Work from home, or WFH is an interesting lifestyle. On the one hand, the first thing that comes to mind is absolute FREEDOM. However, there is something to be said about going to a workplace. It creates structure, routine and even discipline in life that can keep you on track with other things. Of course, there are pros and cons to both, but having worked from home for almost a year and a half, I want to speak about the myths.
I can sleep in!
Take it from someone who sometimes can (but chooses not to), it doesn’t make you happier or more cheerful. It actually makes you feel guilty and less productive. No one who works from home sleeps in. Moreover, working with clients who start sending emails at 7am or want daily 9am checkins doesn’t mean you can sleep in anyway. However, the illusion of waking up whenever you want is there.
I get freedom.
To not be expected anywhere at a certain time perhaps counts as “freedom”. But, you still have to work during the day and sometimes for more than 8 hours. Yes, there is flexibility in the sense that I can go to the gym anytime and arrange my week around meetings/events. But, don’t confuse WFH with working less or earning a living through passive income or the 4 hour workweek, those things are possible but not what I’m talking about here. I’ll save that for another blog post. 🙂
PJs all day is NOT a good thing. My fashion sense has gone down the drain. I am always wearing workout clothes or semi-workout clothes since my only real outing of the day (on a typical day) is the gym. Although, my workout clothes are quite stylish, it doesn’t beat wearing a pencil skirt with silk blouse of days past. I actually manage to completely avoid in person client meetings because my clients are mostly in SF & NYC. I mean its comfortable but I do feel less polished and professional.
You actually don’t work WHENEVER you want. Although you have much more flexibility as to when you work, usually you’re constrained by your client’s schedules. I make a concerted effort to wake up by 8am so I can be coherent by 9am with a strong coffee by my side. Then, I get sucked into work until lunch and back again until a small break in the afternoon, then 5 or 6 rolls around and I figure I better stop for the day.. Sounds like 9 to 5 hours right?
You actually don’t work ANYWHERE you want. Okay, you got me here, yes, you can technically work from anywhere. All you need is a good internet connection and your laptop. However, I find that unless you’re going on a work sponsored trip, why would you go work somewhere beautiful or awesome, when all you’ll be doing there is work from some room or cafe for 8 hours a day? The work and travel lifestyle requires minimal work – perhaps a few hours a day to checkin, do calls, answer emails, blog, update social media and then you’re off to your next adventure. But, most work requires concentration and a certain focused environment, so unless you can get yourself to a point of minimal work, then travel would be a great option. This is ultimately what I strive for in life, because why not?
For those that have family obligations or unusual circumstances, WFH is brilliant as you need those extra hours and flexibility to take care of personal matters. It certainly helped me tremendously when I needed to help my parents with renovations and moving. Also, nothing beats not having to commute in minus 30 winter storms. Phew.
So, after hearing the truth, would you still want to work from home?