I conducted an exhaustive (okay, somewhat tiring) survey of eight home-based business owners, asking them what they most enjoyed about working from home. The number one answer: “Looking outside on a – 40 degree, snow-in-your-shorts kinda day and screaming out – SUCKERS!” Yes, one of the greatest pleasures of working out of your cozy little abode is forgoing the office commute. No more backing up a Zamboni to scrape the ice off your car windshields. No Regina-sized pot holes or warming your thighs with drive-thru coffee. No racing into the inner city with 18,000 other commuters vying for 5 parking spaces. And no more car pooling with some guy from accounting named Fred. Instead, say hello to fuzzy slippers, fresh-brewed coffee, less stress and more time. A lot more time.
And just think what we could accomplish in the time we’d be saving not having to commute! By my own calculations, I’d save enough time each year to write a novel, learn to play the violin or take up astrophysics. At the very least I’d get in shape, get more work done, read more and enjoy a second cup of home-brewed coffee. Okay, at a bare minimum, I’d spend another 15 minutes in bed. Sound familiar?
Perhaps it’s time for a little reality check up. Here, for example, is how my home office commute (total distance from bedroom to office is approximately 26 feet) played out yesterday morning:
6:45 a.m. Alarm clock goes off.
7:15 a.m. Alarm clock still sounding off.
7:22 a.m. Alarm clock irrevocably damaged. (Mental note to self: buy new alarm clock)
7:34 a.m. Dog arrives in room, searching for signs of life. Having found none, returns to his own bed.
7:46 a.m. Definitely time to get up. Roll over and pull covers further over head.
7:53 a.m. Dog reappears with my day timer in mouth. I decide to venture out.
7:54 a.m. I dance in my underwear in front off the mirror. Wife and dog are not impressed.
8:16 a.m. Emerge from leisurely shower. I used the shower time to plan my work day and see if any words rhyme with “gingivitis”. (Time check: still ahead of old commuting time to work. Self-satisfied grin appears on face.)
8:18 a.m. Still in bathrobe, I begin grinding coffee beans.
8:19 a.m. Distracted by announcement of radio contest – 6th caller wins a year’s supply of hair-removal products! Leaping to phone, I spill coffee beans onto floor.
8:20 a.m. Dog tugs on bathrobe. I give up on contest to let dog out.
8:24 a.m. After joining dog to investigate strange badger-like creature in backyard, I discover the dog and I are locked out. One of us is still wearing a bathrobe.
8:26 a.m. While making my way discretely to front of house, Mrs. Jenkins appears sinisterly over the fence, wanting to know if everything is okay.
8:47 a.m. After hearing update on Mrs. Jenkins 3rd grandchild, I slither around to front of house and retrieve hidden house key from flower pot.
8:52 a.m. Distracted by presence of garage door, I enter garage and spy my Sombrero. Realizing I need to organize my extensive collection of 4 hats, I begin constructing a hat rack.
8:58 a.m. After applying bandage to finger wound, my wife suggests I clean up the coffee beans and forgo future home improvement projects.
8:59 a.m. Business phone rings. I reach the office phone on the 6th ring. It’s Mom. “Yes”, I respond, “Of course I’m working. Of course I’m dressed. You’re right, Mom, it’s wonderful not having to commute anymore”.
9:26 a.m. Finish talking with Mom about the benefits of bran.
9:27 a.m. Realize dog has cleaned up coffee beans. Dog seems extra hyper. Grabbing one of my shoes, we engage in energetic tug-of-war and chase each other around the house. (Note: dog seems amused at the sight of my wife and I chasing each other around the house over a shoe).
9:34 a.m. Interesting radio program in progress: “10 Ways to Organize Your Hats.” Settle into recliner to listen in when doorbell rings. Realizing it may be a client, I dash into bedroom and slip on work clothes. I speed to the front door only to discover it’s a salesperson flogging alarm clocks.
9:45 a.m. Wife informs me my shirt is on inside out. I make the necessary adjustments.
9:52 a.m. Settle into office chair and suddenly realize I still don’t have coffee.
10:19 a.m. Drive back from neighborhood cafe, balancing coffee precariously between thighs.
10:26 a.m. Enter home office with coffee in hand. Check the time. Not bad – 20 minutes shaved off of yesterday morning. Self-satisfied grin returns to my face. Oh, those poor commuters, I think to myself, shaking my head in sympathy.
Copyright Michael Kerr. Michael Kerr is a Hall of Fame international business speaker, very funny motivational speaker, trainer, and author of six books, including Inspiring Workplaces and The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank. www.HumoratWork.com
“Just wanted to say “WOW!” Our group has had many speakers over the years, but none the likes of Mike Kerr.”
Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
“Michael Kerr is one of the best speakers I have seen. I highly recommend him!”
Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
“Mike held the full attention of our senior management team for a full FOUR hour
presentation – no small accomplishment!”
Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics
“Our participants rated you as the speaker with the highest quality and relevance.”
Lana J. Larocque, Alberta Human Resources