The Reality Of Working From Home
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Before I moved back to Newcastle in 2017, I had worked from home in Brighton for around four years. When I moved back, I knew I wanted a career change but I needed to get a “normal” job in the meantime (BOOOOO!).
It was a massive adjustment getting used to working in an office, being told when I could and couldn’t take my lunch (I'm always hungry), sitting in a huge room with over a hundredother people and having to spend hours away from my pug Molly. I had gotten so used to working from home that I admit I found it a real struggle.
Anyways, I'm working from home again and I wouldn't have it any other way!
A lot of weirdos however absolutely love working in an office, (I guess it's the social side....strange) but if you've ever played around with the idea of working from home, this is the reality:
No-one Believes You’re Actually Working
Most people (especially your friends and family) think you just spend the day typing the odd email in between watching re-runs of Friends.
I’ve had people show up in the middle of the day asking if I fancy going out for lunch and then not understanding why I can’t as surely I could just do my work later?
True, I do have a lot more flexibility when working from home and if I want to start working at 10 or 11am, with a couple of hours off for my lunch, I could probably do this sometimes. However, a lot of my work has deadlines and requires me to be at home hammering away at my client tasks.
(Also, when people work a normal 9-5pm job, they tend to leave their work behind as soon as they leave the office. It's a lot more difficult to do this when your home is your office and it's even harder to leave your work behind if it's your own business.)
It Can Get Lonely
This is true even for loners like me who love their own company. There can be days when it will get to 4pm and you suddenly realise that the only words you’ve spoken to are with yourself.
As much as I love not being around people all day, sometimes it is nice to be able to chat with an actual human being every so often and not just to myself or Molly (although I get a lot more sense out of her than I do with some humans).
The social side of the office environment can be great, if you get on with your colleagues and I did really like that side of being in my "normal" job.
If you work from home and you're alone most of the time, sign up to some business network meetings. Networking is not only great for getting your name out there but I also find it incredibly useful for just being able to communicate with like-minded people. It forces you out the house and it’s nice to meet others who are in a similar position to you.
It’s Harder To Wake Up on Time
I am notoriously bad in the mornings (it seems to run in the Slater family!) and have always struggled to get up bright and early.
This can be especially hard if your ‘office’ is 10 feet away as you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic or making yourself look half-presentable.
I find that the best way to force myself to get up early is to book an early morning fitness class or meeting. If you have commitments booked in, you’ll find it much easier to peel yourself out of bed.
You’ll Not Catch As Many Illnesses
I can’t believe how true this is! I swear that when working in an office I was sick every few weeks! Sickness spreads like wildfire in offices, especially those with no windows for fresh air, only dirty air-con that hasn’t been cleaned out in god-knows how long.
The best bit about this is that when you inevitably become ill in the sickness-ridden office, you can then get a warning for being off work. Amazing!
You’ll Save A Sh** Load Of Money
No more spending money on lunches at the canteen because you can’t bare anymore reheated left-overs and unless your business requires you to travel a lot, you can end up saving TONNES of money on fuel or train fares each year.
An annual train ticket from Brighton to London costs about £5k!
You’ll Save A Sh** Load Of Energy
I always felt so bad for those poor souls who have to get the train (especially if they have to use Southern Rail) to work or have to drive for miles in rush hour traffic every morning and evening.
You end up having to leave about a week before you even start your shift just to get there on time and after hours of standing right next to some bloke who stinks of garlic on the sardine-like packed train, you can end up feeling pretty drained before your day has even started.
God knows how many divorces have been caused by the commute because of sex lives going down the drain. I wonder how many people have the energy for nookie with their partner after hours of travelling before and after being stuck in an office full of sick people. I probably wouldn’t be feeling my sexiest either.
So there you have it, the reality of working from home! I LOVE it.