upgrade problem. Thursday morning things hadn’t improved, so I called my cable Internet provider to complain. The service rep checked the line and agreed that I did have a problem. He offered to send a tech out, but he noted with some trepidation in his voice that he wasn’t sure when the tech could come out and I would need to be home the whole day, possibly as late as 8 PM. I cheerfully informed him that that wasn’t a problem because I worked from home and urged him to put me as high on the list as possible since I depend on the Internet for my job. Luckily I didn’t have to wait all day. The tech was there within a half an hour and even though he didn’t find the cause of the problem and would have to come back later to check the cable on the telephone pole the Internet was somewhat more stable after he left and I was able to work again.
If I worked in an office this scenario could have never been possible. I would have had to take a vacation day to be home to let him in, and he wouldn’t have been able to fit me in so quickly in the day. I was already home, so the tech was able to immediately come by.
As Corinne so aptly states, the beauty of working from home as freelance translators is that we can structure our work day around our peak energy times and family needs, rather than our employer and its policies. I particularly love working from home in the winter, when my commute on snowy days is from the bedroom to the coffeemaker to the office, where I read all kinds of irate tweets and status updates from people complaining about their commutes and the weather. And in the summer I can take some time off at any time to take the dog for a walk. You really can’t beat it… and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything.