i work at home a lot. my team is distributed; my manager is in the states, and most days, i spend quite a few hours on the phone. so it doesn't matter much where i work, as long as i do. this has its upsides, the most positive of which is that i don't have much of a commute: once i do the school run, i can come back home and get straight to work. however, in case you are under the impression that working at home is lying in a hammock and drinking ice tea all day--a myth that seems prevalent--let me be clear: working at home is work.
about once a week someone calls me on my home number, either expecting to get voice mail or trying to reach my husband, and i answer. the conversation that follows is "oh are you working at home today?" i say "yes." they say something like "oh how lovely." it reminds me of my mom and her perception of england. whenever she visits she gushes on and on about how wonderful, green and gorgeous it is here. rich and i have to remind her that we don't all live in thatched cottages, wear hats and have high tea each day. don't get me wrong, i love england. but when you live here you see all the scratches and scabs.
here are the scratches and scabs of working at home:
1) when i don't commute, i have more hours to work. which is great. but again, it's more hours of work. not more time to relax.
2) i often don't have good food in for lunch, and as there is unfortunately no cafeteria here, i often resort to peanut butter and jelly or miss lunch altogether. again this means more time to work.
3) when i do take time for lunch, it's true that i can also throw a load of clothes in the wash. but that's more work too.
so. i like working at home and am glad to have the flexibility it offers. before you ask to work at home, think about what you're asking for.