I’ve only been working from home since August but during the last five months I have heard a number of assumptions about my situation, most of which revolve around the idea I never really need to get dressed. So, here are the most common assumptions I’ve heard about working from home:
I get to wear pyjamas all day.
I guess I can yes, and this is great on a Monday morning. However, if I don’t have plans that require me to leave the house for a couple of days in a row then you do not want to see the mess that I become by Wednesday. I’m currently sat in a woodchuck shirt that I have worn everyday since Monday and jeans that I’m pretty sure actually belonged to my ex boyfriend.
Granted this is only five months in and I still look vaguely presentable but you should know I brushed my hair and put make up on because no one should have to see what I looked like fifteen minutes ago. I also washed my hair this morning as I’m going outside tomorrow and got a bit too excited about it. This means I will wash my hair two days in a row which is actually progress.
I can get up whenever and watch Netflix whilst I work.
I get up at 8.30am every day as I usually have a news piece to research and write before noon and I take about three hours and six coffees to reach minimum writing standards, that is actually being able to form words. I then have to email people to ask for permissions and the earlier in the day I do this the more likely I am to receive a reply in time. I then write those articles I have received permissions for, write about any infographics or videos I’ve submitted and find at least three new ones to submit. When I’ve finished writing those, I have to research and write my other articles for the week.
If I’m having a productive day I can get all of this done by 2-3pm, but if I have a show on in the background it could take an extra three hours because I have the attention span of a five year old. I tried to watch a couple episodes of Bob’s Burgers whilst working the other day and ended up watching the entire four seasons. I have found that watching Jeremy Kyle spurs me on, until I realise I’m sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle in the middle of the day just like everyone who has ever been on Jeremy Kyle ever.
I actually don’t do anything/ must have a lot of spare time.
I just listed all the work I have to do during the day and yeah it doesn’t seem like a lot but it actually takes a ridiculous amount of time. As I live at home and am usually the only one in during the day, I’m also kind of like a house-daughter and do the majority of the chores in my house. I know my mum will read this and laugh but bitch, who d’you think does your washing and cooks dinner? You never take me out to dinner anymore, we’re not like how we used to be.
I don’t socialise.
So I don’t have co-workers and I don’t have to talk to strangers on my commute, that doesn’t mean I don’t socialise. I still go outside, I’m only a hermit until about 4pm then I’m free to do whatever usually. Even if I was writing from an office I wouldn’t socialise anymore than I do now because like I said, attention span of a five year old. I’d be trying to write and then somehow I’d end up having a paper-basket-ball tournament.
I can go out and do anything I want whenever.
If I get all of my work done then yes, but if I get an email from one of my editors or from a site I’ve contacted then I am going to be secretly obsessing about the fact I haven’t replied to them the whole time I’m out. You get to leave work at the office or wherever, I am my work and unfortunately I cannot detach myself from life. (I imagined this as ripping velcro apart, like with one piece labelled ‘work’ and the other ‘life’, but I now realise that sounds a lot darker than I intended.)
I don’t have a boss.
I’m my boss, and I’m a hardass. I’m also the laziest employee ever. I have a borderline obsessive schedule that I try really hard to stick to but I never quite get it precisely right. It’s like I have two personalities: Boss Sibby and Slacker Sibby, battling it out and resulting in mediocre time management. I also actually have proper bosses, my editors at the sites I work for and they would start getting antsy if I didn’t submit work on time. I work from home, not magical-there-are-no-standards-or-consequences-for-the-quality-of-my-work-land.
I’m living the dreeeeeam.
Actually yes, yes I am. Working from home is great. Sure, I don’t get paid a whole lot but it’s more than I got as a part-time waitress or promoter and I’m doing what I love. I don’t have external pressures from anyone and I don’t have to see anybody else’s stupid face if I don’t feel like it, hurray!