Christina E. talks teleworking

Christina E. talks teleworking

On the way home, any energy I might have saved for my evening was eaten up by the return drive as I obsessively checked Google’s traffic maps and Waze notifications in my vain quest to find the fastest route home.

Christina E. is a resident of Northglenn, and commutes 26 miles one-way to Genesee.  Below, she shares information about her scenic work locale, her solo-drive commute, and the benefits of teleworking.

I currently serve a nationwide nonprofit organization headquartered in Genesee, right in view of the buffalo herd and the superbly scenic view of the peaks off I-70. The place is beautiful, and friends of mine have sighed in envy when they hear I work at an office surrounded by elegant evergreens and regal mountain views — but they never consider the commute.

My husband and I reside in Northglenn. While the distance between home and work isn’t terribly far, there’s really only one sensible route in, and there aren’t any practical public transportation or carpool options for that route. My commute history has always been filled with jam-packed highways, messy traffic incidents and sometimes petrifying weather conditions at higher altitude.

When I first started my job there, I drove in five days a week. That’s approximately 270 miles of solo driving. Heading in, I left home before the sun rose, crawled my way along the river of red brake lights, and wound up arriving just minutes before the office opened, exhausted by the trip before my day even began. On the way home, any energy I might have saved for my evening was eaten up by the return drive as I obsessively checked Google’s traffic maps and Waze notifications in my vain quest to find the fastest route home.

In my first few months commuting in, I slowly figured out the rush hour rhythm and adjusted my hours to avoid the worst of it — but even so, traffic remained a fickle entity. Within minutes, a perfectly clear road could turn into a traffic snarl because of an accident or unscheduled construction. Not only that, but between C-470 and Genesee, there’s about a 2,000 ft. increase in altitude — and weather in the foothills changes in a blink. From late fall through early spring, I’d see car pileups and snow-related incidents that made my hair curl.

Something had to be done.

That’s why I began teleworking several days a week — and let me tell you, working from home has been a game-changer in numerous ways. The most obvious is the time, energy, and gas money I’ve saved. (I had no idea how much it all added up until I compared gas receipts and mileage.) I also save a lot of wear-n’-tear on my vehicle by reducing the long treks into the foothills per week. And when weather gets treacherous, I no longer have to risk slipping and sliding up the slope to check in to work.

Another unexpected benefit ties in with my productivity. My office is very open and highly collaborative, and there’s a great atmosphere of cooperation — but there is no real space for anyone to “step away” and work privately on individual projects. Teleworking has given me the opportunity to create a private, productive space at home, where I can focus much better and get much more done than I would typically in the physical office. And if I do need to connect with my team while teleworking, technology has got my back: Skype, Slack, and texting are enough to check in as needed.

Overall, teleworking has helped reduce much of my work stress and let me devote my energy to work, not the commute. Sure, I may not be able to see the beautiful evergreens or mountain peaks as often — but there’s great satisfaction in doing a solid day’s work without having to leave the comfort of home.

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