Starting from next month, that is July 2008, I will be embarking on a new working arrangement - telecommuting. Under this scheme, I will be clocking two days in the office, while working from home for the remaining three days of the week.
Why the Decision
My colleagues asked me what prompted me to make this decision. For my boys and also ... for myself. Since the beginning of the year, I have been trying to manage my work and family life with P in Primary One this year. Everyday was a frenetic rush - from office at 6 pm to fetch my younger boy from childcare and then off to P's Primary School via public transport to pick him up at 6.30 pm. Next on the to-do-list were the cooking chores to feed the family once back home. At times when urgent work needed to be done on the same day, you will see my two boys at my office table, pitching themselves to a race to fritter away time, while I was focusing hard on my work. But that was not before, I spent almost an hour to fetch them from the schools and buy dinner for them.
6-months is a long time and I have learnt how to be more productive both at work and at home. At work, I am a very focused person and could work without lunch - my bums would be stubbornly on the chair until a submission is completed. At home, I prepare dinner the night before so that for the next evening, dinner would be ready at the snap of my fingers - heating up, is all that is required.
But P is not exactly very productive at the student care. At such a young and tender age, he needs guidance to have the system and structure in place in him. Moving on to myself, I may appear to be unfazed and managing both work and family gracefully like a swan, but I am also frantically kicking my legs beneath the surface to keep myself afloat. The daily rush is exerting a toll on me.
With this new working arrangement, I am getting my hubby to fetch the younger one from the childcare which will lessen one aspect of my daily to-do tasklist. With the office at home, it is easier for me to put in longer hours if need be, after my boys are at sleep. I must confess that rushing off on time is a very pressurising experience. I will prefer to take a slightly more leisure pace to complete my task and knock off later.
Yes, I am looking forward to this next work chapter!
In a sense the first 6-months of the year is a good training ground. Never have I been busier in my life and interestingly, to wrest some semblance of control, I started soul-searching on what I really want in life. There were little pockets of time which I literally took to stop and take stock of my life to this point. I even took leave to attend talks and workshops. I traced back the patterns of my life and pondered on life's external verities. I learnt to be true to myself to myself and prepare for the next phase of my human odyssey.
After these soul-searching, I have found that I have a passion to write and to speak well. Both will be utilised fully in my current work portfolio. I just could not bear to give up working - save for a one year break, I have been working all my life after graduating from varsity. Work is like a creche - providing me with structure, stimulation and sustenance. But at the same time, I love my family and myself too.
Yes, I am looking forward to this new working arrangement as besides being doing what I love, it will also put my life on a more balanced keel.