For the most part, this has worked out fine. Working from home can be a double-edged sword, but the non-existent commute is great and the ability to work from alternate locations seamlessly has been pretty nice - this summer we picked up and moved to Denver for 10 weeks with no interruption of my work, only a slight shift in working hours due to the time zone change.
But there are some definite drawbacks. My taxes are far more complicated now, I don't get employer-sponsored health insurance, and there's a bit of a disconnect from the rest of my team and the firm at large. This is both practical - I have difficulty hearing what's going on in many of my meetings, since I'm the only one on the phone instead of there in person - and psychological.
The latest case in point, and the catalyst for this post, occurred this morning. The chairman of my firm sent out an email announcing a minor contest sort of thing in which employees can win an electronic gizmo that shall remain nameless in exchange for updating their employee profile. I dutifully went to update mine, which I hadn't looked at since I was a Full-Time Employee... and found that I no longer have one. This is far from a big deal, but it's a reminder of the fact that although I work like an employee (I'm on a fixed rate, not an hourly one), consider myself part of the firm, and try to act in its best interest, there's a psychic distance between me and the Real Employees.
There are more examples. The firm celebrated its 20th birthday a short time ago, and Employees all received small gift bags. It should probably go without saying that I did not. On one's 5th anniversary as an Employee, one receives a very small token of acknowledgement of service to the firm. My 5th year is coming up, but I presume it will be sans token.
I assume this would be different at firms in which contracting is more widespread - contractors would be held either closer or farther away - but my situation is unusual at my office, so it's not worth HR's time to hold my hand through any weird episodes. Also, these are minor enough issues that I would feel ridiculous complaining about them in person, so I'm using this medium to work through them a little.
Anyway, I know that my blog is occasionally perused by people from my office, so let me reiterate that this is not a big deal and not intended to be a passive-aggressive complaint, it's just some musings on this strange state of employment that I, and a growing number of others, find myself in.