When I tell people I work from home for most of the week, they immediately want to know what I do all day. "Do you go to the beach? Do you sleep in really late? Do you play a nonstop Simpsons marathon all day? When I tell them that I do the same work I'd do in the office, there's a bit of disappointment.
More and more business owners are ditching the office space to work from the comfort of their home office ... or the back deck, or the prow of their boat. And while it is a pretty incredible perk and I am so blessed to be able to work this way, it's definitely not the glamourous mojitos by the poolside gig everything assumes it is.
There's a perception that working from home is cruisy, it's an easy way to get away with doing nothing since the boss can't look over your shoulder. People assume I spend my days relaxing in the sun while occasionally writing a blog post. But that's not true. Here are some truths about working from home:
1. Working from home takes discipline: You need to be able to get shit done in spite of the distractions all around you – laundry to be folded, cats to be played with, new DVDs calling your name. It takes a certain type of person to be able to sit down and crank out the work.
2. Working from home means showing up: I get up at the same time every morning, put on nice clothes, and sit down at the computer at the same time every day. There are no pajama Tuesdays in my home office. You have to treat your workspace as if it were the office.
3. Working from home means you miss out on social activities with your team. One of the downsides to working from home is that you're out of the loop of the office fun, so you often won't get to know your colleagues as well as those who go to Friday drinks every week or do the regular group lunch. I find if I have an involved social life outside of work this isn't really an issue, but it can be hard if you struggle with social isolation.
4. Working from home usually means supplying your own office equipment. You need to be aware of your needs and esnure you have the right tools to enable you to do your job and work effectively.
5. Working from home means mising out on cake. Because you will get the emails about cakes left in the office kitchen, even though the office kitchen might be two hours drive from your home. And it is very, very sad.
Check out some of our content on working remotely (Is it time to stop resisting the remote team? Companies that benefitted from flexible work environments), and learn how I work remotely off-the-grid.