4 Things Nobody Tells You About Working From Home - Daily Hudson Valley News

4 Things Nobody Tells You About Working From Home

Dec 11th, 2014 | By | Category: Lifestyle

Since the winter of 2009, I’ve worked from home. At first, my office was my bed at my parents’ house – I’d prop myself up against the wall and sit sideways, my feet dangling off the side. After 10 minutes, my back would ache and I’d have to take a break (that first year of freelancing wasn’t a big earner for me). When I moved into a small apartment with my friend and her 3-year-old son, my office was the desk she kept in the living room, then the desk she moved into the bedroom, then the kitchen table, and then, once the friendship started to unravel, my bed again, where I would tuck away and hope to avoid her. Most days, I’d pack up my work and head to the library or Starbucks, where I’d get antsy because it was either too quiet or too loud. Today, I live in my own single’s paradise – a large apartment with a home office.

My father worked from home for a lot of my life, but it was different – he still had a boss and a schedule and a time clock, he just happened to do his work for AT&T from a home office. There was an IT department on call, a catalog of equipment he could order from, vacation days… it wasn’t quite the work-from-home experience that I have. Needless to say, when I made a break from the 9-to-5 world and decided to go it on my own, I was ill-prepared. The realities of working from home were all a surprise to me.

4 Things Nobody Tells You About Working From Home

1. Overworked seems to go hand-in-hand with working from home. Even if you outsource a lot of your work, you’ll still find plenty to do. Ironically, most people will hear that you work from home and assume that you’re underworked.

2. Respect has to be earned. Then when it is, people won’t notice. Then when they notice, they still won’t respect you. Forever and ever, when you tell people you work from home, you’ll be met with small frowns or questioning eyes or, worst of all, a complete brush off. Better grow that thick skin now, Kid.

3. The flexibility that you grow to love and that people admire is also rife with problems: never-ending work days, always being on call, overwhelming guilt when you haven’t gotten a lot accomplished but still need to go to sleep because otherwise you’ll lose your mind.

4. You will probably become a work-a-holic at some point, which will be painful to treat because the overwhelming need to get more work done is strong. Plus, it’s confusing – aren’t you supposed to be working like crazy? Yes, but at some point efficiency and productivity goes down and it’s scientifically proven that we need to rest our brains in order to accomplish more.

Are there days when I work on the couch in the same pajamas I slept in, clicking through articles I’ve bookmarked, nothing on the agenda but to get inspired, brainstorm, and write what comes to me? Yes. But that’s not most days. Those days only come after a 12 hour work day, after I’ve looked at a screen so much that I feel feverish from the blue light. Then I can wake up the next morning and have a creative few hours. Everything is earned and toiled for, which is the best – and the hardest – part of being your own boss in your own home office.

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Lindsay Pietroluongo is a full-time freelance writer in the Hudson Valley. Her work has appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal and Chronogram magazine. Lindsay also writes business content and marketing materials for professionals through her boutique writing company Poison Apple Ink and runs a lifestyle blog And the Pursuit. Visit Lindsay on the Rocks to learn more. Lindsay can be seen on Hudson Valley Insider each Thursday under the Lifestyle section.

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