Teleworking with interruptions

Teleworking on Amtrak Virginia Inaugural Train from Norfolk on 12-12-12.

Teleworking on Amtrak Virginia Inaugural Train from Norfolk on 12-12-12.


Working for a marketing and advertising agency is a pretty intense endeavor. It takes a lot of meetings, teamwork, conference calls, deadlines and demands.

When Telework!VA was my client, we used to joke that I teleworked every day – from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Of course I was in the office in the hours in between.

But that is not teleworking. That’s working after hours. Teleworking is also not about sitting around in your pajamas or taking care of the kids or sick parents while working from home. Teleworking is about reporting to your home office at a specific time of day each morning and working remotely from home until the end of your workday – sometimes with a lunch break in between. But sometimes not.

In any case, I love working from home because I save at least an hour on my roundtrip commute that I can invest in working instead, avoid countless potholes and construction on Richmond city streets, tolls and about $135 in monthly downtown Richmond parking costs.

Another thing I enjoy about teleworking is that there tend to be fewer workday interruptions. That is not to say there are none. Once, I was talking to a state senator on the phone when the little boy next door thought it would be a fine time to ring my doorbell – continuously. Another day, this same little boy wandered over and got his head stuck in the swing set in our backyard. And while I have a pretty strong work ethic, this didn’t seem like something I could just ignore.

What I don’t have any problem with is working through a non-emergency when I am working from home. My children, now 23 and 21, learned from an early age that when Mommy is working, there is no reason to interrupt unless someone is bleeding. They were actually charged $1 for stepping one toe in my office when they were as young as two and fours years old. It’s just been a tad more difficult to get that concept across to my 19-year-old stepdaughter. Perhaps I should post my hours on the door…


When needed in Northern Virginia or Washington, D.C. Sande likes to take Amtrak Virginia where free Wi-Fi allows her to telework on the way – or catch a nap. Here, she takes the inaugural train from Norfolk on Dec. 12, 2012.