Working from home isn’t for everybody, but it’s definitely for me. If you hate people, love your PJs and have a job that you can basically do from anywhere, working from home is an absolute dream. In fact, some people fantasise about it for years before they actually leave the public workplace and set up shop in their own house. And I bet they all have the same vision of just what that’ll look like…
Then there’s the reality.
I’ve been running my business from my spare room for the past six months or so and let me tell you, it has been a rude awakening. So here’s a few things I’ve come to realise since I began working from home, for anyone thinking of handing in their notice or asking their boss if they can move their office to their bed. Or maybe you already work from home? If so, you’ll probably identify with this…
17 things nobody warns you about when you start working from home
#1 You start out with all the best intentions. Before you make the move, you have a dreamy vision of what life will look like when you work from home. It involves grand plans to be up with the larks, get an hour’s yoga practice in then whip up a healthy breakfast while you respond to emails.
Spoiler: that doesn’t happen.
#2 First, there’s an overwhelming, delicious sense of freedom. You don’t have to BE anywhere! You can work whichever hours you choose! You are your OWN boss! It’s this glorious high that will bite you in the ass when you’re a month in and realised you haven’t really ahem, done anything yet. You were too busy enjoying your newfound liberty.
You begin to realise that success now depends on one thing: self-discipline.
#3 You’ll revel in all those glorious lie-ins, until you’ve been working from home for a few weeks and your sleep schedule is completely out of sync with your partner’s / the rest of the world’s. Oh, and you’re still slaving away at 10pm because you didn’t start until lunchtime.
You wonder if you can actually be trusted with your own daily schedule.
#4 One ruling question begins to define your life: how to avoid inhaling 10,000 calories per day. That fridge, combined with the lack of colleagues to judge you, is just too tempting.
#5 The money you spend creating an all-white, zen-like workspace in the spare room goes to waste when you find yourself inevitably slumped on the couch with your laptop on your knees every day. And that ‘home office’?
It’s been relegated to laundry room duties.
#6 There comes a point, at say 1pm on a particularly stressful Tuesday when you’re chasing invoices because hi, I did work for you and now you have to pay me, when you open the fridge for distraction and are overcome with a rush of heady recklessness. You could totally just have a glass of wine right now. Who’s gonna know? Who’s gonna fire you?
Spoiler number deux: this definitely isn’t a good habit to get in to.
#7 You’ll suddenly realise that you haven’t spoken to another human being all day. Or worse, for like, three days. Time to get out for a supermarket run!
Yeah, the local Asda becomes your point of contact with the outside world.
#8 You struggle to accept the fact that getting dressed is vital if you want to be productive. PJ days are nice, but maybe they should be kept for weekends.
I’ve found that actually putting some mascara on makes me feel like I can take on the world, because it’s no longer something I do daily.
#9 There will be moments, particularly on Monday mornings, when you feel very smug that you can work from bed. Just make sure your laptop is strategically angled during Skype meetings…
#10 You’ll find yourself becoming weirdly in tune to your pets. I sometimes catch myself trying to have full-blown one-sided conversations with Gary the cat (then getting indignant when he doesn’t give me enthusiastic replies).
#11 Life becomes a life-long hunt for cute coffee shops with unlimited free Wi-Fi that won’t mind you nursing one cup of coffee for hours at a time while you work. Because actually, it’s nice to get out of the house once in a while and you get SO much more done when there’s no housework to distract you.
#12 You find yourself trying to prove to the postman that you are, in fact, employed. Not just some lazy sod who answers the door in pjs at 11am on a Wednesday, who spends her life lolling about on the sofa and living off benefits.
#13 Having bad Wi-Fi at home just isn’t an option.
#14 You’ll become obsessed with aspects of your house you’ve never noticed before. That dog that doesn’t stop barking down the road, the way the doors slam if you leave a window open… They’re suddenly major issues that must be solved before you can possibly get any work done.
#15 People start assuming you can get all of your errands out of the way during the working week because hello? You work from home? Umm, that’s the REASON my house is a mess.
The clue is in the title, I WORK from home.
#16 Now and then you treat yourself to a morning or afternoon off, because hey – you can just make up for it by working more hours the next day. You so flexible!
#17 If you live with someone who works a regular job, there will definitely be days where you look out the window as soon as 5pm rolls around, waiting for their return like a faithful dog…
Work-from-homers, do you relate? Give this a share and make sure you’re following me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter to make sure you never miss a post.