Fears and Surprises About Working From Home
It’s March, and that means that R Artspace is turning 3 years old! Kinda crazy that it took almost 3 years of side-hustling to get to full-time status (If you wanna read about that journey, head over to this recent post).
But in light of recently going full-time, I would love to share some misconceptions I had about working from home and what actually happened. For anyone hoping to make the transition, perhaps this will answer some questions you may have about taking the leap and also shed some light on the fact that sometimes what you originally thought may end up surprising you.
initial fear: I’m an extrovert, what if I can’t handle working from home?
I’m an extrovert. So of course, one of the fears I had was the fact that I would be working alone all day. These are the thoughts that ran through my mind:
What if I can’t handle the silence?
What if I go stir-crazy cause I’ll be home alone all day?
What if I end up getting a part-time job JUST to be around people?
Leading up to my final day at my 9–5, these are just a few of the thoughts that I had. I remember telling my mom about how nervous I was about working from home and wondering aloud if I could handle it.
pleasant surprise: I love working from home!
It’s been a little over 2 months now and I LOVE working from home. I never feel like I am missing companionship and I DON’T think I need to get a part-time job just to see people. The thing is, I make connections on the regular basis both with local entrepreneurs and people I meet online. I set up coffee chats on a weekly with people to connect and grow relationships.
I also stay in really close communication with my branding clients. Even though I’m at my computer most of the day, I’m sending videos, getting on calls, and communicate regularly through email and Asana. I also am active on Instagram and staying in touch with my online friends, so, all in all, I don’t feel as alone as I thought I would.
FEAR: I’m laid back– can I be my own boss?
I don’t have one of those rigid type-A personalities. I’m not a go-go-go person, unlike my mother. I enjoy relaxing, taking breaks, and making time for myself to recharge. While I am motivated and responsible, the fact that I would be the one in charge to motivate myself made me a little nervous.
I used to read all these blog posts about people working from home and they would describe themselves as type-A, and they said that their struggle was turning work off. My struggle was the opposite, what if I can’t turn work ON???
What if, with this complete freedom and being home alone, I would sleep in, stay in my pajamas all day, eat ice-cream in bed and watch Netflix until my husband came home?
Irrational, but serious fears of competence.
SURPRISE: I can turn it on when I need to
After 2 months of working from home, I can say that I have not once stayed in my pajamas all day. I don’t get distracted by housework. I don’t procrastinate (even when I don’t feel motivated) and I get work done. Like a boss.
Part of this was my mindset shift of, “This isn’t just my side-hustle, this is my job and how I’m getting paid.” And once I had that mindset shift, all the other things fell into place. I get up early (not the 5am time I used to get up for my day job), I wash my face, get dressed, put on make-up, make our bed, start off the day with quiet time and coffee and then get to work.
When I sit down to work, I’m focused and efficient (a lot of the time). Because for me, the reward is to relax at the end of the day and not have all these to-dos still on my mind. So throughout my work day I get my work done, prioritize my clients, and streamline as much as possible, so on the occasion that my husband has a weekday off, I can spend the majority of it with him.
FEAR: what if I’m distracted my household chores and don’t get anything done?
I mentioned this above, but I remember reading blog posts about how women who worked from home would often get side-tracked by laundry and dishes. So, an assumption and fear I had was that perhaps I would succumb to those same distractions.
SURPRISE: on the contrary, I’m pretty focused.
To my great surprise and delight, I have so far never been distracted by housework. Part of this is that I love the work I do, and part of it is, I have a day of the week where I clean the house and do laundry. So while I keep the house tidy during the week, Friday is my day to deep clean and take care of those types of chores.
As you can see, learning how to work from home has been an adjustment, but one that’s been really enjoyable and pleasantly surprising. I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned about working from home is that everyone is different. Some things I’ve read that have helped people, don’t necessarily work for me but it’s all about testing and changing. I originally thought I would be rigid about sticking with a blocked-time-schedule, but not once have I used that. I’m still learning about how I work best– more structure, less structure, more self-imposed deadlines, less. It’s all about finding out what works for you and how you work best.
All in all, it’s been a fun process and now I can finally say, I love looking forward to the work week!
I would love to hear from you!
Do you have any fears about what working from home might be like?
Did anything surprise you about working from home?