The Reality of Working from Home

The Reality of Working from Home

It’s 11 am – is it too early for lunch?

The lure of the kitchen is too strong. 

I know that I’m going to end up having lunch within half an hour. 

The next question is what am I going to have? 

This is the reality of working from home!

I started working from home 20 months ago. Before that, I’d always been office-based. It’s a huge adjustment working on your own every day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the flexibility of it. I love that if I’m feeling stuck or my head isn’t in the right place I don’t have to pretend to be busy. I can get up, walk away from my desk and get on with something else (normally washing!)

To many being home-based is the holy grail! So I thought it was time to bust some myths and talk about the true reality of working from home. 

Myth 1 – It’s lonely

This myth depends on the type of person that you are! If you’re someone who needs other people around and loves the buzz and drama of an office then yes you probably will find it lonely. For me, I enjoy the quiet. I can listen to my music, there’s no politics and I can just get on with what I need to do.

I can imagine that if you never left the house then it would get pretty lonely but you have to build that structure in. Some people I know start their day with a walk to give the illusion of a commute and to get some fresh air to start the day. Others work from a cafe or library now and then for a change of scene. Co-working spaces are increasingly in popularity and provide that office atmosphere without having to be permanently based there.

You have to make the effort to see people and to get out of the house, and there are weeks when I’ll realise that I haven’t left the house or spoken to any adults besides my husband for 3 days but you know what? That’s fine by me!

Myth 2 – You wear PJs all day

I may or may not be wearing my PJ bottoms right now. But you’ll never know!

I always get up and dressed. It might be in joggers and a hoodie but I don’t stay in my PJs. I find if you drag yourself out of bed and start trying to work without getting dressed then your mind isn’t ready to work.

In this game your mental state is crucial and you need to feel ready and focused to work. To me being in PJs, while comfortable, doesn’t help get my head in the game. 

Myth 3 – You don’t need an office

I don’t have a dedicated room to call an office (though I often dream about it!) But I do have a dedicated space where I have my laptop, screen, notebooks, pens, notes etc. I’m a creature of habit and like being able to sit down and not spend time having to set it up. 

In previous working lives I hot desked and hated every second of it. The inevitable IT issues, having to move everything when I finished. It’s not for me.

I have worked from the sofa or, very occasionally, from bed. Ultimately when it’s time to work I like to sit down at my desk and just crack on with it. Having a dedicated workspace helps boost your productivity and also helps provide a divide between work and home. When I sit at my desk I know I’m working, when I’m done I shut my laptop lid and walk away.

The dream of working from home is a fully flexible schedule working from bed whenever you like. The reality is that you can do that but over time you’ll find yourself becoming more structured in your approach. For me, that’s no bad thing and structure helps you to separate your work life and home life. While enjoying the benefits of a fully stocked kitchen within a very short walk!

Words N Stuff

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