Have you ever wondered what working from home really looks like? I’ve been working from home for more than five years, the last three consecutively. Most articles I read about working from home list the pros and cons and say something like, “I get more work done but sometimes I get distracted by doing laundry.” Both of those things are true. Here are my thoughts on working from home.
It took me awhile to get used to it, and I think it took going back to working from an office for a few months for me to really appreciate it, but working from home is kind of amazing. The single biggest benefit for me is freedom over my time.
I don’t have to rush in the morning. I can sleep or relax with a cup of coffee during what would be my morning commute.
I can run an errand anytime, not just on my lunch break. That freedom is a huge stress reliever.
I can take a break in the middle of the day and it’s ok. No one is watching my every move. I’m trusted to get my work done and be available for my co-workers and clients.
I can work late and start dinner at the same time.
I can work from anywhere, which means I can travel to the coffee shop or the beach anytime. I don’t but I could. I should.
Most important to me is that I don’t feel like work is taking over my life and dictating how I spend my time.
Sometimes I forget to shower. It’s true. I get up, throw on my yoga pants, sit down with my coffee, work, each lunch, work, and then suddenly it’s 5:00 and I’m still in my yoga pants.
Sometimes I forget to leave the house. If the kitchen is stocked and I’m not out of soap, why would I leave? Leaving the house has to be intentional and it’s easy to find a reason not to. It’s not good for my health.
Sometimes it strains my relationship. My husband works from home too. Thankfully we both have our own offices on different floors in our house but being someone’s spouse, friend, roommate, and co-worker is a lot of togetherness. I love him but I don’t like anybody that much. I don’t know how Chip and Joanna do it.
Sometimes I get really lonely. I don’t travel for work and I haven’t met most of my co-workers and clients in person. We talk regularly and Skype constantly but every once in awhile it would be nice to “grab lunch” or sneak out to happy hour on a Friday with them.
IT’S A BALANCE.
No doubt, working from home involves a balance that has to be cultivated and evaluated daily. Balance is my word for 2017 because it’s so important and because I’m not excelling at it right now. I’m working to establish balance in all areas of my life, including my work from home life. (If you have any tips leave them in the comments!) I look forward to revisiting this topic in a future post. Until then, here are a few other articles worth a quick read.
Why we ditched our Silicon Valley office to work from home
I Work from Home (It’s funny because it’s true.)
Here’s What Working From Home Is Really Like (It’s not funny because it’s sometimes true.)