Little did I know when I posted this last January, that a bunch of people would be working from home in a few short weeks! My husband’s office is shut to most employees and clients. He’s been working from home for close to a year. He’s pretty good at keeping strict business hours. In our new home, he has his own office and that’s a big upgrade from him working in our master bedroom! Here’s what I wrote unknowing what the COVID year ahead would be like:
Working from home is something I’ve done for years. At first, I had what is now our guest room dedicated as my office for my sole proprietor public relations and marketing biz. That’s why the kids called it the “computer room” when they were little. I had a desktop Apple IIc something computer and heavy-weight laser printer. Back then, I also had a fax machine and a separate phone line for my work.
My downfall with that venture was not knowing when to stop. Even though I had a separate work space, I couldn’t stop working. I had a client who loved to call me after 6 p.m. and give me work that had to be done by morning — and they were my main client! Also, this was pre-email days and internet. I had to transfer files to the people who changed my files to film over a modem. Then the film had to be picked up from these mom and pop shops and I drove them to the printer. I’m talking newsletters, flyers, brochures and veloxes for newspapers. Can you imagine that?
I’d wake up throughout the night and to make sure the files transferred from my modem to the film person’s modem. Sometimes a newsletter or ad file would take six or seven hours to transfer.
How things have changed from the early 1990s! Prior to that it, was a Selectric IBM typewriter I used and hand delivered copy to a print shop who then had to retype it all into columns, lay it out with my photos or artwork, give me a rough copy and finally a blueline to proof before going to print. Things are so much easier these days.
I’m still working from home and everything is so much quicker and convenient with emails and the internet. But the question still remains, how do I guard my time and not work all the time?
What’s a blueline you might ask if you weren’t alive back in the olden days? Here’s the definition I got from googling it from Dictionary.com:
a print made on light-sensitive paper and used as a proof for checking the position of stripped-up negatives or positives and copy prior to platemaking.
What are your solutions for separating a life from working hours when you work from home?