Monday, April 25, 2016

Work-From-Home Survival Tips

I have stayed pretty quiet about my career change in the public world.


Now when I tell people I'm a work from home nurse for an insurance company, I get responses like the following:

"Oh cool! My cousin sells insurance. It pays the bills"
"So you don't take care of people anymore? How can you be a nurse from your home?"
"I work from home too!! I see Pampered Chef!! Isn't working from home the BEST?!"

Here are a few clarifications about real work-from-home jobs:
-Bottom line: they have you working from home because it's cost effective. Not because it's convenient for you.
-Your productivity is scrutinized under a microscope. Literally every minute of my day is accounted for on a spreadsheet
-Your workload is possibly double than what it was in the clinical world.
-You are expected to answer any email or request on a minute's notice, because your boss knows you aren't "busy with a patient" or "in a meeting". You're at your desk. On your computer. All day.

Now those clarifications may sound negative, but I'm really just telling the truth. Because there is a belief that working from home = stay at home wife. No way, Jose'.

Benefits to working from home:
-No people to interrupt my work. It is amazing, actually!
-I can listen to whatever music I want, and no one complains about my Indie Pop, House, or Classical Music.
-No arguments about how strong the coffee is brewed, because I'm the only one drinking it.
-I get SO MUCH DONE in a day, because no one is interrupting me!
-I can finish working out 20 minutes before I need to log on, because all I need to do is shower and brew coffee.
-My team is on the East coast, and I am on AZ time. Meaning I am 3 hours behind my team. Now, at 3 pm I feel a little marooned/isolated. But I also can start at 5am and be done a 1pm! Which is amazing. (especially for an early-riser like me!)
-Meetings are so effective in the virtual world. Rambling can be ignored. Agendas are followed. Amen.

Survival Tips

1. Leave your house before you start working for the day
When I 1st started, sometimes I'd go from bed to my desk. Then 3pm would roll around, and I felt crazy. Go outside, take a walk, run an errand (grocery stores are open at 5:00 am!).
2. Take breaks. Set an alarm to remind yourself to take breaks. In my previous job, I never took breaks. A 5-10 minute walk to get out of the house is so beneficial to my productivity.
3. Connect with your coworkers as much as possible. Although you're in different parts of the country, stay connected. Learn about them. And use each other as resources!

I think one of the hardest challenges in my situation, is we live in a 700 sq ft apartment. So I feel very confined by the end of the day sometimes ;)

I am so glad that our life circumstances led me to this job. I feel like I make such an impact in people's lives, and absolutely love what I do!