I love, love, love when people ask me where I work, and I tell them I work at home. Mostly because they all have a flash of surprise and say “Oh!” and then you see their eyes flicker a bit as they wonder if that explains the stained yoga pants and general lack of social skills.
There are a lot of misconceptions about working at home — so much time to clean the house! so much time to relax! — and I enjoy shattering those. Yes, working at home is awesome. But it’s also awful, too. It’s the best and worst of both worlds.
And, just like a colleague who brings fish to work and stinks up the office microwave, we have enemies, too …
1. Snacks. The kitchen is right there, and you’re not limited to a small drawer of office snacks or whatever you packed for lunch that day. The world (kitchen) is your oyster. I always seem to feel hungry when I’m working, and I don’t know if it’s boredom or distraction or reward or if I’m legit hungry? I’m hungry right now, as I type this. I’ll be hungry this afternoon. The only saving grace is that you can’t eat while you’re on a call, because crunching is rude.
2. Laundry. You’re either spending too much time on it or not enough time. I can’t seem to get this right, even though my desk is about 20 feet from my washer and dryer. I’m terrible about putting a load in the wash and forgetting about it completely until, like, the next day. I don’t think I’m any better at laundry than someone who works outside of the home, despite being THISCLOSE to it all day long, and it makes me feel guilty.
4. The internet at large. I know some people who close their Facebook tab and refuse to allow themselves to browse anything that’s not work-related, but that’s … not me. When you work in a “real” office, you have to be cautious of colleagues/supervisors/boss-types catching a glimpse of what’s on your screen. When you’re home alone in a basement office, you can watch Drake videos while online shopping instead of working on that article that’s due soon. You intend to pop over to Thesaurus.com for a second and suddenly you’re typing U-S into the browser and USWeekly is automatically popping up. There is no one to stop you! But yourself! And basically you don’t want to stop yourself, so …
Work-at-homers! (Not Homers) Tell me — what are your enemies?
YES. To all of this. And my office is also doing double duty as the craft room! Another one of my enemies is “Errands.” I have childcare 2.5 days a week to work but if I don't get groceries, pick up dog food, etc. during work time I'll need to bring the kids (which means everything takes 10 x longer) but suddenly a quick run for errands ends up taking half a day. Argh.
Ahhhh, yes, errands! Although I must admit I don't ever go out when it's my “work time” because it's rare that I get a chance to work all alone in my office. Errands are usually before/after preschool pickups or in the evenings for me!