The 5 best and worst things about working from home

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.

Pros and cons of working from home

<<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.

Pros and cons of working from home 2

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).

Motivation

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.

Pros and cons of working from home 3

Like when your walk to clear your head turns into an extended floral photoshoot. Ahem.

Cabin fever

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.

The Guilt

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?

-Rachel

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.

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14 Comments

  1. 1st September 2016 / 16:58

    Oh man… working from home sounds like a dream to me. I’d love the option to try it out 😉

    • 14th September 2016 / 20:49

      I’m definitely lucky that I’ve had the chance to try it out! Now for future jobs I know exactly what suits me and what doesn’t. Although at this point I think I’d struggle to go back to a conventional office working life, to be honest. One day I may have to, and then I’ll truly appreciate how good things are now!

  2. 1st September 2016 / 18:25

    I really think you hit the nail on the head with this post! I don’t work from home, but Chris does part time, and I know that he deals with the good and the bad things that you just listed! I love that he can be there for things around the house and wait on people to come, and I always get super jealous of his nonexistent commute half the time. But I do know that he hates not having the interaction with people on a daily basis. If I could work from home part time, I definitely would!

    • 14th September 2016 / 20:47

      I’m glad I’m not the only one experiencing this stuff! I’m lucky to have the setup that I do but sometimes it’s not as easy as you might think. Not having to worry about commuting is really the best part – no traffic, delayed trains, fellow grumpy commuters… That’s the dream, really. I think part time is perfect, because then you get to see people enough to keep you from going stir crazy, but you also get the benefits of working from home.

  3. 1st September 2016 / 22:08

    I mostly work from home, which means I spend way too much time in my pajamas. I totally get the guilt and the cabin fever, ugh. Still, I like being able to set my own hours 🙂

    • 14th September 2016 / 20:45

      Yep, completely agree, and I’m glad I’m not the only one overly attached to my pyjamas. It does make me want to point out that I am actually working and I haven’t just got up to anyone that calls round, though. I guess that’s all part of the guilt!

      Setting your own hours is great, especially if you’re a night owl like me. I tend to work better in the evenings so it suits me that I can do that when I want to.

  4. 1st September 2016 / 23:35

    Sounds good to me. Let me work from home and I’ll gladly take all the bad! Give me all the bad stuff and I’d be fine.

    • 14th September 2016 / 20:43

      Haha! Glad to hear you’d be on board 🙂 the bad really isn’t that bad, and can definitely be managed. I’m very lucky to have the set up that I do!

  5. 2nd September 2016 / 14:37

    i love the flexibility that comes with WFH but i just think i would be too cooped up. i live alone and need to be around peoples so i like the office. now i wish i could do one day a week! oh how nice

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 14th September 2016 / 20:42

      Yeah I get what you mean. Sometimes when my husband gets home I just barrage him with chatter for a good hour because I haven’t spoken to a soul all day. He doesn’t seem to enjoy that very much, strangely enough. Still, better him than the postman I guess.

  6. 4th September 2016 / 05:48

    Working from home is tricky! I often feel the need to work more, to make up for the good fortune of being able to work from home, so I get what you mean exactly! 🙂

    I found working part time with one day working from home was just the perfect balance for me. I’m hoping I get the opportunity to do that again when I return to work this second time. (There was a bit of an issue with paperwork expiring just before my maternity leave kicked in the second time so it’s all up in the air!)

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 14th September 2016 / 20:41

      Yes! Me too!

      That balance sounds great to me, just the right mix of people/no people. If your work is team based then it really is better to be around your colleagues, things just aren’t the same over phone/webex. I hope you get the same arrangement again, paperwork can be so annoying sometimes.

  7. Jen
    5th September 2016 / 03:30

    My sister works from home and I have heard her say all of the same things! There are certainly pro’s and con’s.

    • 14th September 2016 / 20:39

      I’m glad it’s not just me! There are definitely pro’s and con’s, and I’m really glad I’ve been given the opportunity to do it. I’m not sure I could go back to regular office life now…

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