Working from home sounds like a dream. Just roll out of bed, make a cup of coffee, and start working. Skip the traffic, the office smells, the small talk—heck, you don’t even need to change out of your embarrassing pajamas!
And yet, most people who work from home will tell you that there are some serious drawbacks to the spare-bedroom-office.
To help you navigate a new journey of remote working, we’ve compiled a list of eight things no one tells you about working from home.
What No One Tells You About Working from Home:
- It can be lonely.
You may find yourself timing (or stalking) the mail delivery person to have a totally-casual-yet-perfectly-timed chat about the morning’s weather or a totally unnecessary confession about your last online spending spree (#sorrynotsorry).
- Home projects will call to you.
You will be tempted to start the laundry, sprinkler, dishwasher, and a million other things, before you get to work. You justify it that it’ll be really smart of you to set in place all these little automated tasks because they can finish while you work.
The distractions at home are everywhere.
Like: Why haven’t we finished putting trim up in the hallway yet? I bet that would only take 5 minutes. I’ll just go get the air gun now. Getting that done will certainly make me feel productive, and then I will use my newfound confidence to blast through all of my work emails.
You get the point.
- Family will expect you to take care of all the fires.
Not literal fires. But small problems that come up unexpectedly, like running your son’s forgotten trumpet to school, or picking up the dry cleaning, or checking in on your mom, or calling around to get estimates on your leaky basement appliance, or starting supper for your family. Because you’re at home, you know?
And while it’s nice that you have the flexibility in your schedule that you can take care of unexpected situations, you might not always want to be the one solving all the problems.
- You worry that others might think you’re not actually working.
I mean, not that you care what other people think, obviously.
It’s just that, the majority of people work standard hours, Monday thru Friday, 8am to 5pm. So appearing in public repeatedly on, say, a Tuesday morning to run errands in your jogging suit makes you appear, well, less structured.
Or you may have to explain for the fifth time to your uncle what it is you do again.
Either way, working from home and being self-employed sometimes makes it hard for others to categorize you and your profession. Get used to it.
- You wonder if you’re developing any weird ticks.
It’s been a while since you’ve shared an office space, and maybe your pen tapping has gotten aggressive.
Or your humming out of control. (I once had a coworker that incessantly hummed. No joke.)
Time will tell if your solo-work is turning you into the worst-possible coworker for some future unlucky person, should, God forbid, you return to traditional employment. Or a coworking space.
- You consume a lot of productivity content.
Without a manager, coworkers, meetings, or other traditional workplace structure to benchmark your progress against, you take up mastering productivity tips to make sure you are stretching yourself.
“How to Make the Most of Your Time While Working from Home.”
“9 Things to Do Before 8am.”
“Forget the List; Do This Productivity Hack Instead.”
(All great ideas for future blog posts. Check back later.)
- You will miss getting dressed up.
There will be a whole section of your closet that you won’t ever touch again once you start working from home.
Sure, you could shower every morning and put on your power blazer, but you choose to reserve that willpower for your client work instead.
- It’s hard to know when to “clock out.”
When you can work from anywhere, it becomes tempting to work everywhere. And all the time.
Surprisingly, a physical office can be a liberating thing for you as a business owner. It allows you structured time and space for work, and when you leave, you can (usually) stop working and be fully present in your other duties.
It takes discipline (and confidence that your business will be okay if you ignore it for an evening) to create a structure at home.
So there you have it. Eight things no one tells you about working from home. And even though there are downsides to working just steps from your bed (yes, I said it), the entrepreneurial freedom of working on your own schedule is undoubtedly still worth pursuing.
Decide you need a break from the home office?