When Bustle offered me a part-time job as a lifestyle writer, I was stoked.
I was excited for the opportunity to work on content I'd be passionate about, but there were three magic words that sealed the deal: WORK. FROM. HOME.
Isn't that everyone's dream? I pictured myself working from the pool, from cool coffeehouses, from my couch. I'd have so much freedom! I dragged Vagner to IKEA so I'd be able to set up the perfect home office. It only took me a week to realize that I'd been looking at remote work through rose-colored glasses. Believe it or not, I found myself missing my commute, the mundane chats in the break room, picking out outfits for the next day in the office...the grass is always greener. It's true.
1. It gets lonely.
I've always prided myself on my independence, but it turns out that I'm not as self-sufficient as I thought. I thrive on human contact. At every job I've ever had, my coworkers became my close friends. I just love doing life with the people who I spend the most time with. Working remotely is intensely isolating, and I had a depressive episode after my first week of remote work. I definitely don't blame it on my job, but being alone didn't help my mental state.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Get out of the house. Whether it's a gym membership or a co-working space, it's essential that you're around other people if you start to feel isolated or lonely. I keep it simple most days and just work from my neighborhood Starbucks. I've become something of a regular, and even small talk with a barista makes everything much easier.
2. YOU'LL GET LAZY.
Y'all, when you can roll out of bed and hop online, it's hard to stick to a routine. I'm disciplined when it comes to deadlines, but I have days where I stay in my pajamas all day. This works for some people, but I end the day feeling groggy when I don't get ready for work. I am not good at mornings, but setting an alarm and waking up when my husband is getting ready for work gets me excited for the day ahead.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Get dressed. It's such a simple step, but it'll get you feeling determined and ready for the workday. Bonus: If anyone knocks on your front door, you won't have to scramble to find pants.
3. IT'S PRETTY AWESOME.
Now that I've shared some of my work-from-home struggles, I have to brag a bit. I love having flexibility, and I save so much time that I spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 95. Because I'm always home, I have time to clean up on breaks, so I never get home feeling overwhelmed about a cluttered house. I also get to travel whenever I want, which is pretty wonderful.
If you've got a work-from-home gig and you aren't sure what to expect, get excited. Even with any of the hurdles you may face, working remotely is an incredible privilege! If you get lonely and need someone to work with, you know where to find me. ;)