At long last, you get to work from home. No more commuting to the office each day by car or bus, and no more having to deal with other people. You’ll just get to focus on you, your work, and you can do it all from your pajamas! Right? Well, kind of.
Many people have a big misconception of what it will be like when they first decide to work from home. The difference in perception and reality can often leave remote workers feeling down… until they sort things out. Those who go into the situation with a clear understanding of what they are truly signing up for, however, have been reported to be among the most satisfied with their jobs.
So what should you expect when you first start working from home? We have the answers.
There is still pressure
Working from home is not a “cure all” for the pressure you feel in the office. There are still deadlines you will have to meet, challenges you will need to overcome, and a workload equal to or exceeding that which you’d have if you worked in an office. In fact, the average telecommuter works an average of 47 hours per week, versus a national average of 30.
You need a dedicated home base
One of the biggest benefits of working from home is that you get to choose when and where you will work. But no matter how often you work as a passenger in the car or at your local coffee shop, you absolutely need a dedicated home base. This could be an entire home office, or simply an area sectioned off in your living room where you keep your desk and supplies … but you need to have one, regardless.
You’ll need to buy your own office supplies
All those office supplies you never thought about will now need to be on your shopping list, because nobody else is going to purchase them for you. Besides the obvious computer, you’ll want at least a basic printer. That requires paper and ink. You’ll also needs pens, notebooks, paper clips, stapler, hole punch, or whatever your specific remote job requires. It is also highly recommended that people working from home invest in a good day planner.
A “schedule” should still be a thing
Another huge benefit of remote work is the flexible schedule. There is no longer any need to ask your boss if you can get time off to chaperone that field trip, attend that wedding, or take a day off for some much needed rest when ill or overworked.
This flexibility does not mean that you can simply nix your work, however. You should still choose some kind of schedule that you try sticking to. The good news is that you can pick what works best for you, whether that be morning, afternoon, or night.
Forcing productivity can be hard at times
As your own boss, only you can really force yourself to push through the difficult assignments or the days where concentrating is a big issue. This is one of the primary reasons why working from home is not for everybody. If you don’t have the mental strength and will power to force yourself into some level of productivity on your worst days, you may want to think twice before making the switch.
Remote work isolation is a real thing
One of the biggest issues nobody thinks about before time is that all the time alone can lead to a very real feeling of isolation. This is why it’s important for remote workers to fit some kind of socialization into their schedules, no matter how packed their timelines seem. That feeling of isolation can very quickly lead to depression, and greatly injure the mental health of those working from home.