Two months in to working from home, I can say without exaggeration or hesitation: I have the best gig in the world.
Some people (looking at you, mom) were worried when I said I was leaving the office world behind in favor of a work-from-home job. Some people (again mom) weren’t sure I had the self-discipline to manage my own schedule. Some people even warned me that I’ll “have to be careful not to become slovenly.” (Yes, my mom really said that.)
Well, some people can suck it. I love working from home, and here’s why.
1. I can set my own schedule.
This morning, I was up at 5. Sucks, right? Nope! I got an article done before breakfast, took a break to go to yoga and make homemade soup for lunch, and then I was back at it again in the afternoon. Working from home means I can work whenever the mood strikes me (and when the mood doesn’t strike me, I can do the dishes or watch a bit of TV or be productive around the house.)
2. I can hang out with my dog all day.
My dog is the best office-mate I’ve ever had: he never asks me for anything (other than the occasional scratch and potty break); he doesn’t take conference calls on speakerphone; and he stares at me with a look of silent adoration that would, quite frankly, be creepy if he weren’t a dog. I love my little man, and I love being able to be here with him all day. And honestly, I think his behavior has improved since I started working from home. He must love me too.
3. I can work in my yoga pants.
My mom was almost bang on when she warned me not to become too slovenly; I’ve been known to enjoy a greasy weekend or two in my day, and if it weren’t for the social stigma that comes along with being an unwashed ragamuffin, I would totally go through life as an unwashed ragamuffin. I make no apologies for that.
But because I meet a friend every day for a walk or yoga, I shower, I put some make-up on, and gods-darnit I get dressed (albeit in yoga clothes.) And let me tell you, there is not a single difference in my productivity when I work in yoga pants versus when I work in dress pants. If anything, I’m more productive, because I’m more comfortable.
4. I can concentrate.
I’m both introverted and unusually sensitive to noise (my noisy damn husband can attest to that), so working in an office environment has always been a bit hard for me. I can do it quite fine; it’s just not my preference. And when I have a big writing project that requires a lot of focus, forget it. Now that I’m working from home, I find I can write faster and for longer periods of time. I’m not as drawn by the siren call of social media. I’m not as distracted by my surroundings. I’m not as overwhelmed by noise and stimuli. I’m just a better worker when I’m working from home.
5. I can work on some side projects.
It’s funny how much time you get back when you don’t have to get ready for work, commute to the office, and spend your breaks chained to a desk. A nice side effect of that extra time (and the flexibility of working from home) is that I can take on some freelance projects on the side. My day job always comes first, but I like being able to pick up the odd writing project for fun.
Don’t get me wrong: working from home is still work. I have deadlines I have to meet, work I have to do, and people I have to report to.
But I never dread Mondays anymore. Why would I? My work-life balance is incomparable. I never cringe when I look at the weather forecast and see snow on the horizon. Why would I? If the roads are bad, I don’t have to leave the house. I never come home from work at the end of the day feeling too exhausted to cook or go out with my hubby or see friends. Why would I? I have time throughout the day to recharge my batteries and get some errands done.
Working at home, virtually alone, may not be for everyone, but it definitely works for me.