All my posts here up to this point have been silly and/or discussion oriented in nature. This is my first "I'm posting because I'm freaking out" post. Apologies in advance.
I started my current job about three years ago. I'm a programmer for a "serious games" studio (games for training people). Initially, it was just myself and another programmer I've worked with in the past (we were both in the commercial games industry). The studio is in the campus of a tech college, associated with the college. Toonia and I lived 40 miles from the campus, and my boss was okay with me coming in a 2-3 days a week, and telecommuting the rest.
Shift to the present. The studio has grown - we now have two artists and a producer. Following the death of our landlord (and subsequent sale of the rental house), toonia and I moved in with my sister and her husband, 1.5 hours from where I work (i.e., 3 hours round trip). The idea is to get some debt paid off and get into a position to buy a house. I explained this to my boss, and asked if he was okay with me coming in one day a week. I told him it was a temporary situation. He was okay with it, and that's what I've been doing for the past few months.
I actually work a lot better from home, where I can focus on writing code without being surrounded by people. At work, our desks are against the walls, so there's always people moving around and talking behind me, and watching me work. It's good for me to go in once a week to communicate with everyone and stay on the same page (and I like all the people there), but I get little or no actual work produced while there. I'm also not fond of having 3 hours sucked out of my day with the commute (with my age and low energy, I don't have much stamina for long days).
We've also discovered that there's a lot more work for toonia around here (more potential harp students and gigs, etc.), and houses cost literally half what they do where we were (closer to my work). It's almost certain this is where we'll be settling.
Anyway, my boss just sent out an email reminding everyone to turn in our signed timesheets by Monday. I replied and asked if I could just bring mine with me to a client's place we'll both be going to Monday afternoon. He replied in the affirmative, but ended his email with this:
I need to reply to this sometime today, hence I am stressed.On a somewhat related note, I believe that physical presence on campus is important for team cohesion/relationships and to promote public perception that the Center is actually in business. That's mainly why I prefer to limit telecommuting. As I recall our conversation about you reducing on-campus time to one day a week, it was going to be a short-term arrangement. When do you expect to increase that time again?
Here's the thing: The boss has been very pleased with what myself and the other programmer have done in the couple years we've been there. The other programmer and I are used to the insane pace and demands of the commercial games industry (where working miracles daily is part of the job description), so we've been able to exceed expectations in excess. The studio is really busy now, and we could actually use another experienced, competent game programmer or two, but it's impossible to get anyone to move to the area. The upshot of all this is that my boss is in absolutely no position to let me go for any reason. I'm critically essential to the studio.
Basically, this means I can tell my boss that I'll be continuing to only come in once a week, indefinitely, and still keep my job. But I really hate to do this. I've had a continuously amicable relationship with him, and I'd like to keep it that way. I can tell this "being in the office" thing is important to him.
Anyway, that's all I got. Thanks for listening.