Sweatpants and messy hair might be the overarching stereotypes when you work from home, but there are many more on the list. And while we might laugh and shake our heads at them, we can’t help but admit that in ways, they’re a little bit true.
When you work from home, you experience some serious and not-so-serious struggles that you don’t experience when you hold a “traditional” job and go to the office each day. If you work from home, you’ll understand these 10 struggles more than you care to admit.
Please note that these struggles are written tongue-in-cheek and are not meant to diminish the remote working industry in any way, only unite home workers with a bit of humor.
10 Struggles You Only Understand When You Work From Home
1. Your neighbors think you’re jobless. They see you aimlessly amble out to the mailbox around the same time each day in an outfit that appears to be designed for lounging purposes only. What are they supposed to think? That you’re inside master-minding an online business that allows you to balance your time between work and family while netting a nice little profit?
2. Strange knocks at the door are often ignored. You know that when you hit the groove of productivity, you can’t let anyone or anything interrupt it. Not even the incessant, pounding knocks at your door. It’s probably just the neighbor lady who brings you muffins and jam because she thinks you’re agorophobic, so if that’s the case, she’ll just leave the basket by the door as usual. No need to leave the couch.
3. You’re always home, but household chores never seem to get done. How is this possible? It’s an inexplicable phenomenon, but somehow, when you’ve been working hard all day, it’s tough to get to the housework. This seems unbelievable to onlookers, family, and outsiders in general–“You’re home all the time! You must get sooo much laundry and different home renovations done!” But when you work from home, the home is usually what gets neglected first. Social life second.
4. You catch yourself working at 10pm or before anyone else is awake. Yes, you’ve heard of “business hours” and “normal working times” but that information does not seem to compute. You’re awake, it’s quiet in the house, and there is always work to be done. You’ll just hop on the laptop for a minute and get some stuff ready for tomorrow. (3 hours later) Well, time to get a few hours of fitful sleep and start back at it bright and early!
5. You have amazing surges and serious dips in productivity throughout the day. Boy, if the people at the office/your clients/mom and dad could only see you now–working so hard, being so unbelievably productive! And really, you’ve been so productive that it seems like a good stopping point for a quick break. Maybe a walk around the neighborhood. Or a quick trip to town to grab lunch. And maybe you’ll even stop and pay the electric bill and get ice cream on the way back. Possibly just make it a day trip to the beach.
6. You rely on coffee more than some people rely on significant others. And that is a fact. When you work from home and it’s so quiet and you’re in charge of motivating yourself, coffee is gracious enough to step in and do the motivating for you. The problem is, the motivation only lasts for short bursts and therefore must be continually refueled throughout the day. No problem. You’ll stay close to the coffee maker.
7. You develop a deep, meaningful (sometimes one-way) connection with your pets. Is it just you, or can other people see how smart and hilarious your pets are? In case they can’t, go ahead and start your pet an Instagram account and post as though you are that animal. Act as though your pets have human personalities and complex emotions just like you and sometimes put sweaters or shirts on them. NOW, you’re working from home.
8. Your friends wonder where you went. You’re still here, but kind of off the radar since you’ve been working from home. Not going to office all day may dampen your desire to trek out to happy hour or drive across town to meet friends for lunch. In all seriousness, working from home can get lonely, so don’t ditch your friends just because you’ve been busy!
9. Your sense of time is a little warped. Is it Tuesday or Friday? Remember when not a day went by that you didn’t know exactly how long it was until quitting time on Friday? Those days are over. It’s a good sign, because you don’t hate your job so much that you consistently count down to the weekend. These days, the weekends roll up as a nice little subtle surprise. You work through most of the weekend anyway, so no reason to make a big deal out of it.
10. You eat meals at strange times. It’s your 3rd cup of coffee, so does that mean it’s breakfast time or lunch? May as well skip both because of the confusion and just wait for dinner. Besides, you seriously cannot fathom eating another sandwich or frozen thing for lunch today. But maybe tomorrow.