After years of commuting and being an office drone, I’ve become a remote contract worker. I work in digital marketing, and I truly believe that if digital work can’t be remote once in a while, then we’re probably doing it wrong. But my switch was a total 180 and now I’m 100% remote. This is a pretty big change but also, in its own way, a godsend. I am saving so much money on gas and highway tolls, I am able to control my environment, and most importantly, I can complete my work in a way that makes the most sense. As a creative night-hawk, the typical 9-5 didn’t always bring out the best in me or my work. However, as great as working remotely is, there is a reality of working from home that I never thought about.
Remember these memes?? I made this one, and I think it’s pretty accurate, but I wish I could have found a free photo of a gal working at night on her laptop — because that is the most accurate depiction I can think of. There is no such thing as a 9-5 when you work remotely… because, in reality, you are ALWAYS working. (*update, I found one! You’ll see it below.)
One thing I did when I first started out remotely was to make sure I went to a different coffee shop or café every day. It made me feel creative, productive and like I was a contributing member of society. Then, I saw my bank account. Turns out having coffee or lunch out every week is not compatible with my finances. Ugh.
Here are few other of my biggest Dream vs. Reality moments when it comes to working from home.
Dream: Meticulously Spotless and Spacious Workstations
Reality: Show me someone with a minimalistic workspace (who works in marketing, design, or advertising), and I’ll show you a big fat liar. Right now I’m using a liquor store magazine as a mousepad.
Dream: Majestic Household Barista Setup
Reality: My coffee station is a disaster because I’m using it every 2 hours. Also,
my husband would never allow me to I would never drink coffee in bed because I am a spilly McGee.
Dream: Clean house and folded laundry. ALL THE TIME.
Reality: Yeah, no. When I’ve worked 6 hours straight without even peeing, laundry will still not be my break. (Editor’s note: that photo above is a fraction of what is actually on the bed.)
Dream: Being able to exercise whenever I want
Reality: Taking fewer steps in a day than you would if you were commuting. Not healthy, yo.
Dream: Instagram-worthy meals that a nutritionist would be proud of.
Reality: More cups of coffee than a human body should ever ingest. (As I type this, I am on my 2nd cup but have yet to eat anything.)
Dream: Spending a workday in sweatpants, by choice.
Reality: Spending a day in sweatpants because you literally have no other choice, or time, or motivation, or clean laundry, or the need to put real clothes on and act like a contributing member of society instead of the disgusting sloth that you really are.
Dream: Being so productive, all the time, and working hours that fit my schedule.
Reality: Still working 9-5 hours… and then 5-7, and 7-10…. You will never work an 8 hour day. You will work more hours in a day than you ever did in an office. Your work phone will go off at all hours of the night, during a movie, during adult happy fun time, and likely the exact moment that you are about cross over from “the zone” into actual sleep.
Luckily for me, I love what I do so these things are minor in the grand scheme of things. I’d rather be working remotely and being happy than having too much structure to do something that doesn’t fit my goals or personality.
What would be your one dream about working from home? What do you think would suck? If you currently work from home, tell me how your day-to-day is different from what you thought it would be! Share with me in the comments 🙂
Want more life stories? Check out my post: 7 Reasons Wedding Dress Shopping is the Worst