It’s National Work From Home Week. I’ve worked from home for over a decade, so I’ve had the luxury of getting acquainted with remote work life long before the pandemic made it commonplace. In 2014, I wrote a blog post, Six Rules of Working from Home, which lists a few productivity tips — including taking breaks, avoiding watching TV, and establishing boundaries — to help people transition to remote work life.
According to recent data reported by McKinsey, 58 percent of Americans say they have the opportunity to work from home at least one day per week, with 35 percent having the option to work from home five days a week.
Could you have predicted that number a few years ago? I certainly could not, but I believe it is a positive change. While many have had to change their lifestyles to accommodate working remotely — including figuring out how to work in close quarters with their significant others — I am aware of very few people who would prefer the alternative.
Living the Dream: The Upsides (and Their Downsides)
At #Strella, every one of our team members is remote and accustomed to working from home. However, for many people, a remote work culture requires some acclimation. Today, I’ll discuss what makes working from home a dream — and some aspects that sometimes make it not all it’s cracked up to be.
1. Fur-Baby Companionship
Upside: I get to hang with my furry co-workers all day — some enjoy sitting on my lap while I work! They make me smile when I’m stressed and tense.
Downside: Sometimes, though, they interrupt me, begging for treats or demanding my undivided attention. They are quite judgy at times, too! I have to remember; they are the real CEOs!
2. Hybrid Hub
Upside: Every other day, I work alongside another great companion — my husband, whose employer has a hybrid work schedule. I enjoy having him around to help with the laundry, of course!
Downside: We share our workspace, so it can become cramped, especially when we both have phone calls or meetings at the same time. Also, Nathan has a habit of talking to me randomly throughout the day, which is sometimes distracting. Hello! I am trying to focus on work here! P.S. I love you, Hun! 😉
3. Workout Breaks
Upside: Thanks to my home gym, I can hit the treadmill for a 10-minute break or a 45-minute sweat sesh — whatever fits my schedule and mood.
Downside: Because I am technically “at work,” I often disrupt my stress-relief sessions by responding whenever I hear the ping of a text or email. It’s not uncommon for me to pause the treadmill, walk downstairs, and get back on my computer to handle a matter, even if it’s not urgent. If I were working out at a gym away from home, I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) do that.
4. Multi-Tasking Mastery
Upside: I multi-task like a boss at home. I can keep the laundry, dishes, and other housework in excellent order while I work. Also, I am here to accept packages, groceries, and other home deliverables.
Downside: Sometimes, I feel like the laundry owns me. I hear the dryer buzz, and I scurry to grab it and put it away to avoid any wrinkles. And while I love receiving Amazon packages, I am also interrupted by occasional solicitors and unannounced visitors who seem to arrive at the most inconvenient junctures.
5. No Commute and No Dress Code
Upside: I encounter no traffic jams on the way to my desk. And, other than for scheduled Zoom meetings, I don’t need to wear a blazer or makeup. Most days, I dress in my workout clothes, which keeps me comfy while I work.
Downside: The flipside? Sometimes, I feel like a scrub. There’s something to be said for taking a shower, putting on nice clothes, and even some mascara. That’s one reason why I enjoy going to my monthly Vistage meeting. It’s also nice to drive my car occasionally; it doesn’t get out much these days!
6. No Office Hours
Upside: Other than scheduled meetings, I choose my working hours. It’s great to work when it’s optimal for me, and I do my best when I have flexibility.
Downside: The challenge is knowing when to quit. The line between work and the rest of my life is blurred, which is natural, given my “office” is right by the couch.
Working from home is a double-edged sword, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Do you relate to the mostly-love-but-sometimes-hate relationship with working from home? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
All this week, I’ll share work-from-home snippets on my socials! Follow me for a glimpse inside our daily life!