Working from home has emerged through the Great Recession as the ultimate Tech Age dream job.
All the “cool” professionals are doing it.
Most of the bumper-to-bumper early morning commuters fantasize about it.
Everybody seems to be aspiring to “that day” when their career reached the point that will allow them to work remotely from the comfort of their own home.
But is working from home really that awesome?
Doesn’t it get lonely and boring?
How I started working from home
I just quit my corporate work as an IT Support Specialist and pursuing my freelancing journey. I had been an IT Support for about two years and 6 months and decided not to go back and focusing on my freelancing journey. I don’t really have the energy and I just wasted a lot of time and effort going to work everyday commuting and stuck in crazy traffic, toxic environment, underpay and no growth.
Here are three things I wish I’d known about working from home and tips for improving your remote productivity:
Working from home can get really lonely.
Realizing that working from home meant I had to step out of my comfort zone and get proactive about connecting with others outside my little work bubble allowed me to make some much-needed changes about my formerly work-centric lifestyle. I could no longer just rely on coworkers to meet my social needs. I had to be intentional about connecting with others and developing these relationships.
Working from home can mean working a lot more.
Working from home cuts out a lot of time sucks typically associated with traditional office settings, like water cooler talk, office politics, and unproductive, when-will-this-ever-end meetings, so you end up have a lot more free time which is a good thing.
However, if you’re like me – a super task-oriented, recovering perfectionist, that absolutely LOVES projects – all that additional free time may be quickly consumed by more work which can leave the work from home professional feeling really, really exhausted, even if they are sticking to an eight-hour workday schedule.
When you work from home, you don’t have a lot of these distractions, so you spend a LOT more time per week actually working, which can feel really exhausting.
Working from home can make it easy to get stuck in a rut.
So as we’ve already established, working from home (can) reduce your people interaction if you’re not proactive about cultivating a social life outside of your work environment (harder for some than others…was very hard for me). This type of limited workplace interaction can mean that it’s easier to develop tunnel vision around your projects or performance and manifest as falling off into a nonproductive work-related rut.
We’ve all been there – you stop liking your work, you start questioning the future of your career, and you second guess the value you bring as a professional. Work-related ruts are not fun, and they can be kinda hard to get out of if you don’t have a support system in place that knows you and will call B.S. on your latest career funk.
Ready to start working from home?
Working from home provides a lot of opportunities for professionals unable to participate in the traditional work setting or preferring a more customizing working experience. Virtual work positions help keep overhead low, are proven to increase productivity and can provide a wealth of health-benefiting opportunities for work from home professionals.
If you’re considering a work from home setting, consider how this work environment change will impact your life and try to implement some of the suggested structure into your modern day working style.