The joys + pains of working from home

I will never forget my first full day of self-employment. Even though I had been working part-time at my day job for months, this day felt incredibly different. I didn’t have to leave, I was going to wake up, go to work, leave work + go to bed without leaving my house.
There was a serious pep in my step that day! I enjoyed a tasty homemade lunch, spent plenty of time with Brutus + didn’t felt rushed to leave for the day job in the afternoon. Sounds pretty amazing, right? It was… until I got into the habits of not showering + wearing the same sweatpants uniform for days, gave in to the laundry pile instead of the digital client work pile since it was right around the corner + staring at me + went on a Netflix bender one day because I was so overwhelmed that I was now 100% responsible for my own income.

While I think we all have to learn what works + what doesn’t work for us, I wanted to share some of my biggest joys + pains while working from a home office.

tiny blue orange // the joys and pains of working from your home office as a freelancer or self-employed business owner

The joys

Super short commute

One of my absolute favorite things about working from home is that I don’t have a daily commute to deal with. No traffic jams, dangerous conditions in the winter or wasted time driving between two places every day. At the moment, my current commute is walking down the stairs from my bedroom to my office — it’s pretty nice.
I do take a good chunk of time in the morning to walk the pups, but that would need to get done whether I worked from home or not. Plus it’s exercise for all of us + a great way to clear my mind.

Phenomenal pet policy

Speaking of those furry cuties, working from home means your office has a phenomenal pet policy. AKA, pets are allowed. You might choose to keep your pets out of the office {at the very least during skype calls with clients} but you can always take mid-day snuggle breaks like Brutus, Pixel + I do regularly.

Awesome lunches

While I did master the art of packing great lunches when working my day job — partially thanks to some cool ideas on Pinterest — nothing beats having a full pantry + fridge when lunchtime rolls around. It is often faster for me to turn on the stove + bust out a tasty lunch than to get in my car, drive to a fast food joint, order, wait for my meal + then bring it home to eat.
And 98% of the time, my lunch is consumed far far away from my desk. Whether I’m eating lunch with a friend or taking a screen break + eating at the table while flipping through a magazine, one of my strict rules is to avoid eating lunch in the office. For my sanity + my keyboard’s survival.

No humans

It really depends on your past experience, but when I worked at a corporate day job with 300 other humans, there was a ton of distraction. My desk was near the bathrooms, so folks would come + chitchat with me while either waiting for a stall to be available or just because they clearly didn’t want to work.
As much as I love good conversation, this sort of thing is not helpful to your to-do list. So working from home tends to boost your productivity — or at the very least, reduce the number of people that stop by to bug you.

The pains

Laundry piles {aka all the chores}

As I mentioned at the beginning, that pile of laundry does not keep quiet when you work from home.
What I do to keep myself feeling bad from neglecting chores while working from home is that I may start a load of laundry in the morning on my way downstairs. Then at lunch, I’ll move it to the dryer so that when my work day is over, I can simply fold the laundry with my boyfriend. Or I’ll empty the dishwasher while my tea is heating up or lunch is cooking. But other than that, chores are saved for nonwork hours + weekends — even if it makes me feel guilty at times.

Door-to-door salespeople

some folks laugh when they learn I have a video camera pointed at the front door with access to view it without leaving my office. But the fact is that we get a ton of solicitors, salespeople + religious groups during the day.
One additional perk of the front door camera is knowing when a package has been dropped off. If I see a box on the doormat after the bell rings, I know I can finish up what I’m working on before I leave the office to see what was delivered. While the doorbell can be a distraction, I have done my best to keep it as minimal as possible.

No humans

I know, I know, I listed this as a joy. But lack of human interaction for 40+ hours a week can be a total pain. And trust me, spending 3 hours on facebook does not make this pain any less of a problem. If you live in a snowy climate like I do, winters can lead to days without seeing another human aside from your family. If you want to be socially awkward, it will happen in no time.
My way to combat this is by regular visits to the yoga studio + gym for group classes, the occasional trip to the coffee shop for a few hours of working in a group, phone calls with clients + running errands even when technology deems it unnecessary. Our credit union has an app that allows checking deposits from your phone, while I use it occasionally, I still make trips to the bank a couple times a month just to break up my day + add some face-to-face time with other people.

Want to daydream about updating your home office? I love collecting ideas + interior decor in this Pinterest board dedicated to the home office.
photo via unsplash

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