“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” – Winston Churchill
Or is it that great?
Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Working at Home sucks. Not all the time, but sometimes is absolutely sucks. After ten years of working at least part-time from home, among other locations, the following have happened to me and can happen to you.
1. I’m getting really tired of looking at the same wall, window, fake deer in the backyard, or (insert your surroundings here).
I get tired of the same two or three different views. Some days, if I see one more light beige wall and fancy decoration, I will going to jump out the window. Change of scenery is important after a while, for your mental health and your creativity.
Suggestion: Make sure you get out every couple of hours and walk, drive, go get a coffee, go get the mail, anything for that matter, that breaks up the scenery for a few minutes or more.
2. I don’t sit and stare at my handheld, laptop, or other device twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, do you?
Honestly, why does everyone expect instant responses to email and texts? When did every stupid mundane or unimportant issue become a general emergency? This is especially true for the work at home, why? because we feel guilty for all the poor suckers stuck in their cubicles.
Suggestion: Set a daily schedule, and stick to it. Also set some expectations and boundaries around how and when people should contact you. I always tell those I work with to call me if it needs immediate attention, or expect to wait.
3. Time off is time off. No, I don’t want to work from the beach on my Caribbean vacation.
Meetings scheduled while you are on planned vacation? Anxious emails and issues to solve? Time for a revolt. Working remotely doesn’t mean working every day of the year.
Suggestion: Make it clear that you will not be checking email or voicemail on vacation. Make an unclear inconvenient path to reach you in case of emergency, ie. call your cousins deaf uncle, who will email the beachside town and have a letter hand delivered to you on the beach by a midget. Crazy? Yes, but it makes the point.
4. Acts of God really do happen at home just like they do at the office.
Sometimes there are power outages, internet outages, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, hard disk meltdowns, and a one in five hundred chance the dog will pee on your laptop and cause a short-circuit. Life happens, nothing more to say.
Suggestion: Be prepared as best you can, then just be honest when the poop hits the fan.
Be careful, it’s a crazy world out there.