I work from home. I have done so for almost three years now.
Most people upon hearing this are jealous.
“Oooh I would love that. I would give anything to be able to do that. You are so lucky.” are some of the things that I hear.
Yeah, not so much, is my take. Working by yourself means in most cases working for yourself. I guess in some ways we all work for ourselves but having a boss down the hallway is much different than having to report to, well, you.
Don’t get me wrong. I do like what I do. I must, I sure spend enough hours at it. And it is nice doing it from home. I have a friend who gave me a pair of fuzzy pink bedroom slippers to wear while I work. He’s a riot. Just ask him.
But the idea that most people who go out of the house to work have of what it’s like to work from home and the reality are very different. I hear “You must have a lot of free time.” No, in fact when you work from home you have almost no “free” time. The work is always there, like the elephant in the room, and cannot be ignored.
“You can work at your own pace.” is another misconception. The work is there in the same quantity that it would be if I was at an office. Sure I can work slower or faster than I would if I was in a place where we all shared colds and the refrigerator but in the end the work still has to be turned out, on schedule.
And the biggest one of all: “It must be nice being your own boss.” Yes I guess it would be but I do have a boss. I answer to somebody for all my work and I am told very succinctly if my output is not up to snuff. By the way, what “snuff” (powdered tobacco) has to do with anything I am not so sure but I am sure my work has to be up to it.
But all of those complaints aside, it’s not a bad gig. I can get up and take a walk around outside if I want. I hear the mailman arrive and I can see to that task right away. On occasion I have done a household chore or two.
But two main advantages of the at-home work deal.
A wardrobe malfunction or a bad hair day doesn’t really exist. Until I am forced to use a video cam, that is.
And the daily commute? About 10 seconds from start to finish. Even when it snows.