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The Benefits of a Flexible Schedule

Both my wife and I work from home, and we've done it for years. I've been working full time for SQLServerCentral for about 7 years now and my wife has worked for a few companies as a telecomutter for over 14 years. I don't know how she does it, but it has proven to be a great benefit for both of us. As an example:

  • Yesterday my daughter had a 1:20 orthodontist appointment, so I left work around 1 to take her.
  • We got done early, so we took 30 minutes and got school supply shopping done since I'm not sure how easy it will be this weekend.
  • I volunteered to cook food for the back to school night at her elementary school, so I went there around 4:00 to help.

A normal job would have resulted in either a PTO day, or probably a late lunch, no shopping until later, and no volunteer work. Or my wife and I would have split duties, but despite the work hours we sometimes keep, working into the night, things like this let us spend some time with the kids. Today I have to register my middle son at a new school and run him to volunteer work at the local Food Bank. I'll take the netbook and get a little writing done while he's working, but again, that would be tough withuot a work at home job.

The last few years I've been able to eat lunch with my kids at school once a month or more, go skiing some days during the week, drop off and pick up kids from the bus stop, and numerous other chances to spend some time with my kids. I get them started on homework when they get home, and can often spend 30 minutes helping if needed. That's in contrast to numerous friends of theirs that go to day care of some sort, and have parents trying to help them late at night, or barely seeing them. We have a good friend that works as a CPA and might go a couple of days without seeing his kids at times because of long work hours and the long country commute.

I think I'd go back to work at an office if I needed to, but I also appreciate the flexibility I have. It doesn't mean I work less, and last night (and tonight) I was working in snatches until 10:30pm or so trying to catch up, but I thinkt he flexibility is great.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by cproctor on 14 August 2009

I also am able to get more concentrated work done without the constant office interruptions. Am able to talk out loud to my self and do the laundry.

Posted by Patrick LeBlanc on 14 August 2009

We have the ability to work from home a couple of days a week and I have to agree I am more productive on those days than any of the days in the office.

Posted by Alex Rosa on 14 August 2009

Firstly, congratulations Steve, you have a great job.

Unfortunately the most of the companies want to see us face-to-face.

Nowadays, I work from home just few days per month.

I’m looking for companies that offer Remote DBAs services to join in their DBA team.

Posted by Tim Mitchell on 17 August 2009

There are a small number of companies who have wised up to become results-oriented rather than schedule-oriented.  I've read a little about the ROWE (results-only work environment) methodology, which declares that you can work where you want, when you want, and how you want as long as your goals are properly achieved on time.  It wouldn't work for every company - there has to be a great deal of trust in your people, and you have to have the right management im place - but I'd like to see it in action someday.

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