The Reality of Working From Home
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
oh my gosh this post! It’s easy to think that working from home is super glamourous like in the instagram photos we all have in our news feed but really, it’s hard work it’s scheduling and it’s discipline so that we actually get up, get dressed and get stuff done!
Great post! You’re so right! As a blogger social media is part of my job, so there’s no relaxing and perusing social media when I want to take a break during the day. I was away from my phone and computer all day today and the notifications I came back to at the end of it were enough to give me a panic attack!
hahah I worked from home for a while and I have to say my house was cleaner and my laundry was done although I probably should’ve done more actual work instead LOL
Kelsi! I loved this! I’ve been doing the SAHM mom thing for (almost) 18 months now! I recently took a part-time job and I’m able to work partially from home. Boy do I get A LOT less done than I thought I would!
hahaaha and you juggle all that AND a blog! I am totally impressed!
This is spot on ! My dream is to sit on my laptop and creating content without having to deal with kids but that’s impossible. I usually work at night or early morning before they wake up. I totally can’t blog when they are awake, it will make us both miserable but sometimes when I am crunched up with deadlines, I don’t have a choice but have to work with kids being awake and it’s stressful. Some people think that if you are a blogger you just take pictures, write and share it to social media and that’s it, which is totally not just that at all.
Girl this is SO right on! The struggle is so real!
Hahahaha the struggle is real!!!
This is HILARIOUS! …but oh so true! I think I have found a new blog to frequent for breaks throughout my workday…at home! 😉
So true…but it I love working from home anyway. I usually watch a movie side by side to kill time. A lot better than sitting inside the cubicle.
HAHA, yes! All so true! I’m so thankful to be able to work from home (and my husband does too), but it’s totally different than what most people think.
Haha I love this! So completely true!! I think there is a misconception about working from home. It’s still work!
This was such a great post Kels! I need to share this with everyone haha I am ALWAYS working. Its 6:22 am right now and I’m catching up on emails and I’m sure I’ll be up well into the night finishing up on other things. I can’t complain though, because I love that I get to be creative and do what I love!! I need to show my husband this post though so he can see that I’m not the only one with HUGE piles of laundry!!! hahaha
hahaha I relate to this all, I love your post!
LOL. This post was so right on for my life at the moment with working from home. I had to pin this! My dream would be that my home would always stay clean but in reality it definitely gets junky and I have to plan a day to clean!
Chanel van Reenen
This is so so true!! I work from home too and it is SO not glamorous!
Aint this the truth! I have trouble shutting down when I’m supposed to. Working at 11pm is no bueno. Great post!
My dream from working at home would be to constantly be able to choose what I invest my time in and being my own manager! But nothing is exactly ever what it seems. Lol
This is awesome! So TRUE!!!
I absolutely loved this!!! True story!!! That’s pretty much what my desk looks like right now. I’m hot mess central at the moment. Haha!!
Oh man, I could not be a night worker! I have a hard time staying up past 10 PM haha I loved seeing the reality of your work-from-home life!
I absolutely LOVE this and the graphics are spot on! I enjoy working from home but it’s harder than any full time job because I have two kids to raise and a household to manage. Thanks for raising awareness of this reality for many mothers. Yes I’m grateful I have the opportunity but it definitely isn’t easy like some people believe. Great post!
The perfect, neat desk is never happening at my house!
I can so relate to this. It is hard to feel classy when you work from home and are in your pyjamas all day not even going out of the apartment xD Thank you for this great post! 😀
I love this! As a blogger and freelance writer I work from home- with four kids under nine including two year old twins! It is a total shitshow
sitting over here re-thinking my long term goals of working form home… haha but seriously, this is great. Being free to attend my kids events is my biggest ‘dream’ and I’m hoping my ‘reality’ is the same.
I love all the dream/reality pics! As a mom blogger I would add a dream of having my time on the computer separate from the quality time with my kids, but reality is my kids climbing all over me while I try to write. (As I write this I have a tsum tsum Mickey chattering in my ear and climbing on my back and my older son is 6 inches from me telling me an elaborate story about Pikachu!) Fortunately, I have learned to take more frequent breaks to give them the attention they need even if I am in the middle of something.
Thanks for reminding me I am not the only one!
I absolutely love this post! I’ve been dreaming of working at home for a while now and I appreciate your honesty on what it’s really like. My dream would be to work at home and take my dog for a walk once in a while, the reality is that he would probably be staring at me sitting on my butt, eyes on my computer.
You said EXACTLY what I was thinking. I’ve toyed with the idea of working from home but haven’t found anything to stick with yet. I imagine working at a cute little coffee shop but I suspect that’d be a no-go with all the pens, post-its, and curse words that I use daily. Thanks for the honest insight!