The Truth About Working From Home
Working from home can be super productive, very demanding and pretty rewarding on most days. It can also be a pain in the ass to explain to others who have no idea what it really means to work from home.
Have you ever told someone that you work from home – and they look at you funny? (that condensing, judgy expression that indicates that something is odd/wrong/strange about you?)
What People Say
There’s no doubt when people hear that you work from home, that they’re going to say one of these 5 things:
“Oh, that’s nice dear.”
“Oh that’s nice, I wish I could work from home and do nothing all day”
“But are you looking for a real job?”
“Oh nice- so you can work in your pyjamas all day”
“You’re home all day, could you ______ for me?”
Let me make one thing clear about working from home.
A job that is worked from home is still a job, and a demanding one, at that.
The truth is that the “working from home” idea has a lot of stigma attached to it and part of that is due to people’s lack of knowledge (ignorance) and incapacity to grasp the concept that some-one who works from home requires the same amount of dedication, self-direction and motivation (if not more) than someone who leaves home to go to an office every day.
So before you go and make any assumptions about your buddy who works from home, there are just a few misconceptions we need to clarify right off the bat.
Myth #1 – We get to sleep in
Wrong! A typical day for me starts at 4.30am. I finish my morning run by 5.50am, wake the kids, make their breakfast, and pack their lunch. By 6.50am I send them off to school. I proceed to clean the house, make all the beds, vacuum main areas, do the dishes and do the laundry. At 8.30am I take a shower or a quick dip in the pool and by 9am I pour my first cup of coffee, get settled at my desk and work my ass off all day!!! Having previously owned a consumer insights agency, I churned out 180 audited reports per week, did weekly presentations, recruited and trained staff nationally, edited 40 mystery shopping videos per week with key insights, managed 8 different brands- nationally, staffed over 240 contractors, did all the invoicing, payments, monthly briefs and dealt with all my IT issues that comes along the way. This while managing a household, picking up and dropping off kids, making sure dinners ready on time and deadlines are met. An average day is 14 hours of actual productive work. This all while “working from home”.
The reality is that although it’s obvious to you “working from home” means that you actually “work from home,” nobody else really seems to see it that way. To some, working from home is the same as fantasy land where you frolic in the sun all day and dance with unicorns.
We get to sleep in – said No work-from-home entrepreneur ever!!!
Myth #2 – We’re always available
When people believe you have are all this “free time” to look after their kids. I had family members who always asked that their kids stay with me during school holidays. I mean, I already have two kids of my own and working from home during school holidays presents its own set off challenges, now “you want me to look after and cater for your two kids as well.?” Really? I mean- do you take your kids to work every day when you leave for the office? I am not available to babysit – I have shit to do and deadlines to meet. Just because its school holidays – it does not mean that I’m on holiday. Get your facts straight.
Myth #3 We’re Slackers
Slackers are slackers, and a different work environment probably won’t change someone’s work ethic. But this again is such a generalised sentiment. Whether you work from home, or for a boss, if you’re not pulling your weight and not doing good work – it shows. The truth is that I am more productive working from home. In the morning I have 5 hours of absolutely no interruption, no pointless meetings for the sake of meetings, no company politics, no senseless office banter. I really get to focus on producing my best work. Time management is key. It doesn’t mean that my work is less than yours or inferior to yours just because I am not traveling to an external office dressed up in corporate attire. If you worked at an office and your deadlines weren’t met, your projects were incomplete and your clients went unserved, there would surely be consequences. The same goes for working from home.
Granted working from home may not appear to be as prestigious but we work damn hard to be successful.
We are self-directed, self-reliant, self-motivated, extremely accountable and responsible for our bottom line.
So next time you think that working from home is slacking off – think again, we quit slacking long ago to make shit happen.
Can You relate? We’d love to hear from you!