What nobody told you about working from home
I’ve always thought I am a person who would enjoy working from home – the freedom to plan my time myself, a fact that I don’t have to prepare myself on time in the morning and get more done on both work and home fronts. After almost a year of working from home, I can claim that I would prefer to work in the office or in a shared workspace. At the same time, however, in the ideal world, it would still be possible to make home office days – especially when you work at your chosen times and last night’s socialisation have gone beyond what you expect.
ISOLATSION – I’ve never considered myself excessively extrovert. I’ve always liked to be at home and I really enjoy spending time alone. For me, it has never been a problem to spend several days between home walls without going outside. I also like to be on my own and do my thing – often when I spend time with someone too long, I suggest that I walk to the shop or make the dinner myself to have these twenty minutes of alone time.
So, I thought that working alone at home should not cause me any trouble, but oh how wrong I was. I was just craving for social encounters and when my other half came home, tired and would be happy to spend the weekend just at home, I could only think, ‘Finally, he’s home! Let’s go out!’ It wasn’t helping that I was in a foreign country (without speaking the local language in a city where English is rare to encounter) and lacking social ties that would have been easy to create while working in the office, but no, here I was spending my days with a cat at home.
I really wouldn’t have thought that I miss those coffee breaks and small talks so much. In every workplace I have had, I have also made a very close friend, then this year it has been probably time to get very close to myself and get to know me more.
LACK OF MOTIVATION – I have no fixed hours for work. I can sleep till three o’clock in the afternoon and then work up to 2 o’clock at night, if I only wish so. I’m generally the person who likes these slow mornings and the harder it is to get work mood after enjoying a nice cup of coffee, cozying up on the couch with couple of sandwiches and a series to watch. My best tip so far is to put the alarm clock at nine, get out of bed for ten and do some work before lunch or a little longer, only then to eat breakfast and check my social media and deal with the other guilty pleasures I have in life. When you’re sitting behind a computer and starting to actually do something, the first step is done and the next ones are easier, because at least I have the desire to repeat the victory feeling it after every achievement.
At the same time, the home is filled with all the distractions that take time – honestly, I just put the laundry in real quickly and then discover myself organising my closet and doing the deep-cleaning in the kitchen. Who else was this student who started to redoing their room when they needed to study for exams? Kristi raises her hand really high.
Working from home all the time in a certain spot, will create zones in your home that scream with negative and demotivating vibe – those where you sit behind your computer with curved back (check my back, yes, my posture still sucks) and wish things would get done faster. I like change and try to mix up my workplace every now and then and also work outside of home. Funny, but for example, one of my favorite places to work on a more creative tasks is Beerlovers, where you can people watch and get refreshing ideas. I can very successfully lock myself in my world so group pf friends in the next table or music doesn’t really bother me.
I’M NO LONGER PRETTY – Although this is not purely a negative thing, when I’m working from home, you find me 99% of the time without make-up, a messy bun on the head, a leggings, and probably in A.’s shirt. Although maybe my skin tells me thank you for these make-up days, after getting used to daily ‘taking care of myself’ and expressing oneself through clothes, I feel like an uncared-for and unstylish hermit. You might think that there is more time to do masks and everything else, but in reality – because neither Netflix looks at itself nor all these 4-hour slow-cooked meals do not cook themselves. But, the one positive thing about this is that these days, when you really take the time to do your make-up and choose that outfit to wear and even put on the eyeliner – vauuu, I feel like a princess. Honestly.
I ACTUALLY WORK – Apart from the lack of social output, this is the hardest thing for me. I think others don’t think I’m actually working. I have a pseudo-fear that everyone thinks I’m spending my days of the week as they spend their weekends at home, and when I actually do an 8h workday and the home looks like a bomb had just went off, I couldn’t feel more than guilty about it. But this means that for the sake of your inner well-being you will have fight on two fronts: to get things done at work and at the same time to take care of home. And then let’s not even talk about this previous point and feeling yourself good during all of this. In fact, it is surprising to me that it can be tiring to be in the same environment constantly, and the fact that both your work and the place to spend your rest are the same. But I feel I’m more tired after working from home than when I used to work in an office.
Ok, yes, it looks like I hate working from home and find all the negative sides, but it also has some positive features: if you really do feel like you’re dying, you can take a nap, you’re consuming home-made fresh meals, no time wasted on commuting to work and back, you will always get your packages delivered on time and you don’t have to rub your foundation to your face when half asleep, and if you have a cat, you can spend the whole day with her. The fact is that all of these negative aspects of working from home came to me as a surprise. It looks like it’s a well-kept secret and working at home is a glamorous upgrade in today’s office community.
What is your relationship with working from home? If you are doing this right now, what do you love / hate the most and, if not, is it your goal or would you rather prefer traditional office work?