You are going to laugh when you read this, but I fought hard for the right to work from home. I dug up emails and studies to use as examples when I met with my boss. I argued that I did my best and most creative work “from home,” and I was more productive during the rest of the week because I didn’t have to fight traffic one less day of the week.
And then I started working from home for the past few weeks…. and I realized that maybe I didn’t like it so much.
I just wrote an earlier piece about corporate office mantras and how I find them useless, but I think I may be one of the few people who actually enjoys going into the office day in and day out. I’m lucky, I have a really great office, it is aesthetically appealing (I helped design it!), I work with nice people and the higher ups are really flexible about letting you take care of the things you need to take care of during the day. It is a great place to work, and I know I’m lucky, but working from home was something I dreamed of doing my entire life. TV on in the background, wearing your comfy clothes, taking breaks to walk the dog or run errands during the day. What’s not to like?
Reasons Why I Hate Working From Home
Until, I realized maybe it made me less productive. And less productive equals less money, at least for me and my blog/writing gigs it does. It is really hard to motivate yourself, and working from home eliminates several of the core needs experts say are essential to being your most productive.
1) A designated work space. This goes right out the window when I work from home. I work from my laptop on the couch in the living room, on the table in the dining room, and on my bed so I can snuggle with my dog.
2) Designated work hours. One of the best parts about working from home is that even though you have to be online certain hours, you can do your work anytime. Which is great! Except, I realized how much I loved being able to leave work at work at 5:30, come home and spend time with my significant other and my pup. It’s nice to take breaks, but having that work looming over me because I spent two of my afternoon work hours in a popsicle/sugar induced coma and needed a nap is probably not the best way to spend the day. It makes the day seem forever long, and with no one else around to talk to, I get pretty lonely.
I think initially I fought so hard to work from home because I wanted to have that flexibility in my life, but at the end of the day I realized I already have an office culture like that. Sure, I have to fight traffic an extra hour each week, but the productive time and mental feel-good I get from not disrupting my routine is worth the extra time in my car. At least to me. Isn’t that the irony of the things we want most. When we get them, we realize we don’t need them anymore.
Do you work from home? How does your productivity compare to working in an office?