Thursday, March 30, 2017

a day in my work from home life

So I work from home now! I thought it would be full of long lunches and short days and and I would love it. Before I had the opportunity to work from home, I saw people who did it as lucky. I only saw the good and couldn't really conceptualize what it would be like. Now I can tell you that basically, I was wrong.

I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. because as much as I love sleep, I love mentally preparing myself in the morning more. I get up by 7:00 (earlier if Bauer insists) and make my way to the couch with some coffee and my personal laptop. I flip on Good Morning America while I read blog posts and otherwise catch up on social media.

Each week, I try to look at my schedule and get an idea of what I will wear, the same way I did when I worked in an office. When I know I have video calls, I try to at least wear a non-embarassing t-shirt; if I have lunch plans or need to run an errand, I know I'll wear jeans that day. Otherwise, I throw on "work PJs" which are leggings or running shorts and a t-shirt. My hair and make-up are minimal at best and I love not putting my contacts in daily. I try not to look like a total sloppy mess just because it makes me feel better about myself, but some days are just lazy.

My work day starts at 8:00, especially since the rest of my team is on the east coast. My schedule is flexible, but it's understood that I may have 50 hours of work to do each week. My company is pretty technologically advanced in that we use Slack (you can direct message, group message, or join channels based on your team or interest), Zoom (video or audio conferencing), and our Outlook is super integrated, so it's really easy to get ahold of anyone you need. I work from my home office (an upstairs bedroom in our house; the master and living spaces are downstairs) most of the time since there's no TV in there and I like my dual monitor situation. I try to take at least two 15 minute breaks a day where I get chores done around the house like laundry, getting the house ready for the robot vacuum, or wiping down the bathrooms. I also try to do simple things like use the bathroom downstairs just so I get a few more steps in. I wore a fitbit for a few weeks and I only get 5000 - 7000 steps on an average day!

I've come to realize that I need a change of scenery and to leave my house every so often. I like to work from a coffee shop or the library for a few hours each week and I have a friend in my neighborhood who also works from home, so we've had lunch a few times. On other days, I make sure to take 30 minutes to an hour outside of my home office and take a walk, watch TV in the living room, or run an errand. It's nice to have the flexibility of being at home, but some days, it's so hard to get back to it. I just want to finish my show or run one more errand while I'm still out, but I can't.

Since I'm still new, I'm not super busy so I normally end the day around 5:00, assuming I'm not working on anything time-sensitive. To help get out of work mode, I change clothes and walk the dog and listen to a podcast for 20-30 minutes. Andrew is still doing most of our dinner prep and cooking, so he's usually home and in the kitchen by the time I get back. Then we just have a regular night like we did when I worked in an office.

I don't miss the annoyance of awkward coworkers and forced small talk, but I miss having my work friends within arm's reach if I need to vent or run an idea past someone. I don't miss two + hours in traffic a day, but I do have a harder time finding time to listen to podcasts.  I don't miss being stuck walking to my car with someone I have nothing in common with, but I do miss building relationships face-to-face with people who are essential in doing my job well and building that trust to know we're on the same team. I miss my boss saying that I should leave early or take a long lunch but I don't miss the guilt that comes with being a few minutes late to work because of traffic or poor planning. All of the extra time I thought I would have doesn't exist since I still need to put in my time and get work done.

Overall, this change has been a good thing, but it isn't without some loneliness. It's an adjustment to stay motivated when I would rather get distracted by my house since there's no one looking over my shoulder. It doesn't have the freedom I imagined since other people depend on me to get their work done. But! I save money on gas. I don't need to buy clothes or make-up, really. And, my sheets have never been washed more regularly. Plus, it's motivated me to use Instagram stories when I have something to share or just want to hear what other humans are doing - I mean that's got to be considered a good thing, right?

Any questions or things you've always wondered?

Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff and Things.

12 comments:

  1. i LOVE working from home! I'm lucky in that I can do it when I need to but most of the time, esp in the line of work I'm in, it's better to be in the office (faster to resolve issues). Also, f*ck traffic.

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  2. Days I work from home, it is important for me to step away for a few periods of time each day and to get out at lunch if I can to run a quick errand. Otherwise I start to feel stuck!

    I always think I'd like to WFH full time, but when I WFH some days I realize that I actually would not. The thing that would suit me best would probably be three days in the office and two days at home.

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  3. So Chris works from home part time and while I love the fact that he can do things around the house on the days that he's home, I know that he misses the day to day interaction from coworkers. I think that it's great that you're doing little things like meeting up with a friend for lunch or running errands so you can get out and have that little bit of interaction. Not going to lie, I'm jealous of the fact that you get to be home with your fur babies all day!

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  4. This was super interesting! I have been thinking a whole lot lately how I would like a job that allows me to work from home. I may have even been looking at jobs I could potentially do from home at work today. Like Steph said though, I don't know that I could do it 100% of the time, but if I had a job that was flexible where I could go in 2-3 times a week depending on what all needed to be done & then work from home the other 2-3 I think I'd be super happy. It also doesn't help, that I'm just over my line of work.

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  5. I agree that sometimes it is nice to just get out for a little bit to grab lunch or run an errand because otherwise you feel almost house trapped. It can be a little lonely, but it beats driving to the office and awkward small talk like you said. Sounds like you have found a good balance!

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  6. Working from home, it's essential that you get out of your house. I tend to fall into the trap of not wanting to leave for days on end (when I have a ton of work. In a slow season right now. My own fault) but I'm healthier and more productive when I do leave. It also helps with connecting with people and not living in total isolation away from in-person relationships.

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  7. I love your day! I couldn't do it myself, I know that. I'm super impressed by your self motivation and commitment, I'd last approximately 47 minutes before I would spend the rest of the day playing with Hawkeye and watching Netflix. I know, because I've tried, on our (very few) snow days.

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  8. My husband has been working remotely for a few years now. Before we moved to DC he rented a coworking space and went to work there, but now he likes our apartment too much (and the coworking spaces are $$$) so he works from home. He sends me cute dog pictures throughout the day that I get while I'm sitting at my desk that make me go, "Ughhh, you suck!" but deep down, I don't know if I could work from home! On the bright side, I work in a small office where, while I'm not BFF with everyone, I get along with them and don't have to make awkward small talk (which, for an introvert, is HUGE), and it takes me 10-15 minutes to bike to work (30 minutes max if I walk), which basically makes my job my dream job. It's all about the little things for me. It sounds like working from home is working out really well for you though! I'd definitely have to get out of the house sometimes. I'm a total introvert but even I need some face-to-face human interaction every now and then!

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  9. this is super interesting, thank you for sharing! you basically said what i assumed working from home would be like for me. i always thought it would be cool until a couple years ago when i had a couple friends working from home and they couldn't just meet me for lunch or go shopping (i worked weird hours). i know i would get distracted easily and lonely too. i hate making small talk or being in an elevator/walking to my car with someone i don't like, all those things are annoying for sure. i'm glad it's been a good change though, and that you're being proactive about making it work (i'm more of a wallow in my sorrows kind of girl, i'd stay in sweats and cry because i felt like a slob lol).

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  10. I think you're living the dream!
    I would think about the savings in gas and clothes alone.

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  11. I just started a job at the end of January that works from home. I completely relate to this post. It is so hard some days to get dressed and leave the house. I have been making it a habit to get dressed at least 2 times a week. I also have 2 yoga classes scheduled a week after work to make sure I get out of the house. I can't actually go and work at a coffee shop or anything because I make a lot of calls and I would feel uncomfortable doing that around people, but I do get up during my breaks to do house work and suck like you. Clearing the way for the robot to clean, etc. I think I am going to start going outside now that the weather is nicer and do a little stretching and maybe some jumproping on my 15s. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. I wish I could!! I haven't ever had the opportunity so I can't speak from experience, but I feel certain that any downside has to be outweighed by the upsides!

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