The Pros and Cons of Working From Home!
Photos + Work July 26, 2016
I’ve been in a new job where I mainly work from home for over a month now. It’s certainly been a big change from office life! I know many people think of working from home as a dream come true, so I thought I’d dish out some of the pros and cons of working from home – a 30 second walk from your bed!
Pros of working from home
Okay, it’s true. On the days I am working from home (a.k.a about 98% of my days), I really only need to be presentable from the waist up. Most days I only talk to people via Google Hangouts for about 15 minutes every morning. Of course, the safest bet is to remain somewhat clothed should a colleague pop up for an impromptu chat.
Plus I can rely on my not-the-best Internet connection to only send a low-quality image of myself to the poor person on the other end. It’s like my own personal Snapchat filter.
I’m supposed to maintain somewhat office hours, meaning I’m at my desk between 8:30 and 5:30 for the most part. This is a lot earlier than at my old job which saw me casually rolling in with a Starbucks a bit after our start time of 9:30. But it’s hard to complain when I can be from my bed to my desk in a couple of minutes (via the bathroom for a toilet visit and to pencil on my eyebrows, obviously).
Complete control over the office playlist
By this, of course, I mean SING-A-LONGS. I can listen to what I want, as loud as I want, and I can belt out every word as if I actually am Beyoncé. Freedom, cut me loose! I’ma keep running, ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves. And all that. The other day I just put on the Book of Mormon cast album and let loose.
No more buying lunches
I was the actual worst when it came to trying to pack a lunch. There are weeks when I definitely spent over £5 per day, which is a massive expense! Now I probably pay £5 per week for my lunchie munchies. I’m partial to a peanut butter and jam sandwich, but of course, I also have the option of more decadent fare, such as pasta. The best days are when Katy makes sandwiches though. I don’t know how she does it, but she is a sandwich queen.
Easy access to unlimited tea and snacks
Of course, in addition to saving money buying lunches, I also have snacks at the ready when needed. No more mid-afternoon hangry rampages for me, as I am always within range of food. Of course, this means fewer chocolate bars scoffed down after a quick sprint to the newsagent. But, naturally, there are cons to this as well. We’ll get to that.
A sense of accomplishment and independence
There’s something about working at home that makes you feel all hashtag boss lady. Although I am not self employed, in this role I obviously have a lot more independence and responsibility. I have to get my stuff done without the looming threat of a boss walking by and seeing my Facebook chat tab blinking with new messages. I really and truly need to manage my time. Of course, with this, I’ve also been given a lot more control over my work and my projects feel like they really are mine. There’s so much less “design by committee” when the committee can’t be in the same room (and in several cases are not even in the same country!).
Working from home gives you a chance to really “own” your work. There’s nothing better than knowing you completed your checklist at the end of the day when, technically, you could have accidentally fallen into a void of Wikipedia articles. Speaking of which, have you ever read the article on sexually active popes?
Cons of working from home
Trying to stay motivated
As much as I can wax poetic about the sense of worth and accomplishment that comes from managing your own time and getting sh*t done, there are days when it’s hard. There are days when it’s sunny and warm and you know nobody would really know if you popped out to the beach for a bit. There are days when your puppy has kept you awake all night and you would kill for a late afternoon nap. And there are days when there’s no way in hell I want to design a single damn thing unless my boss is breathing down my neck and holding a gun to my head. (A Nerf gun, obviously.)
When these things happen, it can be tempting to pack it in. But you can’t. You have an obligation to treat your job like your regular office job. And it’s a slippery slope. Working from home needs routine. Change from that routine and the next thing you know you’ve missed all your deadlines.
A lot of alone time
I am a very social person, and that is one of the reasons I never thought remote work would be for me. I’m the type who likes office banter and just being around humans in general. Now, I spend a lot of time alone. Obviously, I work all day. Katy is around in spurts, but I can’t socialize too much with her anyway. In eliminating my lunches out and commute, I also spend most of my day in my flat. Going out takes a conscious effort. As does speaking to people.
For an extrovert like myself, it can be tricky. This is one of the reasons I thought it was the right time to finally get a puppy. Even having her sleeping at my feet makes me feel a lot less lonely. Obviously I am not saying “if you work from home, you should make a 12+ year commitment to owning a living animal!” But I am saying that you will need to work a lot harder to not become a recluse!
Too much unlimited tea and snacks
Ah, the double-edged sword. Yes, there are tea and snacks always at the ready, but there are also tea and snacks always at the ready. Which means I could, essentially, sit at my desk all day munching away on the entire contents of my cupboards. Combine this with the fact that I have no commute, which means no forced exercise, I could be well on my way to being King-Size Homer.
So, I have to watch my diet pretty closely and be sure that I am limiting snacks and finding more ways to move around during the day. To be honest, I’ve not been great with this so far, which has left me sluggish both physically and mentally. However, tonight Poppy gets to start going on walks! Between her and a growing obsession with Pokemon Go, I should be set up for some good chunks of walking.
Do you or have you ever worked from home? What are your pros and cons? If you were given the opportunity to work remotely or become self employed would you take it?
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