Working from Home Harder than it Seems

Not everyone is a good candidate for working at home.

I’ve been working from home for nearly 11 years. I know how lucky I am to have this luxury. I save on automobile and transportation expense, and my work clothes are usually T-shirts and yoga pants. OK … I often start the day working in my PJs.

I get two breaks in addition to a one-hour lunch break. I can toss in a load of laundry while I’m on break and even do a quick grocery run on my lunch break if needed; although, I try to use my lunch break to actually eat lunch and relax.

I’m not concerned with human interaction because I’m an introvert. I get a lot more work done with no one around. I do have a “virtual office” by way of Slack. Also, everyone is just a phone call away.

My desk has been in a few different places in my house.

I started working in a corner of my bedroom. Then I had my girls share a bedroom so I could use one of the rooms for my office. When one of my sons moved out, I moved my office into his old bedroom in the basement. Many years earlier, this room was a craft space/playroom.

I’ve rearranged the furniture in this office several times and am pretty much stuck with the way it’s currently arranged since the futon is now opened as a bed for a long-term house guest, who wakes up and moves when I come in to start working in the morning (a story for another post). It’s killing me inside because I love to rearrange things periodically. It just feels good!

Distractions are too much for some people who work from home.

It’s best to have a separate space where you can close the door for some privacy. Due to the above-mentioned long-term house guest, this has changed a bit. It’s still my office first and foremost because this is where I earn the money, but it’s no longer my own personal, private space.

My dogs know I’m in the house during the day so they’re sometimes a distraction. My husband has a gaming computer set up in the basement just outside my office door. When he comes home from work before I’m off the clock, he sometimes gets a little loud. Earbuds are great at that time of day! The majority of my day is fairly quiet, though.

Not all home offices have a professional appearance.

The company I work for switched from telephone conference lines to video conferencing. This has become a challenge due to the unprofessional appearance of my office space. I had to rearrange my desk so I can open my laptop and use the camera. My laptop was always attached to a docking station tucked away while I used two larger monitors. However … I have to angle it to avoid background views of the ugly ductwork in this poorly-built room (previous homeowners built the room).

If I rearrange all of my monitors (personal and work) on my desk space the way I have it pictured in my head, I’ll still have to angle the laptop so people won’t see said house guest’s posters of pop stars and superheroes on the wall behind me. No, I don’t worship Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and Spiderman so that wall does not represent me at all.

Where to find work-from-home opportunities…

It’s hard to say. I was fortunate to find the job I have, which originated as a home-based business. It has since been purchased by a larger company, which was then purchased by an even larger company (travel & accommodation industry). The original employees were grandfathered in as a work-from-home staff. However, as each WFH employee leaves the company, the positions are backfilled at the home office in Austin only. So I’m sorry, but I can’t get you in on this deal!

I think it’s very hard to find a solid WFH position that isn’t part of a multi-level deal requiring sales of high-priced products. I think more companies are starting to offer the flexibility to work from home at least part of the time. It’s better than being chained to a desk in a corporate office 40+ hours per week and commuting every day.

I am fully aware of how fortunate I am to have the job I have, and I appreciate it very much!

Featured Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash … this is not my office.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s