Working from home is something that I have done for the last six years. I began this approach in order to try to more effectively balance work and family and because I felt that I was missing out on many of the wonderful aspects of parenting. The job I had been doing could not offer me the flexibility I needed to be there for my children and so I had to make changes.
Since making these changes I have had more children and the need to balance has intensified.
During these six years I have learnt a great deal. I know that I can juggle well and manage my time effectively and that even when some days my work time seems to be in 30 second intervals, I can still get things done. I also know that there are never enough hours in the day and that I never switch off, but that’s just part of the juggle.
I know a few people who also work from home and one of the things that collectively annoys us are these myths that seem to surround the idea of ‘working from home’.
Working from home is a euphemism for not working at all
Certainly not – we work very hard
Working from home is the easy option
Certainly not – whist is affords flexibility, you never switch off and always feel you could ‘just do a bit more’
When someone works from home they have all the time in the word to chat, so you can phone them in the middle of the day as they won’t be doing anything anyway
Very funny – there is no time to have random conversations in the day. Please ask yourself, would you phone the person if they were in an office environment? If the answer is no, then don’t call them!
When someone says they are working from home what they really mean is they are having the day off to take delivery of a new fridge/TV/sofa
I have to say I do know people that used to do this and as long as they are working I don’t see an issue with that to be honest
When you work from home you only do a couple of hours here and there
You never switch off, you over compensate for the fact that you are at home and you end up working late into the night and very early in the morning oh, and at the weekends, because it’s there and you can
When someone works from home it means you can visit them at home anytime
Ask yourself again, would you call in to see them if they were in an office? If the answer is no then don’t just turn up at their house – their home is their office
Whilst working from home certainly has its benefits, mainly around the practicality and flexibility it affords, it is far from the easy option. Just like those people who work away from the home, those of us who work from home are working, so respect that and don’t exploit their flexibility. Every minute of their time you take away during the day is one that has to be added onto their evening or weekend.
Do you work from home? Do you face any of these challenges?
The worst thing I found about working from home is that it is very easy to get distracted! Especially when you have a wife who begins a sentence “Can you just…” several times a day!
Oh yes – I know that feeling. I also struggle to get on if I can see things around that need doing.
I think the reason so many of these myths exist is because so many people ‘work from home’ and don’t actually do anything and ruin it for people that genuinely work. When people post pictures on FB drinking wine in the garden with the caption ‘I love working from home!’ They’re not working! You wouldn’t post a selfie drinking wine in the office so don’t do it from home if that’s your office and people like that create all these negative images of people that work from home and it’s unfair. Regardless of whether you work form home or not, drinking wine is not the job so it is an abuse of the term ‘working form home.’ I do not work from home but I do take my work home. You’re obviously one that actually works and it’s unfair that people have these perceptions of you and working from home! #effitfriday
Thanks for your comment Jo – you are right and yes I have seen similar things like that posted by people so I do know what you mean. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment 🙂
As a work-at-home Dad myself, I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is when people assume I sit around in my PJs all day and watch TV. I’m actually working. Really, really hard to grow and maintain my own business … all while juggling diapers and bottles for my baby daughter. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Maybe more peeps will start to understand that working at home doesn’t mean a day off just because we aren’t in an official office. #EffItFriday
Thanks for your comment Pete – I share your frustrations and you are spot on.
I used to work from home from my office job, I always felt like I had to work harder and earlier than I would in the office. I was given dispensation to work from home over the Olympics as I was 8 months pregnant, people used to ring me to ask what was going on and I didn’t have a clue because I was working! Infuriating!
Yes totally infuriating! I can understand why that annoyed you.
I completely agree with you, I can almost see some people rolling their eyes when I tell them that I work from home. They think I’m just sitting watching TV or catching up on housework. The reality as you say is that you’re cramming in everything and never really switching off. A great post thank you!
Yes Cheryl, you are so right about the eye rolling.