Pros and Cons of Working at Home in Mexico City

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The home office is still an office.

“How do you like working at home?” …”in Mexico City?”

Like everything in life, it has its pros and cons.

Pros
– No commute, except the 8-second walk from bedroom to home office. (8 with coffee, 20 without).
– Dog is always available for petting.
– I can listen to music and sing along very loudly.
– I can control the room temperature to my exact needs. No more frozen toes.
– No one can see the faces I make at them.
– I am learning amazing self-discipline skills because I want to keep receiving a paycheck.
– I can wear PJs and not brush my teeth (*see cons).
– I can run errands relatively easy (*see cons).
– I can talk to myself (*see cons) and no one thinks it’s crazy.

Pros (Mostly) Exclusive to Working at Home in Mexico City

– This is one of the quirkiest and kookiest places on earth, so it’s never boring, even when I’m just watching la gente from my desk in my 5th-floor apartment.
– I can watch hummingbirds year-round.
– My view consists of palm trees, many entertaining pedestrians and hot pink, orange and royal blue houses.
– I can eat tacos al pastor and tortas for lunch.
– Year-round highs of 70-75 degrees and lows of 55-60 degrees (for the most part except the winter).
– Several cafes in my neighborhood have wireless, if I get tired of the home office.
– I am just a few steps from a very well-maintained park.
– I can afford domestic help to clean up the mess (*see cons exclusive to Mexico)
– Occasionally there are marimba musicians who know more songs than “Cielito Lindo” (*see cons exclusive to Mexico)

Cons

– No lunches or happy hours with co-workers.
– I don’t really control my own schedule, since I have to keep the schedule of both my co-workers in NYC and my husband (no escape from the alarm clock — I really think “working at home” should come with an obligatory policy of no alarm clocks).
– If I am not careful, I can easily miss out on learning new work concepts/tasks that can’t easily be conveyed over the phone or online.
– It feeds an addiction to Facebook and email, since they’re sometimes my only human interaction.
– Meaning, at times, working at home is incredibly lonely. Some workdays I only leave the house to walk the dog and take out the trash.
– But those workdays are better than the workdays I have to buy groceries (I hate small, cramped grocery stores like hell-on-earth Superama in Condesa).
– The dog sometimes wants more attention than I want to give
– I still get carpal tunnel
– I don’t have peer pressure to keep me from doing things I normally wouldn’t do in an office, like drink from the milk carton
– *I worry I now talk to myself too much when people are around
– *Because I’m at home, I get “honey-do’s” that I normally wouldn’t get asked to do.
– *I have no real need to shower, meaning sometimes I don’t.

Cons (Mostly) Exclusive to Working at Home in Mexico City

– Car alarms randomly going off all day that make me contemplate the limits of my sanity, and propensity for criminal behavior.
– “No solicitation” is not a concept here. People ring the doorbell for random, bullshit reasons at least four times a day.
– Working in English all day is incredibly counter-productive to learning Spanish.
– Hard to order office supplies when you don’t know the words for them.  Or the needed words to make phone calls to complain about crappy internet wirless service (I’m talking to you, Cablevision).
– *I end up worrying my domestic help thinks I’m crazy when I laugh at a funny IM or email from a co-worker. Or when I’m editing something particularly graphic (I edit health information). Or when I use Skype and look like I’m talking to my computer.
– *Hearing “Cielito Lindo” everyday because most of the street musicians refuse to play anything else.

10 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Working at Home in Mexico City

  1. dregina says:

    When I worked my office job in Philly, I used to joke that my day didn’t start until I heard my first car alarm – they went off every 5 minutes all. day. long. I’ve got the whole wah-wah-wah-wah-wah, beee-dooo, beee-doooo, whoooop, whooooop, whoooop car alarm series of sounds etched into my brain.

  2. Joy says:

    Many of the alarms here simply set off the car’s horn to blast on and off over and over…over and over……my favorite is when more than one are going off at the same time.

  3. Buck Wolf says:

    Part of my work-at-home ritual is deciding what to do at a quarter to six, before my wife of almost six months come through the door. Do I . . .

    A: Take a shower and change;
    B. Make the bed and start the dishwasher;
    C. Run out to make sure she has diet coke, weight watchers ice cream sandwiches;

    There’s no right answer (except maybe thinking about this earlier, and doing all these things). Presently, I’m mixing up choices a, b, and c.

    My big plan is to bake her a six month anniversary cake, chop it in half, and write in the icing, “appy versary”

  4. DKN says:

    Car alarms should be outlawed. I’ve never even heard of one preventing a theft before.

    Good list! It sounds like a pretty good balance to me. (((HUGS)))

  5. Betty Victory says:

    Perhaps, you should go out to the musicians and ask that they play Guadalajara or some alternative. Maybe even complain to the newspaper about their selections of music. I think hearing Cielito Lindo over and over would be almost as bad as the car horns.

  6. Teresa says:

    Hello,
    I had to laugh when I read your day.
    I am going back to live there 6 months on and 1 week off then back 6 months again. with my family in Mexico City.

    I felt very word you said lol
    Currently I am living in Baja California where we have been for 4 years, very different but a good customs ice breaker, with a mixture of USA and Mexico.
    e will be moving back to DF in December, I hope I meet some nice people that speak English this time. I was such the gringa the first time.
    Mexico City is a blast, have fun, enjoy it.
    Teresa

  7. Extracomunitaria says:

    Hi Joy,
    This is my first time in your blog. I’m from Mexico City but have been living in Italy for six years now, and now i’m reconsidering going back home. Now that I almost feel like a foreigner in my own country, it’s helpful to hear your feedback on D.F.
    Oh, by the way, in Florence there’s a gypsy band outside my window that plays Cielito Lindo all day long, too. And people think it’s oh so Italian. 🙂
    And instead of car alarms going off, i have scooters speeding by 24/7.

  8. Javier Limon says:

    Hi, im from Guadalajara, your post is very funny I get this page tryin to find a home work, can u tell me what page I can go to get it ? some one ?
    thank you!

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