Right around the time I got pregnant with my third baby, I became obsessed with working from home.
There are a couple reasons for this. First, my husband started working from home and he absolutely loved it. Every day I’d get up and stumble to the shower at 6AM while he stayed in bed snoozing peacefully. I’d call him while I was stuck in traffic on my 40 minute commute, wondering why he sounded so calm and relaxed. My jealousy almost got the best of me on the beautiful sunny day when he posted yet another photo of himself outside on the deck with his laptop. Can you say #workgoals?
The second reason was that there was no way I could afford three kids in daycare, yet I also couldn’t afford to quit my job completely. As a writer, I knew work from home jobs were possible, so I set out to find them. Day and night I scoured the Internet looking for the perfect work from home job that wasn’t a total scam. A few months shy of my due date, I finally found the perfect one.
Now that I’ve been working from home for a few months, I can say one thing for sure: it is glorious. My new work arrangement comes with a fair amount of challenges (I mean hello, I do have three kids 3 and under), but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. These are a few things I’ve discovered so far about working from home.
1. People won’t understand what you do for a living.
This is especially true for older generations who didn’t grow up with the benefit of telecommuting. A lot people from my parents’ generation or older don’t understand the concept of working from home, and are therefore suspicious of it.
Plus, it doesn’t always seem like you’re working hard when you’re living in sweatpants. You’ll just need to get used to explaining your situation over and over again.
2. Your shower schedule will completely change.
When I worked in an office, I used roll out of bed and jump in the shower first thing. Now I’m more likely to take a shower at 6PM than I am at 6AM.
Working from home affords you the opportunity to shower in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening… really, whenever you feel like it.
3. You’ll contemplate getting rid of your car.
I’m a mom of 3, so my minivan gets tons of miles on it. But since my husband works from home too, we’ve been seriously contemplating whether we need two cars. It’s amazing how little time you’ll spend driving when you work from home.
4. You’ll actually be more productive.
I used the think people just said this to justify working from home. But now that I do it, I know it’s true.
It’s almost like telecommuting means you have something to prove. I’m always quick to answer emails or Slack messages from coworkers just so they know I’m totally available and not off watching House Hunters reruns. I’m also a lot more likely to work late since I can start dinner and then go back to what I was working on with minimal effort.
Working from home means the employer has to truly trust their employee. I respect that so much that it makes me work harder than if I had someone constantly looking over my shoulder.
5. You’ll get the best of both worlds.
I used to think I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I never wanted to give up the career I worked so hard to get. I love writing AND I love being a mom. Working from home lets me enjoy both of those things.
I love having the ability to take my daughter to preschool and pick her up every week. I love having eating lunch with my kids and taking cuddle breaks throughout the day. People ask if I miss the camaraderie that office mates share — for now at least, I really don’t. My kids are two of my favorite people and it’s pretty awesome that I don’t have to leave them for the majority of every weekday.
But beyond that, I’m also working my brain and contributing to my family’s finances by working a full time job. It makes me feel a tiny bit better about those gigantic student loans I’m still paying off. At least they were all worth something…
6. You’ll wonder how you ever worked in an office.
Once you work from home, you can never go back.
I’ve worked in some terrible offices and I’ve worked in some awesome ones. One place I worked had an organic café, a walking trail, and free yoga classes. I’d still take working from home over that place in a heartbeat.
7. You’ll catch yourself working off hours
When your office is only steps away, it’s easy to fall into the trap of catching up on work whenever you have ten minutes… even if that happens to be at 10PM. There’s no such thing as shutting off the office when your office also happens to be at your house.
Lots of veteran work from home employees I know turn off their email notifications to avoid this pitfall. It just depends on your personal preference.
8. You’ll regret buying so many work clothes.
Some people who work from home insist on getting dressed every morning to mentally prepare themselves for the day. Me? I’m all about working in pajamas.
Blame it on being postpartum or on this new work arrangement, but I can’t tell you the last time I put on non-stretchy pants. I do have a fair amount of video meetings, but for those it’s always nice shirt on top, yoga pants on bottom.
9. You’ll work for less money.
My salary now is less than I made at my last job and the job before that. But for me, the perks of working from home far outweigh the couple thousand dollars less per year that I’m bringing home. I save a lot on childcare, on gas, and oh yeah, on my sanity.
10. You’ll be surprisingly motivated.
Maybe this is just me, but I appreciate the company I work for so much that I actually want to be awesome at my job and turn in high quality work. That’s not to say that I was intentionally crappy employee at my other jobs, but I definitely haven’t felt this kind of motivation in a long time.
I think part of it is just working for an awesome company and part is because I’m so happy with my situation that it’s making me a better person in general.
In the end, working from home isn’t for everyone. But if you like having a zero mile commute, showering whenever you feel like it, taking responsibility for yourself, and rarely wearing pants, it’s definitely something you should look into.