Working From Home: Expectation vs Reality
It’s the career dream, isn’t it? Roll out of bed into a hot cup of coffee, work in the sun and get paid all the while. But what is the reality of working from home? What are the advantages and pitfalls to merging your work life with your home life? Here are a few things to consider.
Expectation: No Commute, fewer annoying people
The only commute you need to worry about is from your bed to your workspace (via the coffee machine). This saves you money and time! Plus, you don’t need to deal with traffic/buses/trains and the general public blocking your way.
Reality: Can Be Isolating
Work can be a social outlet as well as a career and bill-paying mechanism. But if you work from home, your teammates are far away, and you might find that you’re feeling isolated and altogether less social. You need to make a concerted effort to maintain networks and friendships, so you don’t get cabin fever.
Expectation: More Time For Yourself
No commute, flexible hours, and no one looking over your shoulder? Extra opportunity to be more productive, in your work life and home life!
Reality: Time Management Skills Required
To work effectively from home, you absolutely must be able to manage your time effectively, even (especially!?) when there is more of it. You don’t have bosses and managers looking over your shoulder, which is fantastic and allows you to just get on with your work. But, it also means that you need to be able to focus on your tasks and projects without an external motivator.
Expectation: Better Work/Life Balance
All of this extra time should lead to a greater work/life balance for you and your family. When well-organised, the work-from-home lifestyle gives you the freedom to be social, be healthy, spend quality time with your loved ones, and still earn your living in a way that is most appealing to you.
Reality: Tough Separation of Work & Life
It’s so easy to just keep working when your work is on a laptop and you have 24/7 access to your task list. “Just five more minutes” in your home office can easily turn into an extra hour (or two). Suddenly, you find that instead of having a work/life balance that suits you, you’re working odd hours, sleeping less, and letting your work take over. Set very clear boundaries between your work and your personal life. Have a schedule and stick to it! Ensure your work-from-home job is working out for you.
So, there you have it. The glamorous, work-in-your-pyjamas lifestyle is not for everyone. But, if you’re motivated, organised, and strict in your schedule, you may find that the advantages outweigh the challenges. Let us know if you have any thoughts or questions!
Written by Kristen Boucher