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My father's generation worked 55 hour weeks at the office all their lives. I'm thankful for the life that bought our family, but wonder if there's not a better way to be productive.
A few years ago I left corporate office life behind. Now I only work by telecommuting.
In the peace, comfort, and personalized environment of my home office, I'm finding that I can be twice as productive as at an office. I can immerse myself in a project for hours and hours at a time without interruption.
Work can also follow the ebb and flow of my productivity. When the brain's not in gear, I pick up my tool box and work on house renovations. An hour later the pleasure of seeing a physical accomplishment provides the motivational seed to go back to the programming.
So, not only do I have a sense of productivity, being hassle-free, and working in my own environment, I see my work arrangement giving me the means to achieve my other life goals through flexibility, proximity, availability, and income. And that's very motiviating. I love my job for this, and now want to reward my employer.
This works for the employer also. I need no expensive office space, no caffé-latté machine or even coffee room. I provide all my own equipment. So I cost less. And, because this arrangement gives me so many other personal benefits, I'm willing to accept lesser pay than an in-office stiff, in order to enjoy it. Today companies that will work with a 100% telecommuter are not plentiful, so I'm going to take good care of my employers. If they show me some loyalty, I will return it. And finally, as an independent with business experience, I have the freedom to offer employers myriad financial arrangements from hourly rates, to results-based revenue, to firm job quotes.
The telecommuter can also work for several employers at a time if no one employer has enough work for full-time. This lets employers that don't really need a full-time guy on a particular project have their cake and eat it too. For a loyal employer, I will work 60-hour weeks for a while if necessary to juggle their workload schedule.