Homework 101

By Robert Goldman

January 18, 2018 5 min read

There is one good reason why you shouldn't work from home.

You will no longer be able to purloin gourmet luncheons from the brown bags of your co-workers. When you work from home, all the moldy, green tuna sandwiches available will be yours.

Other than that, there is no limit to the advantages of working from home.

There is no dress code. You can work in the nude and no one will complain. (Though for the sake of public dignity, I beg that you don't. Do the decent thing and wear a Speedo.) Also, you have no managers giving you the evil eye. No co-workers annoying you. In fact, as a homeworker, the only person who will annoy you is you. And you're darn good at it, too.

Oh, yes, people say working at home is lonely. This is ridiculous. The homeworker has many wonderful friends with whom to interact throughout the day. From Wendy Williams to Steve Harvey to Judge Judy, you're surrounded by beautiful, successful people who only want to make you happy. They also want to sell you Miracle Socks, but that's OK. Better than having to buy three cases of Girl Scout cookies from your supervisor's kid.

The pros and cons of working from home are so obvious, I couldn't imagine what Tim Herrera of The New York Times would be able to write in his recent article, "4 Simple Tips for Working from Home."

As it happened, Herrera hardly wrote a word. Shrewdly, he found an expert — another expert. I must have been busy watching Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil come up with a cure for my Alice in Wonderland syndrome and didn't answer the phone.

Author Kenneth R. Rosen answered the call, and here's what he had to say:

The No. 1 job of a "remote worker" is to find remote work.

"There are many companies and websites that connect freelancers with employers," Rosen writes, "but they can be sparse depending on your specific trade and industry."

In other words, your chances of joining the booming blacksmithing industry on a work-at-home basis is not going to happen, but don't give up your dream.

The second step in snagging a cushy work-at-home position is to "set up a profile on your area of expertise." This is where you have a real advantage.

Skill-wise, your area of expertise is like Area 59, a vast and empty desert landscape where alien creatures hang out between probing. Since there is really nothing that you do particularly well, including probing, any company can snap you up for a work-from-home freelance gig.

Once employed, you need to activate "Parental Control: At-Home Edition"

This means "setting boundaries and outlining expectations with everyone in your household, from pets to spouses to children."

You should be able to get your spouse and your children to fall into line. Your pets will take more effort. It won't be a piece of cake to get your parrot to shut its beak while you are doing something important, like getting a piece of cake.

You are also advised to find a special and sacred place where you can do your work without interruption. The wasted space under your bed is the perfect location. There's nothing under there, except a fluffle of dust bunnies, so you'll have plenty of room to set up your home office. Best of all, when you're tired and want to take a nap, it's quick trip from under the bed to into the bed.

Once the jobs start rolling in, it is important to stay "disciplined, but not too disciplined."

Expert work-at-homer Kenneth Rosen implores you to take breaks from completing your assignments so "creative thoughts that would otherwise be left dormant can flourish." Of course, having one of your creative thoughts flourish is something no one wants, especially the Army Corps of Engineers, which is still trying to deal with your "creative thought" of digging a canal between your house and the Kit Kat Klub, so you can paddle to happy hour.

Once established as a work-at-homer, "never take it for granted."

Rosen insists that you appreciate the flexibility working from home can provide. And it's true. Flexibility gives you time for "coaching kids' sports, assisting with homeschooling, aiding elderly parents and taking breaks to make firewood and tend to the veggie garden."

It's all wonderfully satisfying, I'm sure, but seriously, given this to-do list, don't you think it will be a whole lot easier to do your work at work?

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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