Home is where the office is

By: Maria Allard, | Warren Weekly | Published February 15, 2017

METRO DETROIT — For Peck Elementary School first-grade teacher Nicole Pelczarski, the workday isn’t over when the final school bell rings.

While the married mother of two leaves the school building for the day to attend her children’s sporting events and spend time with her family, Pelczarski is back to work later in the evening not at school, but at home. 

The dedicated teacher — who arrives at Peck, in Warren, about 90 minutes before the students’ day begins — also spends another 90 minutes each night working at home on lesson plans, preparing materials for the classroom and completing work for the various school committees on which she serves. Pelczarski even has a laminating machine at home for certain class projects.

“I tend to do a lot of work in the living room, especially when on the computer,” Pelczarski said. “That way, I can have a conversation with my husband.”

The Peck teacher also spends some evenings doing research and professional development. It’s all part of her day, and doing work while at home in the evening is an ideal way to keep up with her busy schedule.

“Having that quiet time at home allows me to be more focused, especially after the kids have gone to bed,” said the educator, who also spends about two hours every Sunday evening at home preparing for the week. 

Working from home — either full time or part time — has become standard in today’s workforce, depending on your field. With computers, cellphones, tablets and other electronic devices, companies are allowing their employees to work from home more and more. Some workers set up offices at home just for work, while others can get the job done from their bedrooms or kitchen tables. 

Employees ranging from executives to project managers to stay-at-home moms have found that they can work just as effectively at home as opposed to going to the office every day. Many homebound employees also find a more flexible schedule and can spend more time with their families. 

According to the website Remote.co, working at home has several benefits, and companies have noticed an increase in worker productivity and employee efficiency. Many work-from-home employees find that they get their tasks accomplished in a timelier manner, since there are fewer distractions, such as interruptions from co-workers who want to make small talk and socialize. Choosing the home over the office also provides a quieter atmosphere for concentration and cuts down on long traffic commutes to and from the office. 

Realtor Kristine Lambrecht has found working from home to be convenient and the best way to get her work done. While the Lake Orion resident enjoys the office atmosphere, she finds she is more productive and efficient working in her home environment. 

“I can work with no interruptions,” Lambrecht said. “It would be hard for me to go back to an office.”

Lambrecht’s typical workday can include showing houses to clients in mostly Oakland and Macomb counties, preparing for showings, handling and executing listings, and preparing marketing analyses. She works anywhere from 40 to 60 hours per week. 

Lambrecht began working from home in 2005 when she became a licensed Realtor. At the time, her three children were young and she was able to plan her work hours around their needs and around her husband’s schedule. 

“I loved it,” said Lambrecht, whose children are now between the ages of 20 and 23. “It was very flexible. I never missed a sports event or a dance competition.”

So she has everything she needs at her fingertips, Lambrecht created her own office in the basement with a file cabinet, fax machine, copier and scanner. 

“It’s set up so it’s functional,” Lambrecht said. “Everything I can get at the office, I have at home. It’s convenient too, having everything right there, because it’s a 24/7 job. If I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, I can come downstairs at 3 in the morning and work.”