"I work from home." That short little sentence often comes with big backlash and sneering remarks. "Oh, so you don't have a real job." is often a reply and I have to hold in my temper and smile while explaining myself. Working from home has a a lot of great qualities. I love it and couldn't imagine going back to a 'normal' job, but it's not at all as easy as some would assume. I may stay in a t-shirt and no pants while answering emails, but I also work longer days and my mind can't compartmentalize work from home. These 8 things will help you understand what I mean.
1) I don't just sit around all day.
I work, just like you. I get up, make coffee, sit down and answer emails then plan all I need to do for the day. Instead of working in a certain position, I do it all. This is a one woman show, folks! On Facebook once I said how nice the weather looks. Someone replied, "Oh it's beautiful here too. Enjoy it for all of us working for the man." Um...I would if I could. I said it looks nice, from behind my computer screen and out the window. Most days, I don't even know the temperature because, surprise! I can't leave the house when I want.
2) I can't just take breaks when I want to.
If I need to go shopping for supplies, I usually have to plan the trip a day or two ahead of time. Even going to the post office requires planning. I constantly have a long list of things to do and to interrupt that schedule is most times impossible without some repercussions.
3) I have a hard time separating work from personal.
When my boyfriend gets home from work, I'm usually still working. I keep going like the energizer bunny and I can't control when I do or don't think about work. My brain is 90% business, 5% food and 5% everything else. When you run your own business, especially from your home, finding out how to cut ties with it after hours is daunting. Sometimes I dream of going to a 9-5 job so I can have free nights and weekends! For most, once you leave the office, you leave all work thoughts behind as well. Not us work-from-homers!
4) I can't call in sick.
Even if I feel like Jesus himself is coming back to take me away and I look like an extra on the set of The Walking Dead, I can't call in sick. I have too much to do and no one to take my place. Becky from accounting can't fill in for my daily duties and have everything run smoothly like a 9-5. I am it. I am Becky from accounting. I'm also the CEO, the janitor and the intern named Tim who just graduated and invited Becky to his house party this weekend. I am everyone in every position.
6) I have no human interaction.
None whatsoever during the day. I look forward to when my boyfriend comes home from work and I can talk to him in a normal voice, as opposed to the high pitched baby voice I use with our 2 dogs. When he is out of town for work, which is pretty often, I do everything but lose it. Being by yourself all day every day has a way of taking a toll on you and making you feel depressed. I usually put on loud music and open the windows while I work but there's something about small talk that makes you feel human. Believe me, I'd much rather talk to Becky about what fishnets she'll be wearing to Tim's party than to my dogs about taxes.
7) Let's be real. I don't sleep in until noon.
I don't sleep in at all. I wake up like I would for a normal job and work until the evenings. This does vary for a lot of people though. It's just my thought but I believe successful people don't sleep in. They put in hours like everyone else. Feel free to have your own opinions of this though!
8) I forget to take lunch break.
Every Single. Day. Even right now as I write this post, my stomach is turning with hunger because oops! I forgot to eat breakfast. When my boyfriend gets home from work, one of the first things he says is, "Did you eat lunch today?? Please tell me you ate lunch today. You can't keep doing this." In all honesty, I get so caught up that I just forget! Sometimes I'll scarf down a granola bar and a banana but I'm usually starving by the time he gets home. I know it's unhealthy but to take a break means I'll be behind on one thing or another. I have tried setting an alarm every day but it does no good. I wish I had a scheduled break!
Even though I'm a (hungry) workaholic and exhausted most days, even though I forget to text back because you texted while I was working, even though I'm underpaid and never invited to Tim's house parties, I am happy. This is what makes me happy and I couldn't imagine a job doing anything else. "Entrepreneurs are the only people willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40."