post by Stephanie Nelson
Years ago, I worked for a company whose snow day policy was “if we’re open and you don’t come in, you’ll be charged a paid day off.” Initially, I had no problem with the policy. I mean, that’s fair – the company’s open but you’re not there, it’s a day off. But then, since I was the one responsible for getting the print ads to the newspapers by deadline, we ran into a couple situations where I wasn’t comfortable driving in the snowy or icy conditions, but if I didn’t work from home, the company would be paying for a big empty space in that week’s ad spot. After several conversations that (from my end) went something like, “I don’t mind working from home if you recognize that I’m working. If you’re charging me a day off, though, I’m taking the day off to curl up with a good book by the fire. How bad do you not want to pay for a blank space in the paper?”, we ended up working it out, but it was stressful.
At my next job, I was responsible for pay-per-click ads, so as long as I could log in to the company’s system, it almost didn’t matter where I was. Plus I worked there in their startup days, so things were a bit looser. But there was still an element of convincing the bosses that conditions on the roads between my home and the office were not conducive to my driving.
The job after that let me work from home pretty much any time I wanted or needed to, so as long as I let someone know where I was, it was all good.
But now I’m a business owner. I work from home almost every day. As long as I have power and Internet service, there’s no reason for me NOT to work. And being in social media, there’s an additional pressure to not miss a thing and be “on” 24/7.
But the last few days, as snow and ice have hit the area I’m in and I see friends and cohorts posting pics of how they’re enjoying their “snow days,” I have to admit I’m feeling a tinge of jealousy. Back in the day when I was having to coerce and cajole my higher ups into believing that I’d actually WORK from home, I never dreamt that I’d be envious of those still having to do that.
What I need to remind myself of, though, is that now any day can be my “snow day.” As long as what I’ve promised (or more) is delivered to and for my clients, any day can be the day I enjoy some time outside…or curled up with a book…or catching up on movies and DVR’d shows.
Being a solopreneur that works from home in the social media space isn’t easy. But to see my clients get new business and to get to be the online voice for some great folks makes it worth it! Even if I do have to miss snow days.