Do you remember me mentioning that I was gaining six hours a week this year? The amount of time cited represented what I save by telecommuting two days per week; however, there are far more benefits than that.
I save 40% on gas, maintenance, and wear and tear on my car...40% on bridge tolls and parking fees. Those are the obvious personal benefits. But I also save 40% on makeup, pantyhose, wear and tear on workclothes/drycleaning costs. In a biennium where there will be no pay raises for state workers, these savings represent a bigger and better benefit than any raise I could have ever had. And the thing is, it doesn't cost the state any more to give it to me.
It's true, I recover that time that I would have spent driving. There are other time benefits. I am not ruled by an alarm clock every work day. This does not mean I can sleep in as late as I want, but when one's "office" is 20 steps from the bed, I can "sleep in" until 6 (I usually have to be up at 4:30) and still easily be to work on time. My work ebbs and flows with the day. I can spend the first few hours of the morning on projects while my mind is most alert and active...and when I'm ready for a mid-morning break, I have a shower and breakfast. There are now three "Fridays" a week, because the evening before a telecommute day, I feel like I can relax and destress. I can actually be wild and stay up until 10 p.m. without fearing I will be dead on my feet the next morning due to lack of sleep.
I'm better focused and more productive on the days when I can sit in my kitchen with the sunlight and fresh air streaming in and can rest my eyes now and then on watching the tide move in and out. The fact is, I probably put in more hours at home than the office simply because I can use the time and space to best suit the needs of the tasks at hand.
I also am getting to reconnect with personal friends and projects. Without the 90-minute drive at the end of the day, I can finish up at 4 p.m. (my scheduled time) and meet someone for a brew at 4:15. I feel like I can be creative again. I'm a real person---not just a worker bee.
So, on one of these "Friday" evenings, as I see the time on the clock is past ten (and I'm okay with that), it just seems right to have a quick aside here to say how much I'm looking forward to spending more time here.