Working at home just doesn't work for me -- it never has. I need to be in my office, surrounded by all my office stuff, without the home distractions of people and cats. I don't think this is any more virtuous than people who work successfully at home, though. The key thing is what you accomplish, wherever that may be. I have postdocs and students who prefer to work at their homes, and that's totally fine with me as long as we have enough time in the department when our schedules intersect, and as long as they are making progress in their research.
I was recently entertained when a colleague who NEVER comes to the department at night or on weekends, and seldom in the summer months either, stopped by the office one weekend to check his mailbox after one of his many vacations. He saw me coming out of my office, and was very surprised. He said "I didn't expect to see YOU here". So I said "Why not?" He had no response to my question. It occurred to me then that perhaps some people who 'work' at home (as opposed to the ones who really do) assume that no one else is working in the off hours either.
When I was a grad student, there were lots of grad students and postdocs working late at night and on weekends in the department. In my department now, it's the faculty and postdocs who are there at all hours, and we seldom see grad students at night and on weekends. I have always assumed that this means that the students are better at working at home than we older people who 'grew up' working in the office. And, without getting into the whole cat vs. dog issue, for some reason a large number of people in my research group have dogs, and these dogs require a lot of attention and company. This is fine with me -- I like both dogs and cats, although at present I only have cats at home. I have been strangely fascinated to watch two dog-owning but childless people in my research group juggle schedules that are much more complex than mine (a non-dog-owning mother of one). They love these dogs, of course, and the dogs are important for their emotional well-being, so we all just work around it, just as my students and postdocs have to deal with my occasional absences or erratic schedule when my daughter doesn't have school.
9 years ago