5 Truths About Working From Home
On a nudge from a friend, I applied to my current job in November 2015. Anxious for a change and not feeling valued in my last job, I was willing to try almost anything. I have to admit, I applied not really expecting anything, but just felt like I had to do it to propel myself forward and out of the rut of my last job. Lo and behold, something about my application peaked the interest of the recruiter for the company and I had a phone interview. Although I had researched the company for days and days before the interview, I was shocked when I heard the recruiter say, "this is a remote position." I had to ask for clarification when she said it and then she confirmed that the person filling this role would not be required to report to an office on a daily basis. WHATCHU SAY!?!?
Fast forward and I have now been working for the company for 18 months. When folks hear I work from home there is the typical, "OMG I would love to work in yoga pants all day" reaction. While some of that is true, there are a few other truths you must know about a work-from-home gig:
1) Yoga pants are pants: Ok, so yea - most of the time my daily wardrobe consists of workout gear, no makeup and these slippers. It's a running joke with my friends that when I do venture out to have lunch or meet up for happy hour, it takes an act of Congress to get me to actually put on real clothes! When I first started working the job I made an effort to dress in business casual on a daily basis, but then it just didn't make any sense. Sure, if there is a video call I need to take, I put forth a little more effort to look presentable, but ultimately comfort is key!
2) Weight Gain is A Real Possibility: In my head I was going to lose 15 pounds in the first month of working at home. I had all these plans to do cardio and weights in the morning, yoga at noon and maybe take a walk in the evenings. Well, my workout routine pretty much stayed the same. The problem is that because I didn't have to get up, dressed, and navigate hallways and parking garages I wasn't as naturally active as I used to be. That plus the fact that the kitchen is literally 10 steps from the office and snacking is a real thing and voilà - hello weight gain! So if you're not mindful about getting enough exercise and watching your snacking habits, you can become sedentary and find yourself in a bind.
3) You may actually work longer hours: I didn't realize how much time I used to spend getting ready to go to work, commuting to work and driving home from work. By eliminating all of the fluff, I've added about 90 minutes or more of actual working time to my schedule. But the beauty of eliminating all of the extra steps is that I don't feel as beat down as soon as I get to work or as soon as I get home, so it's nothing to push myself to get that one extra thing done on my to-do list.
4) But you do have more flexibility: Notwithstanding #3 above, there is definitely less pressure to get all of my errands done before or after work or the weekend. It has been a game changer to be able to sneak into the grocery store on a random Tuesday and catch Manager's Specials on produce in a somewhat-empty store! I find that by being able to handle my personal to-do list in a more flexible manner, I am much better to myself and those around me because I'm more present when it's time to be just that.
5) You won't miss the office: The biggest question I get about working from home is whether I miss the energy of being in an office space. The answer: HECK NO! While I do have to make a more conscious effort to connect with colleagues or other professionals in my industry, I haven't missed reporting into an actual office building one bit. It's nice to know that there is one to go to if I need it, but there is definitely something about being in my own space and not having to fight office politics that is refreshing and makes me feel more productive.
What are your thoughts on working from home? Have you ever tried it? Do you think you'd like it? Sound off in the comments below.