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…