I always feel bad when I take extended breaks from blogging. I know nobody cares about the song and dance of excuses when I return, but somehow I always feel like I need to make them. I’ve been busy. We all get busy sometimes, right? And when I know any post I write would be half-hearted, I opt to just keep quiet most times. So here I am today. It’s nice to see you again. Sup.
Whenever I tell people I work primarily from home, I get one of two responses.
Response 1: “OMG! You’re so lucky!”
Response 2: “I could never do that.”
The transition to working from home wasn’t a particularly difficult one for me. I was prepared for it, and chose an apartment with a room that I could make into an office easily. It’s supposed to be a dining room, and while I recently did add a dining table, it houses my desk, office, and all my important workday things.
Snazzy new dining table. The view from my desk. (Okay, I admit it. When I want to spread out, I work from the dining table.)
To me, the key to working from home is just that. Having a separate workspace. I have workaholic tendencies, so for me, the hard part about working from home is not focusing or making sure I’m actually attentive to my work. It’s making sure I stop at some point!
Because I’m comfy (yeah, I work in my sweats most days) and cozy in my own home, it’s very easy to just answer “one more e-mail” or do “one more thing quickly” at the end of the work day. Lately, as things have gotten really busy at work, it’s not uncommon for “one more thing” to turn into 8:30 or 9:00 at night if I’m not careful! Since my social life and work life are pretty well tied together, too, I am learning to set specific boundaries with work. Here are some of the things I do to try to keep my work-life balance in tact.
Have a separate work space. Like I mentioned above, this is really important to me. On the rare days when I’m not feeling well and drag my laptop into bed or to my couch, I find myself working much, much later. Those places don’t feel like work places, so it’s easy to over do it when I’m lounging while I work. When I work in my home office, I’m at least a little more aware when it gets later and later.
Don’t feel bad taking a lunch break! When I go into the office, I never feel bad grabbing lunch with a coworker or friend for an hour. When at home, I used to let guilt take over and I’d panic. What if my boss called while I was at lunch? What if I ran to the bathroom or went down to get the mail and missed a call?! People would think I wasn’t working! The truth is, I miss calls sometimes even if I am sitting at my desk. So I lost the guilt and now I don’t feel bad if I take a break to grab lunch or go for a run.
And hey, work in your pajamas when you can. When I don’t have meetings, I usually don sweatpants all day long. Why not? If you can work from home, why not enjoy the perks that go along with it?
Fancy workday attire.
Do you work from home? What do you love/hate about your work environment? (Home or otherwise.)