It’s the dream right?! Or is it?
When I first started working from home I was beyond excited! I got to wake up whenever I wanted to, stay in my pajamas all day and not brush my hair – it was like school holidays. But then the loneliness came and the depression creeped in and the teeth stopped being brushed and my hair went weeks without a wash. Now I have found a happy medium (mostly). Let’s look at my top pros and cons of working from home.
PRO 1: #nobralife
I cannot adequately describe to you my love/hate relationship with bras. And I probably don’t need to because you have it too. I want my boobies to be all perky and round so I wear a bra. But I’m angry that I care about my “imperfect” mammory glands and feel the need to “improve” them. Bras are also hella uncomfortable! The tightness required around the chest to provide adequate support gives me heartburn and the elastic digs in deep and leaves crazy red ridges in my tender flesh after wearing one for a long day.
The number one pro of working from home means that I don’t have to put on a bra. Sometimes I go a whole week without attaching those behind the back hooks.
No more boob jail.
PRO 2: Work to your rhythm
Some people work best in the morning, and others at night. Some need lots of little breaks and others prefer long periods of silent focus. You get to choose your working hours and your preferred work environment; and that bitch Karen can have nothing to say about your “too long” coffee breaks.
I currently like to start working a bit later in the day and then take a long break after a late lunch to watch some Netflix, do chores, or have coffee with friends. Then it’s back to work after dinner until the early hours of the morning. I’m sure my rhythm will change again, and that’s totally ok. I get to choose when in the day I do which tasks and that means playing to my strengths and doing what works best for me.
Do whatever you want, whenever you want.
PRO 3: No doctor's notes required
If you need to spend five days in bed recovering from a cold, or a Monday curled up on the couch watching Disney movies for your mental health, then you just do it. No doctor’s note required. No awkward phone call telling your boss that you ate some bad chicken because you can’t tell her that your anxiety is really bad today. And who has R550 for a doctor’s visit every time you get a sinus headache? You work at home so you make your own time. You can get your work done whenever you need to and don’t have to be in an office in any mandatory way. Best!
Take that mental health day!
PRO 4: No pants required for online meetings
Working from home also means meetings from home. Just tie up that dirty hair, throw on a nice top and open that laptop.
No pants required for Skype/Zoom meetings!
Business on the top – party on the bottom. It’s the mullet of outfits. But good.
PRO 5: Afternoon delight
PRO 6: Working from bed
Some days I just can’t even. But I have to. So I trick myself by working in bed. Then I manage to get some work done because my brain doesn’t realise I’m working. I also tend to just create and schedule social media content on days like this and connect with new potential clients. Sometimes you just gotta keep it chill.
Get shit done, but keep it chilled.
PRO 7: Pajamas all day
Ooh I love me some jam jams! Summer pajamas, winter pajamas, fancy pajamas, cosy pajamas – all the pajamas! I did have a job once working for cool architects and I often went to work in their home office wearing pajamas. But there’s nothing like wearing your tatty old pajamas in your own home whilst getting shit done to make you feel like you’re winning at life.
The comfiest uniform ever!
CON 1: Pajamas all day
So comfy. So relaxed. SO not work vibes.
It’s so easy to slip into non-work mode when you’re dressed for chilling.
When I first started working from home I had the best time spending every day in my pajamas and home clothes. It was such a welcome change from the awful, soul-killing corporate wear that was my previous office life. But then I wore the same old kaftan for 8 days in a row, didn’t shower or brush my hair and basically turned into a cave troll.
Sometimes getting dressed for success is a real thing. (Good luck getting that Roxette song out of your head now!) (On a side note: can we just take a moment to appreciate Roxette. And Leslie Knope.)
Living that #cavetroll life y'all!
CON 2: Always at work
Just one more email. Just more more quick website edit. Just one more quote. Just one more social media post to schedule. Just one more marketing idea to brainstorm. Just one more potential client to reach out to. Just one more quick little thing to do. Just one more life to waste working.
You can work whenver you want – so rad. But now that you’re working on your own business and your laptop is always just two steps away then how the fuck do you just switch off?! My friend and unofficial business coach gave me a good talking to and gave me some really great advice: remember why you started. One of my reasons is that I wanted to spend more time with loved ones instead of with co-workers I low-key despised. Yet here I was (ok still am) working million hour days 75000 days a week becuase I am now so passionate about my business! But negelcting to see my friends, call my mom and spend actual quality time with my lover.
Still is still my biggest challenge and I have no idea how to set a clear boundary between work hours and family time. If you have some advice I would greatly appreciate it! (email me here)
Cannot escape the laptop life!
CON 3: Computer isn't for fun
I used to seriously love playing games on my computer. Anyone here remember Command and Conquer, Diablo 2, Tetris or good old Minesweeper? I sure do. Sigh.
These days it takes a real mind-shift to open up Minecraft, League of Legends or Fortnite. Because as soon as I open that laptop, I just wanna do some work. I know there’s shit to do and when I’m on my computer the work is just a click away. It’s endlessly difficult to get me to play computer games now (much to the dismay of my brother – my OG gaming pal).
No matter how hard I convince myself that I’m just going to open up my laptop and then play games or browse the interwebs for deals on pretty office desks, I always “just quickly” try to get a little task done. I hate it. But I can’t stop (crying face emoji).
Goodbye gamer Amy - hello business Amy.
CON 4: Sore back and neck
I don’t remember what it feels like to have a back that isn’t sore. Like for reals. Think about your back right now. Is it sore? I bet it is (sad face emoji). Countless hours spent in front of a computer wreak absolute havoc on posture. Our shoulders pull forward into hunchbacks and our necks smush down into our bodies. It’s the worst. Sit up straight right now. I just did and I grew about 15 centimetres.
Also: I spend about half my time working from bed or the couch cos why the heck not?! Oh wait, I know why not. Because working on the couch is horrible for my neck and back! (Get your mind out of the gutter if you too heard that old song playing in your mind – “my neck, my back…” you know the one.)
Computer hours + no breaks = bad posture life.
CON 5: Naps on tap
Feeling sleepy? Have a nap. Feeling grumpy? Have a nap. Feeling procrastinatey? Have a nap! When naps ar but two steps away, then it’s often too tempting. I often have a nap when I *should* be doing work. And then the nap isn’t even fun, because the dreams often turn to nightmares from the background stress of knowing there is work to be done. Ugh. So I treat the naps like little treats that I need to look forward to. Like “just do one more hour of work and then you can nap” or “reply to five more emails and then you can nap” and then I just keep doing that and before I know it I’ve done a whole day’s work. So when the napping desire strikes, just delay it instead of hitting that pillow straight away – maybe then you can trick yourself into getting more work done before a snooze.
Napping isn't always the answer.
Despite all the crap that comes along with working from home, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! The freedom it gives me, the office rent money it saves me, the extra time I get with my cat and the snack making options available are just so worth it for me! But I am trying to create work hour boundaries (so far I don’t work on weekends – mostly). And next up is actually setting up a proper office space in the second bedroom instead of in the living area so I can close the door on distractions and then close the door on work.
Proudly team #workfromhome for life!