I like to tell people that I work from home because it sounds nicer than the truth: I work from my couch wearing sweatpants, surrounded by cookies.
A couple of months ago, I began working from home. Actually, I think it would be more accurate to say I began working from my computer and changed my home for inspiration. Now, I work from anywhere I please (which lately has been a Chipotle in central Florida).
If you work from home, then you are conflicted with a strange struggle. It’s automatically your dream job because you can do it from your bedroom, but sometimes it’s hard working in isolation with my cat curled up around my feet, playing music in the background, while the aroma of the homemade pasta sauce I’m making for dinner fills my “office.”
At least there’s no cubicle. These are the incredible benefits and real pains we experience when we work from home.
- The freedom: There is so much freedom in working from home. Depending on your job, you may work conventional hours, or you may work whatever hours you damn well please. If you’re like me and you fall into the latter, it’s perfection.
- The environment: You get to make your office space your own space. You can fill it with candles, Christmas lights, and the home shopping network while you blast My Chemical Romance in the background (not that I ever do that or anything).
- Being close to loved ones: Often, people who work from home choose to do it because of sick relatives or young children. It’s pleasant when your work family is your real family and you get to spend your days with the people you care about.
- We get to work the way we want: My senior year of college, I took a class in happiness psychology. The professor told us the best way to work is to take a break with a physical activity when switching tasks. Because I’m really into yoga, I take a break y standing on my head after I finish a piece of writing. I don’t think I could get away with that if I worked in an office and wore a skirt everyday.
- The commute is the best: It is universally agreed upon that skipping the subway is the best part of working from home. You’d be hard pressed to find somebody that misses commuting everyday.
This is what “working from home” looks like most days:
However, there are drawbacks too:
- People think we don’t work: People in my life have noticed that I have copious amounts of “free time.” Just because I spend a lot of time at work, doesn’t mean it’s free.
If I finish my work early, I’m done for the day and then I have free time. Likewise, if I goof off all day, then I’m working into the night. And by the way…
- Goofing off is too easy: I’ll still take the temptation of procrastination any day over the hours spent sitting in an office, but it’s so easy to goof off. My job is one of the few that makes me want to do chores. Sometimes, I just need to clear my mind with a little bit of laundry–or a quick trip to the gym followed by happy hour, because everybody else is just getting off of work.
- We have few boundaries: If you sleep in one day when you work from home, you might as well quit now. Oversleeping is a black hole that you will never escape from if you work from home. I make myself wake up every morning at 7am, drink a cup of coffee, write in my journal, and get dressed. Even though I don’t go to work, I still need to send my mind to work.
- The isolation: The hardest part of working from home is lacking people to bounce ideas off of. It’s nice working in an environment of people who know your job and hearing their input on your ideas. Sometimes you fall into a cycle of repetition and lacking creativity (when that happens, I know it’s time to stand on my head again).
- And, or course, you can drink beer whenever you want: It’s just sitting there in the fridge all the time. It’s lonely and it’s calling your name.
[Featured Image Credit: The Huffington Post]