Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When work follows you home

So....I work in IT (Information Technology).  You can say it... GEEK!

As such, most of my work is on a computer. Most of my coworkers are not co-located with me. In fact, some of my coworkers and customers are located all around the world, in many time zones. India, China, Germany...

This provides me the "luxury" of occasionally working from home.

...When my kids don't have school.

...When my one of my kids is sick.

...When I'm sick.

I just plug in, set up my headset, and call-in. Most people don't even know I'm home. Unless they hear my son ask for something, or hear Transformers playing on the TV!

Since my coworkers around the world can also do this, and time zones lead to some interesting meeting times, I've also had a few early morning or late evening phone calls from home (no reason to stay at the office!).

Ah, the joys of an international workplace.

Plus, IT work occasionally requires off-hours (weekend) work. After all, nobody wants their system down during business hours. So, we get to do all of our maintenance when everyone else is gone. Fun times.

Oh, the joys of working in IT.

And, my favorite of all, our friends and relatives know that both my husband and I work in IT. So, we can fix their computer, right? Ah, yes -- unpaid tech support. (Hi Mom!) I'm going to buy my husband this shirt.

Do not click this unless you have fixed a friend or relative's computer.

So, does this all mean I take my work home with me?

I hope not! don't think so. But it sure makes it more difficult to disconnect from work. My husband and I consciously put away our "devices" that make us too connected (with work, with the Internet, with games, with the news) while we should be connecting with the kids and each other. And that is a tough order for a geeky, gadgety couple! We've instigated a "no device" rule during dinner -- no phones, no iTouch, no TV, no magazines. We've all been caught once or twice! My husband has also given himself a rule of no (re)checking work email before the kids go to bed. That one is no problem for me -- I figure coworkers can wait until the morning, or can call my cell if it is that urgent.

Anyone else have suggestions for disconnecting from work?


Steph, from Be Positive Mom said...

The "no device" rule at dinner is a great one! You can always try a "no device" evening... oooh, you may get withdrawals!

Missus Wookie said...

We go for walks - abandoning our kids (hmm you may want to wait a bit or take 'em with you) and do that talking thing... He can't check a gadget whilst walking and holding my hand :)

Play board games or things that deliberately aren't 'screens' as they are known in our house.

Oh - and we have lots of geek family too, one of my bils has that shirt.

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