More often than not travel consumes approximately 15-20% of the working day.
For many who start at 8:30am they must get out of the door by 7:30am to join the peak hour rush either by car or public transport. The same at the end of the day finishing up around 5:30pm the journey home is commonly another 45-60 minutes. These times vary based on job location as well as residence however more often than not travelling to work is inevitably a part of the working day – and one that is not part of our paid time.
There are additional costs such as car expenses (petrol, maintenance, tyres, parking, etc.) or public transport fees. Not to mention the amount of pollution put out into the air by whatever form of transport we utilise.
The beauty of working from home is that the above do not form part of my world. The real benefit however is that the time saved allows me to spend more time with my daughter.
The standard day for Chloe is up around 8am and back to sleep around 7:45pm. If I had to travel to an office for work I wouldn’t see her in the morning and by the time I got home there would only be 1-2 hours to play – less if I had to stay back for some reason.
The work from home dad schedule is vastly different. Monday/Wednesday/Friday I’m up at 5:30am and off to gym for a couple of hours. I return around 8am and have breakfast with my wife and daughter. Tuesdays and Thursdays I generally get her up so my wife can sleep in. One way or the other I’m at my desk by about 8:30am and have already managed to clean out my inbox before anyone woke up. The end of the day is generally around 5:30-6pm where I generally put my tools down and engage with the family until Chloe goes to sleep. If I need to work extra for some reason I come back to this afterwards.
They key thing about the work from home dad schedule is that I get to have breakfast and dinner with my daughter, have not had to sit in traffic or on crowded public transport, and am generally still full of energy.
What is the point I’m making? The cloud. I work from anywhere, any time. If I wake up at 3am and can’t sleep for some reason – I can work so that later I can have more time with my family during the day. Wherever I am – I can be at work.
It’s been almost 4 years since I’ve had to do the daily grind to an office. While at Paradyne we did have an office for a year in the middle – nobody in the company at the time had kids.
From time to time myself or members of the Paradyne team will drive to a customer site, a cafe, or each others houses to work together. It’s a more relaxed attitude and allows us to become part of each others lives. Every employee has met my wife and daughter, and I’ve met most of their significant others.
Working from the cloud allows us to focus on work as a thing to do – not a place to go. It allows us to spend more quality time with our loved ones and switch off when we choose.
If your business doesn’t allow you the flexibility to work from home, or doesn’t have the cloud technologies to support the choice – it’s time to ask why. The concept isn’t new, and neither are the technologies.
Spend more time with your family, not at your work.
Also published on Medium.