Are you working from home? Have you ever asked yourself how would it be like?
To say I love working from home (or from anywhere) would be an understatement. After four years of working from home, I can’t imagine going into a brick and mortar office, much less commuting.
I love having the freedom to set my own schedule, to do my daily workouts, read (I do a lot of reading), or take long walks in my neighborhood. The best part for me is I can travel and work from anywhere. All I need is my laptop and a good WiFi.
But working from home is not for everybody. It has its perks, but it also has its challenges. It’s also different if you own your own business or work for someone else.
If you want to work from home, but don’t know what it’s like, in this article I’m going to share five things you should know before taking the leap.
Working from Home Challenge #1: Working Too Much or Not Enough
In the beginning, when you start working from home, you may feel like you need to work more to prove yourself. Or, if you’re coming from an environment where working long hours was the norm, you may feel like working less. After all, no one can see you, right?
Been there, done that. I know how it feels like.
It’s hard to change years and years of 9 to 5 “programming.” In the beginning, you may not feel like working when you are at home in your jammies. Even if you get dressed and go into your office at home, you may still feel a little strange. The temptation to do nothing, watch TV, browse the internet or social media just because you can, does not go away.
There is also the other side of the coin. You may be tempted to work too much, to do work in advance, hoping that after a few days you will be able to relax.
Just keep in mind these are only stages of adapting to something new. Your brain fights to bring you back to the routine it’s used to and it starts with that little voice in your head, telling you it’s not worth it, it was better the old way.
The secret lies in finding what works for you, not working too much so that your work from home won’t become a burden, nor too little so you’d feel like you don’t work and get comfortable.
Working from Home Challenge #2: Lack of Face-to-Face Interaction
When you go to a brick and mortar office, you have your colleagues to talk to about pretty much anything. You can go to lunch together or for drinks after work.
Working from home takes from you the face-to-face office interaction. You can be in touch with your colleagues or friends through technology. With tools such as Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp you can connect with anyone anywhere. But it’s not the same.
You might feel lonely. I get that.
However, there are ways to go around that if you want to. You can go for drinks with your friends after you finish your work. You can pick up the phone and call them.
If you think about it, it’s not that different if you were to work long hours in a brick and mortar office. It’s up to you to create a schedule that works for you and include things and people who are important to you.
Working from Home Challenge #3: Are You Actually Working?
Family and friends are used with you going to an office to work. So when you work from home, it may not seem like “real work” for them. Hence why they visit whenever they are in the neighborhood, or call to share the latest things their kids did. Because you have time, right?
That’s where you have to be firm and let them know when they can reach you. You should add you are available outside of that schedule for emergencies only.
In the beginning, it will be difficult and uncomfortable, but it’s a conversation you have to have with them. If they’re true friends, they’ll understand and get used to it.
Working from Home Challenge #4: House Chores
There is this belief that if you work from home you have more time. Therefore, it’s easier for you to do the house chores, pick up the dry-cleaning, contact the repairman, etc.
It’s not. Yes, you are at home and you can easily answer the door, or do the laundry because you are already there. I mean, it will take you only five minutes, right?
Well, no. You need to focus on your work, not to worry about answering the door or doing the laundry.
That’s where you have to have an honest talk with your partner and work together to find a solution that works best for both of you.
The beauty of working from home is that you can work according to your energy levels. If you focus better in the mornings, do your most important work then. Likewise, if you’re more focused in the afternoons.
Working from home gives you the freedom to live the life you want. But you have to make it work for you.
Working from Home Challenge #5: How About the Free Days?
You may think that because you work from home, you have to work when your colleagues get the day off due to things such as snow days or transportation strike, etc.
It’s time for a reality check. If that’s what you see as a benefit in working at a brick and mortar office, then you don’t like your job. You might consider changing it and find what you really love to do.
On the other hand, if your office colleagues take the day off for snow days, who says you have to work? Just let people know you are taking the day off too. If your boss has a problem with that, when the rest of the employees (him included) are at home, then you are not working with the right people.
If working from home is something you love to do, you’ll find a way to make the less lovely parts work in your favor.
So, decide what is it you most love about working from home and focus on that. You can go a step further and write it down on a piece of paper and keep it close to remind you. This way you’ll always have present in your mind why you love working from home.
Got questions? Leave a comment! Let’s chat.