Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Working from home with pets: Is it really about pajama time?

Liam, Maggie and I all working together
Like most American workers, I used to spend much of my day in a cubicle. I had just a tiny bit of room to myself, and very often I had to share that space with people who had questions or needed help with something. I thought that working from home would be so much better. I'd have more personal space that no one would invade, and I could move about this entire house when one space proved unstimulating.

And I also thought (as do most people who think about home working) that I might be able to spend most of the day in my pajamas. I would have no meetings to conduct, no coworkers to offend and no commutes to make. Pajama party for me!

As it turns out, I was wrong on both counts.

For starters, I rarely stray from my desk. A quick look at the photo above will tell you why. When I am sitting in any location that is not my desk, my animals think it's cuddle time and they flock to my lap. If I have my computer on my lap, they'll be content to sit beside me, but will try power grabs to move to the center from time to time. Liam and Maggie are the worst offenders.

If I stay at my desk, the dog will stay by my feet in his bed. He snores, but he doesn't demand attention. Eamon and Maggie drift onto the desk from time to time, but they rarely stay for long visits. I think they're hoping I'll break down and feed them, but they walk away soon enough.

And the pajama thing? That doesn't work, either. Liam still needs to head outside for his walks and potty breaks. And I do need to be dressed for those outings. I may not need to be dressed up, but I still do need to be dressed. 

So, while working at home is certainly superior to working in a cubicle, it isn't quite the relaxing, casual thing I expected. But I will say this: It's superior to office life. Every day, I'm with my animals. And pajamas or no, I wouldn't trade that for anything.