After reading Juliet’s excellent piece on Monday about (f)unemployment, I decided to build upon this theme and make it a mini “work week” here at the Wheelhouse. I haven’t told anyone else this, but I’m sure they’ll catch on.
For the past 2 years, I have had the good fortune of working from home. I say “good fortune” because it really is a great set-up. I gave up daily grind full of office politics and commuting nightmares, and have had few regrets for doing so. Like any situation, there are pros and cons. And so I thought I would share the good and the bad parts of working from home. In bullet point form, of course.
- Pro: You can wear whatever you want. Literally whatever. I spend a good portion of my day wearing pajamas. I could also wear a ball gown. Nobody cares! Nobody sees you. You’re all alone.
- Con: You overcompensate by dressing up in other areas of your life. I now hear “Sarah, you look so nice!” quite often whenever I go anywhere. It’s because I have all these dresses and no opportunities to wear them, so I go all out when I do have somewhere to go. This may actually be a pro.
- Pro: Sleeping In. I can sleep in until 8:30am, and still be at work before most people are. My 5 foot commute definitely helps with this.
- Pro: Listening to music. I blast music all day every day. And no one can stop me or tell me to turn it down, change it, etc. And with things like Spotify, NPR’s First Listen, and ex.fm, I am never without a new or old song.
- Con: Crippling loneliness. Man is not meant to be alone. Or woman for that matter. And sometimes just spending time all by myself for hours on end can be a little maddening. When my roommate comes home, I usually barrage her with questions, because in most cases she may be the first human I have interacted with all day.
- Pro: Mobility. There is a plus side of being able to work from anywhere. I can travel around and work anywhere in the country, or for that matter, anywhere in the world. At least once a week I try to make it out to cafe, and even started a blog about it called Cafe Talk. It’s also a great way to combat the above con. Double bonus: it also encourages you to put on clothes.
- Pro: Saving money. You save money on transportation, food, work clothes, etc. You may see an increase in your electricity bill, but I usually try to keep the lights and A/C off as much as possible.
- Pro: Increased productivity. The most frequent comment I hear when people discuss working from home is “oh I just know I wouldn’t be able to be productive.” I don’t find that at all. When work needs to be done, you tend to do it. Fact.
- Con: You go out like every night. This may be because I’m an extreme extrovert, but I now go out every night. Not crazy, “woooooooo” going out, but I am rarely in my apartment in the evening. Going out every night can be a little draining, but spending too much time at home drives me stir crazy.
- Pro: You can shower at any time you want. A friend recently asked me if I was a morning showerer or evening. I said like the cable company, I usually shower somewhere in a 4 hour window between 10 and 2. Why? Because I can.
- Con: You’re it. I suppose it depends on your particular work from home situation, but for me, when it comes to work, I’m the first, middle, and last line of defense. If I don’t do something, it doesn’t get done. No co-workers or incompetent interns on whom to shift the blame.
- Con: The line between work and life gets blurred. Are you just sitting there on the couch reading? Why aren’t you working? Don’t you have some work you could probably do? Yeah, I thought so.
- Pro: Tax breaks. Ask your accountant today!
While I love love love working from home, I know that there will come a day when I will once again need to wake up at a reasonable hour, shower at an appropriate time, strap on some heels, fight the commuter traffic, and spend my time in an office environment. And you know what? I think I’ll enjoy going back to that as well. But in the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my seconds long commute, blasting the Celeste and Jesse Forever Soundtrack at full blast, and wearing the same sweatpants for days on end.
If you work from home and think I left something out, let me know in the comments. Also, for a more humorous take on working from home (or a more humorous take on anything really), check out this cartoon at The Oatmeal.