Working From Home: Dream or Disaster?

18 Jul

Working from home certainly sounds like a dream come true to most people – but for few it actually is.  I happen to be one of those people who needs little if any small talk, team building activities, water cooler banter or group lunches to get through my week.  Pretending to like everyone in an office can get pretty exhausting for me.  I enjoy putting my head down, and knocking out my work so that I can celebrate when I accomplish what I’m paid to do.  I realize that this isn’t normal.  Most people enjoy the social aspect of working in an office, but they often take it for granted.  Then, they leave a cushy office job for a work-from-home opportunity because their friends and family think it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to them.  Yeah right.

Your friends who are jealous that you can work from home most likely hate their jobs and have never tried it.  Your husband who is stoked, thinks that working from home means that you will have more time to cook better meals, run errands during the day and secretly thinks you two might be able to save money on nanny expenses.  YOU might even think that it’s a dream come true until you realize that you don’t manage your time well enough to efficiently switch from one project to another without dropping the ball.  You are having trouble staying motivated without a team around you to benchmark off of.  You thought that you would be able to work from your pajamas on your couch and roll out of bed at 7:55am for an 8am meeting until you realize that it’s a video conference.

All I am saying is that you may want to evaluate whether working from home is really something that YOU could be happy and EFFECTIVE doing before you really try to lobby for it in a new job or an existing one.

Here’s the hard truth.  I just switched jobs and now I work from my home office full time.  I wear yoga pants all day, but I usually work 10-11 hours.  I don’t frolic around an office and get compliments on my new necklace or pretend to care about what someone in Marketing did over the weekend.  I talk to people because I am a recruiter – so it’s the kind of conversations I dig.  I have something they want – and vice versa.  It’s more productive, less congenial.  I get more work done because nobody walks into my office and bothers me.  I run fewer errands, and I haven’t shaved my legs in two weeks.  If that sounds as glamorous as you imagined – go for it.  I recommend jogging at lunch to get out of the house.  I think I might do that one of these days…

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5 Responses to “Working From Home: Dream or Disaster?”

  1. Adrianna Minapolis July 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Congrats on the new job, Job Hunt Hero. Ok, I have a question. But…right off, this is not a job hunt question. I am actually dealing with a HR problem and wondered if you have advice and a sample reprimand letter or form. This would be their first warning (after many that I have just let slip by!). But now I need to take action.

    • jobhunthero July 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

      Thanks for the follow! I would have to have more details about what this is regarding in order to give REAL relevant feedback. If the offense was involving anyone else, you will need them to be willing to write it down in a statement, put a resolution in writing and have the employee at fault sign it too as both an acknowledgment and as record that they understand that their behavior is against corporate policy (It helps here to reference a written corporate policy like in a manual). You can’t write someone up for hear-say (“I heard that you called Sally a witch in the hallway last week so I’m writing you up…”). You also need to put in writing what the offense was, and a resolution with a consequence that can be expected if the resolution isn’t met. Like, “In our employee manual, there is a dress code policy that you are in violation of. Here is how you are violating it. This is going in writing in your file so we can manage a resolution. Please abide by the dress code policy in the future or you will get a second written warning which can be followed by, if ignored, a termination.” Hope this helps.

  2. Bonnie September 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Great reality check. I dream of freelancing and/or working from home every day, but this shows that the grass isn’t always greener in every respect. By the way, do you do private consultations over the phone or email? Thanks!

    • jobhunthero September 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

      Hi Bonnie, thanks for your comment! What sort of guidance are you looking for from a consult?

  3. something2writeabout September 26, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    Haha so true. If I could work on my blog full-time from home, it would be a dream (especially since there’s no “office job” connected to my blog in the first place). It’s kind of like online schooling…so frustrating since you can’t solve problems face to face with anyone. Nice insight! PS – I just shaved my legs today. It’s been awhile.

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