My Day Working From Home


So Marissa Mayer thinks too many Yahoo employees could be deadbeats because they "work" from home, and their absence may be one reason the company's lost its way.

We've been reporting that she's ordered all telecommuters back to the office, because that's where the magic happens. She kind of reminds me of the boss everyone is excited about at first, until you realize, "Oh, this is not going to be fun."

(Read More: One Perk Gone: Yahoo Says No to Telecommuting)

I work in a bureau for a large news organization, so I have some understanding of what it's like to telecommute. I'm based in Los Angeles, and my bosses are in New Jersey. I can't talk face-to-face with the producers who decide what stories air on a daily basis. That puts me at a disadvantage, but not to the point where I want to trade in my 75-degree February day to move east.

Still, even in a bureau, I work in an office most days with about ten other people. Would it make any difference if I actually just stayed home and worked from there? Would I be more productive, or would I "email it in"?

(Read More: Is Telecommuting Dead? Don't Count on It)

I decided to conduct an experiment on Tuesday. As it turned out, I needed to shoot some video of my dogs for a story about a new breath freshening tongue cleaner for pets. Oh yes, that's a real product and a real story. Stay tuned.

Since I was already starting the day at home, why not just stay there? I said, "Hey, I could write a blog about what it's like to work from home." They went for it! HAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA (I'm typing this FROM HOME).

So here's how the day went. (I'm in L.A. so all times are Pacific.)

6 a.m. — I wake up. This is an hour later than my usual start time, so I already feel better. Since I don't have to drive to work on the infamous 101 today, I've saved an hour of lost productivity by ... sleeping.

7:10 a.m. — "Power Lunch" informs me they want me to do the "Power Rundown," and one of the stories involves the dispute between Marissa Mayer and Richard Branson over the benefits of telecommuting. I say, "I'm already home, how about I do the live shot in the backyard by the pool? It'll be funny!" "Wear a bathrobe," suggests producer Rich Fisherman.

7:30 a.m. — Cameraman Bill Sims arrives and we shoot video of the dogs for the aforementioned tongue-cleaning story.

8:06 a.m. — I email my managers pitching a trip out of state for an exclusive interview with the CEO of publicly traded beverage company.

8:10 a.m. — Um ... I sit and stare out the window.

(Read More: 4 Reasons Why Telecommuting Is Bad for Business)

8:30 a.m. — I make some coffee, write some emails, play with the dogs, chat with Bill.

8:40 a.m. — I look over the Power Rundown stories and figure out something pithy to say.

9 a.m. — Uh ... nothin'.


9:30 a.m. — I decide that for the web story about the dog tongue-cleaner, I want to use the theme music from "Jaws." We did a funny shot of the tongue brush sneaking up on one of the pooches, and the menacing music will be perfect. To avoid any rights issues over using the music from an existing recording, Bill records me playing the opening notes on my piano (can't do THAT at the office!).

9:40 a.m. — Hmmm. Well … I tweet a few things, check Facebook, all the stuff I do at the office about now.

9:50 a.m. — I debate whether to wear the bathrobe or wear a track suit instead.

10:10 a.m. — I decide on the track suit.

10:30 a.m. — I wire up for the "Power Lunch" live shot.

10:45 a.m. — Go live with the "Power Rundown".


11 a.m. — I look over the tape we shot earlier of the dogs. Bill leaves, taking the tape down to the bureau to editor Candice Tahi.

11:20 a.m. — It feels so good sitting here in the sun.

11:45 a.m. — I talk by phone to the CEO of caregiver company that's quickly expanding, and I set up an interview for next week.

Noon — I write rough draft of story on the doggie tongue brush and email it to the editor.

12:50 p.m. — Snack.

1 p.m. — I write more of this blog.

1:15 p.m. — Write two "Good Life" reports for WCBS radio.

2:15 p.m. — I return some serving dishes to my neighbor, Faye, and we talk for a while.

3 p.m. — I go to Starbucks. No one will know...

In the end, I did not get as much work done as I would have in the office, but then, I'm not used to this. There are a lot of distractions. This would take practice.

The bigger issue, however, is that I feel especially disconnected. In my business, plans are changing constantly, and to be away from those conversations makes me feel very isolated. Oh well. It's 75 degrees by the pool. We should all feel so isolated.

—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter: @janewells