telecommuting and work/life balance

29 Jul 2010 - 6:07pm
4 years ago
2 replies
933 reads
Wendy Fischer
2004

All:   So as a full time user experience designer and a mother of a toddler, I find that very few companies allow designers to work from home a couple of days a week, or allow flexibility in schedules. I am lucky because I have a great boss and company that allows that - I live in the Bay area and find that my commute RT is about 56 miles each day. If I had to go into work everyday, there would be no way I could manage being a full involved parent, plus I'd be insane from driving that much. I do find it challenging working full time as a designer and being a parent, but I make it work.   I'd like to give recruiters and managers on this list an idea of what user experience designers are looking for in terms of schedule flexibility and telecommuting. I feel like there's a lot of us in the same situation, particularly in areas like NYC or the bay area, where people often don't work where they live and have an hour plus commute. I've had a couple of recruiters contact me lately and frankly that I find that companies aren't flexible at all in regards to allowing designers to work from home a couple of days a week. There's the company that serves dinner and wants its employees to work late.   A couple of questions:   1) Do you have a situation where you have a flexible schedule and the ability to WFH a couple of days a week with your employer? Can you describe your situation?   2) What causes you to need a flexible schedule and work from home.   3) On the average, how many hours a week do you work?   4) What tools (IM, email, collaboration software) do you use in telecommuting and communicating/collaborating with colleagues?   5) What would make you consider exchanging your current situation of WFH to  working in a company office 5 days a week/40 hours or more hours?   6) What's most important to you (rank in order) work/life balance, high salary, flexible work hours, ability to spend time with family, exciting work projects, company that provides meals (lunch dinner), spending time with coworkers, working late, ability to telecommute?   Wendy  

Comments

30 Jul 2010 - 8:05am
tamella
2008

Hi Wendy, I hear you.  I have two little ones at home and started my own business because my first one refused to take a bottle and I couldn't go back to work. Now, I don't want to leave them all day. By the time you get them to daycare and drive yourself to work, three hours of the day has already passed.  Add that to the typical nine hour day and the same pick up and commute home you are away a 13 hour day at least.   
Finding part-time work at a professional level seems impossible.  The only part time or remote positions I ever hear of are minimum wage or competing with other countries who can afford less.  Small business is terrible with the economy because everyone has their budgets froze. Design and usability and contracting are typically first to be cut.  
Would love to know what else you find or hear.  I have a handful of phd and master's degrees moms all sitting at home wanting some part-time or remote work.  Actually they can't wait to do some adult zen passionate design as a break from the kids. I typically use them for backup when my company does get busy.  They probably accomplish more in 4 hours than most full time workers do all day and love to do it. 
Good luck!  Apparently moms all over are going through the same stuff.  If you find anything positive or companies that like remote, part-time moms, please send it my way. Cheers,Tammy
Tammy FritzPrincipal and FounderPink Frog Interactive, Inc.
tel: 412-848-2777
http://pinkfroginteractive.com

This E-mail message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and maycontain confidential and privileged information.  Any unauthorized review,use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited.  If you are not the intendedrecipient, please contact the sender by reply E-mail, and destroy all copiesof the original message.On Jul 29, 2010, at 9:44 PM, Wendy Fischer wrote:

All:
 
So as a full time user experience designer and a mother of a toddler, I find that very few companies allow designers to work from home a couple of days a week, or allow flexibility in schedules. I am lucky because I have a great boss and company that allows that - I live in the Bay area and find that my commute RT is about 56 miles each day. If I had to go into work everyday, there would be no way I could manage being a full involved parent, plus I'd be insane from driving that much. I do find it challenging working full time as a designer and being a parent, but I make it work.
 
I'd like to give recruiters and managers on this list an idea of what user experience designers are looking for in terms of schedule flexibility and telecommuting. I feel like there's a lot of us in the same situation, particularly in areas like NYC or the bay area, where people often don't work where they live and have an hour plus commute. I've had a couple of recruiters contact me lately and frankly that I find that companies aren't flexible at all in regards to allowing designers to work from home a couple of days a week. There's the company that serves dinner and wants its employees to work late.
 
A couple of questions:
 
1) Do you have a situation where you have a flexible schedule and the ability to WFH a couple of days a week with your employer? Can you describe your situation?
 
2) What causes you to need a flexible schedule and work from home.
 
3) On the average, how many hours a week do you work?
 
4) What tools (IM, email, collaboration software) do you use in telecommuting and communicating/collaborating with colleagues?
 
5) What would make you consider exchanging your current situation of WFH to  working in a company office 5 days a week/40 hours or more hours?
 
6) What's most important to you (rank in order) work/life balance, high salary, flexible work hours, ability to spend time with family, exciting work projects, company that provides meals (lunch dinner), spending time with coworkers, working late, ability to telecommute?
 
Wendy
 

30 Jul 2010 - 9:05am
brianh
2010

On Jul 29, 2010, at 10:44 PM, Wendy Fischer wrote:

 
A couple of questions:
 
1) Do you have a situation where you have a flexible schedule and the ability to WFH a couple of days a week with your employer? Can you describe your situation?


Not normally, no. According to company policy, we do not have flex time or the ability to telecommute and this was even reiterated at a recent company meeting. Reality, however, is a different story. We have one employee who is nothing but a telecommuter. And my supervisors have been pretty flexible when I wanted to work from home to do professional development or meet with home improvement contractors. And there are more than a couple of people who seem to work whatever schedule they want. 

2) What causes you to need a flexible schedule and work from home.


The only reasons I would NEED that is to meet with home improvement contractors or for child care related things.  However, the reasons I WANT to do it are to save the time/cost/pollution of commuting and to be able to focus more on my work. We have a cube farm in this building and it can be a very difficult place to concentrate. I almost always get way more work done when I work from home.

 3) On the average, how many hours a week do you work?


On average, 40 hours a week.

 4) What tools (IM, email, collaboration software) do you use in telecommuting and communicating/collaborating with colleagues?


Phone, IM, email, screen sharing, and virtual meeting space.

 5) What would make you consider exchanging your current situation of WFH to  working in a company office 5 days a week/40 hours or more hours?


Technically I don't have a WFH situation right now, so the question doesn't really apply. However, I think most employers should make flexible schedules and WFH an option wherever possible. I do realize some people are not good WFH people. But that shouldn't prevent others from having the option. I've previously been self-employed, so I don't usually have any problem with self-motivation at home.

 6) What's most important to you (rank in order) work/life balance, high salary, flexible work hours, ability to spend time with family, exciting work projects, company that provides meals (lunch dinner), spending time with coworkers, working late, ability to telecommute?


Wow, this one won't be easy...
work/life balance, flexible work hours, ability to spend time with family (these are all the same to me)exciting work projectshigh salaryability to telecommutespending time with coworkers,company that provides mealsworking late
Fortunately, very few of these are mutually exclusive.

 Wendy


Brian

 
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