Working from home can be a glorious thing — for some people.
If you’re a person who can roll with the punches, laugh off weirdness, are very much a self-starter, and don’t really need to be in contact with other humans — then it might be for you.
The freedom of working from home in a comfortable environment is awesome until, of course, you realize that you’re working … from your home. It has all of the people you love, the things you love, and even the opportunity for a bed lunch.
But it can be a double-edged sword for a whole host of reasons.
- Your workspace is omnipresent. Home becomes the office. This means not only do you work from home, you’re also at the office when you’re not working. So, while you’re trying to veg out and enjoy the latest episode of whichever crappy sitcom has sucked you in, your desk is taunting you with all of the tasks you didn’t quite finish during the day.
- Your pets get to see you more — and you see a lot more of them. Our little dachshund remains as sweet as can be, but our cats have taken a particular interest in my work. They often like to stomp across my keyboard, stare deeply into a zoom camera, or use my back as a scratching post in an important meeting.
- Technology regularly becomes possessed. With five devices in arm’s reach capable of handling an important meeting or interview, there is a direct correlation between their failure rate and the importance of the meeting I’m attending.
- A trip to the convenience store seems like a treat. After many hours in whatever dungeon you’ve chosen for an office, you might decide to venture out. The sun will burn your eyes and skin, but this is only the first part of your transformation into a vampire.
- You become friends with the wildlife around your home. For me, it’s a family of bunnies that sit right outside my office window. I named them Ralph, Oscar, and Smithy. A friend recently suggested a rabbit hunting trip, and I felt like he was encouraging me to go commit war crimes.
- People can’t seem to understand that you’re working. Friends call on random days just assuming that because I’m home, I’m available. I’ve worked from home for years, and they are well aware, but somehow people around you seem to think you’re “working” and not actually working.
- Suddenly, you realize you only eat at supper. Countless days I have wrapped up my day only to realize I forgot lunch, and breakfast, and even snacks. The real benefit of working at home is the ability to chow down steak and eggs while you go through your emails. In about 8 years, I haven’t done it once. But, damn, what a fantasy.
- Your lovely family needs you — all the time. Those same sweet folks who barely speak to you in the evening, have consistent needs during the day. Important things, like the need to discuss Minecraft for an hour, why homework is unreasonable and they shouldn’t be expected to do school work at home, and the ever famous: Will you run to the store for me?
While working from home has its challenges, once you properly train those around you, it can be a great experience. But never, ever, let your kids bring up Minecraft.