I’ve just come off a fairly long stint of working from home, and it’s had its ups and downs, I have to say. Being able to work from home is the dream for a lot of people, and I can totally see why. I’m here to tell you my experiences…
The best things
You’re in all the time
You can sign for packages! You can let in the gas man/plumber/phone line installation man! No more annoying “sorry we missed you” slips!
You can choose your own schedule
If you prefer to work out mid morning, you can do that. If you prefer to start early and finish early, you can do that too. You can take a break in the middle of the day to run errands whilst it’s quiet, or go for a walk to clear your head.
<<I feed the pigeons I sometimes feed the sparrows too>>
I’m lucky enough to live near the beautiful Great River Ouse in Bedford, so I can take off down there when I need to think through a particularly complex problem. I usually come back with the answer.
You can wear pyjamas to work
Unless you’ve got video conference calls. Once, I had a surprise video conference call and I was not prepared. Other than that, you can schlub away in your pjs with greasy hair and a face mask on if that’s your jam. Personally I think I’m a little less productive when I do that, though – and that surprise video conference call has scared me into looking presentable at least from the waist up!
Food is easier
You can create a filling, nutritious and delicious lunch for yourself without having to worry about packing it, or choosing things that don’t require kitchen facilities to eat. You can prepare dinner ahead, during breaks, so you don’t get home hungry and stuff your face with the contents of the nearest kitchen cupboard. No more being restricted to sandwiches or slighly soggy salads for lunch (lunches are tricky as a coeliac anyway), and no more browning meat at 6am for the slow cooker, either.
Just some casual rice paper rolls I knocked up for my lunch. NBD.
The worst things
You’re in all the time
When your landlord wants to pop round to check on something, you can’t say no, even though it totally disrupts your flow. Ditto the gas man, plumber, etc.
You have to make up your hours
Yes it’s all well and good that you can pop to do your food shopping in the middle of the day if you want, but that work needs doing at some point. Enter: working late (perhaps when you’d rather be catching up with normal 9-5ers).
If you’re essentially a lazy sucker like me, the temptation to mooch around instead of doing work is very strong. Leading to more of the above.
Like when your walk to clear your head turns into an extended floral photoshoot. Ahem.
My job doesn’t really allow me to work from public places, as I’m often on conference calls or dealing with confidential information. So, by necessity, I’m in my house alone all day. I try to fend off the inevitable cabin fever by doing non-confidential work in a cafe, going for tea with people who are also at home during the day (usually my friends with new babies) and meeting up with people after work for walks and fresh air.
I still have this puritan work ethic from somewhere (who knows where) and so I feel bad if I finish work early/go out in the middle of the day/visit friends because I think I should be working. Even if I’ve made up the time at other times. I know really that as long as my work gets done it’s fine, but I still have The WFH Guilt anyway.
Do you ever work from home? Do you experience any of the above?
P.S. I’m away traversing North America at the moment (and definitely not working from home!), so apologies if I’m slow to respond to commnents
P.P.S If you want to know a bit more about my job, see here.