The Reality of Working From Home

Saturday, September 14, 2013
We all know the benefits of working from home. But today, I wanted to shake things up a bit and talk about the not-so-glamorous side of working where you also sleep, bathe, eat and raise your kids and fur babies.

1. Working from home gets lonely. I consider myself an introvert, but I still miss the “good old days” of friendly water cooler chats and catching up with coworkers over the coffeepot. I also don’t get to meet people for lunch as often, either. I mean, there’s only so much I can talk to my dog about when all he really wants to do is drag me around the block on his leash or nap under my desk while the kids are at school. If you ever see me pop up on Twitter or Facebook in the middle of the day with a random comment like “Not enough coffee in the world today!” you’ll recognize it as my desperate attempt to make human contact in any way possible.

2. You sometimes forget to shower . . . for days. Not long ago I shared a story on Facebook (again, because I have no water cooler) about how my husband came home one day, told me I looked nice and asked if I had done anything differently. I replied, “Well, I showered and blow dried my hair.” He was baffled. One morning, after several days of working on a tight deadline, I swear I could not remember when the last time I washed my hair was. Thankfully my other friends and colleagues who work from home joke with me that they’ve all done the exact same thing at one point or another.

3. Cable Television and Netflix. You see where I’m going with this one. Some people who work from home get distracted by doing the dishes, folding laundry or cleaning bathrooms. Me? I spend my lunch hour munching on a sandwich and watching reruns of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on the USA Network or “Disappeared” or “Deadly Devotion” on Discovery ID. Every now and then I get a story idea during this time period that I actually end up using so for now, let’s just call my little love affair with television “research” and all will be forgiven, right?

So to recap, the pros of working from home are that you can work at your own pace, wear what you want, write with animals in your lap and play the music obnoxiously loud. The cons are loneliness, poor hygiene habits, non-writing related distractions and trying to concentrate when your home is undergoing a renovation project and your office is so full of furniture from other rooms in the house that you can’t shut the doors to keep the hammering at bay. That’s this week anyway. What about you?

 Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who blogs at Renee’s Pages.

This is what my home office looked like about five years ago. Let's just say this clean and organized room is a distant memory!


Margo Dill said...

I love the story about your husband and telling you that you look nice. I think I am on day 3 of not washing my hair now--I am going to the gym this morning and figured I will REALLY wash it after that while KB is asleep.

The other thing I would like to add is that YOUR WORK IS ALWAYS THERE, waiting for you to come pick it back up. ALthough you can schedule your work time around your life and do things with your kids that many parents can't, you are also working on Friday night and Saturday morning--that's this weekend anyway. :)

Great post, Renee, and one I can REALLY relate, too. said...

Love this and can totally relate. Who needs a shower anyway? I just throw on a hat and stay in the car at carpool time! Writing comes first.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Great post, Renee! I can totally relate, too. While I do shower every day because I work out (and it would be really scary if I didn't after kickboxing!) you can find me in a tank top and sweats or shorts almost every day of the week. I try to wear cute sweats! But still, they're sweats. My lunch hours are often filled with TV, and I usually catch up on shows that I can't watch while hubby is Top Chef or Project Runway. Definitely not research! LOL I'm lucky though in that I never get lonely. I live on a street surrounded by neighbors who have varying hours of employment and days off. If I want some company or conversation, I bring a cup of coffee outside and see who's around or text one of my girlfriends on my street and see if they want to hang out. The only downside is they text me all the time while I'm working!

Crystal Otto said...


I can totally relate and love this post. The only reason I shower daily is the fact that my daily routine includes at least 3 hours of barn chores (for our other at home biz) and it would be really obvious if I transitioned from the cow barn to my desk without a quick shower in between. I've also begun scheduling a weekly "work" time at the local coffee shop because it forces me out of the house (laptop in hand of course) and on the way home I can do our grocery shopping. This also helps me feel less lonely...and of course having great friends to network with online helps too!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--I am glad that is not what your office looks like NOW, or I would have to put out a hit on you. ;)

Renee Roberson said...

Margo--You bring up a good point about your work always being there waiting for you. Yesterday afternoon I got to volunteer in my daughter's classroom and take the kids to an after-school playdate, but I had to work last night and this morning to make up that time! do have several cute hats and try my best to stick to the carpool line, too!

Angela--You are so lucky to have so many fun neighbors around during the day! Most of the people around me work outside their homes so I'm the oddball. I'm actually considering moving to a neighborhood where there's a little more activity during the day so I don't feel so isolated. And I watch the shows my husband hates (mostly the crime shows) during my lunch hours too:)

Crystal--I love your scheduled weekly work time outside of your house. I've started doing that on days when I have appointments and just take my computer to either the library or a coffee shop. It does help a lot.

Sioux--I think you just gave me a great idea for a post. I'll call it "Desk Under Deadline" and I'll show everyone what the office REALLY looks like now!

Unknown said...

Hi there!
I thought I would join the conversation.
I am a mature male, working in a full time job, but am also working from home.
I probably spend around 15 to 20 hours a week on my home-based business, but you know what,'I can totally relate to getting really immersed in my home business so much that I forget to do all the every day stuff like - eating, drinking and tidying up....where do we find the time? My wife (a nurse) thankfully reminds me, that I also have a life to live!
I don't have any hair left, so no problem for me!

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top