I’ve been a work from home customer service representative for a year and a half now. While I do enjoy working in my own environment, it’s not ALWAYS all it’s cracked up to be. There are some pitfalls to the enviable work from home position. Allow me to enlighten you… 🙂
I’ll begin with the Pro’s:
- Yoga pants, literally, every day. Yes, THIS is one of the best reasons to work from home. You don’t have to worry about what to wear, how you look, or how long it takes you to get ready. I usually wear my PJs until my lunch break, and THEN I’ll get dressed (meaning yoga pants and a tee-shirt). Most days….
- You can wake up 5 minutes before work and not be late. Sometimes less, depending on where your home office is set up. And whether or not you have dogs. I have to let my boogers out in the mañana, so I typically wake up 15 minutes or so before work.
- Unlimited access to fresh, healthy food. I tend to keep my pantry and fridge well stocked with lots of good-for-you goodies. It’s easy to prepare a quick snack like apple slices with almond butter or a simple salad. I also have a full hour to prepare pretty much anything I’d like for lunch! So much better than driving around looking for healthy options or having to plan and prepare my meals ahead of time, like I did when I worked in the city!
- Tea, all day long. This is a big one for me personally. Maybe you are more of a coffee connoisseur, either way, it’s nice to be able to prepare your favorite beverage at any given moment and have a fresh cup. Much better than microwaving some bottled water and waiting for a teabag to steep in the break room, like I did once upon a time.. 🙂
- Yoga in between calls without wandering eyes. I used to work in your average call center doing technical support. Tech support draws A LOT of nerdy guys. Nerdy guys don’t have much interaction with girls. This made my simple asanas seem like porn to some of these kids. I would have to hide in the dark corners of the office just to stretch out a bit. And when it’s your job to sit in front of a computer ALL DAY, you NEED to stretch! Working from home, I have the freedom to bend ass-backwards whenever I feel like it without the discomfort of peeping, geeky Toms.
- I get to enjoy my surroundings and have lunch in my own backyard. An hour lunch break seems so much more fulfilling when you get to enjoy it outside, in your own space. I like to go outside (when the weather permits), water my plants, and eat something fresh! You also have time to tidy up outside or in the house if need be! 🙂
- You get to spend the day with your animals! This is another HUGE one for me! Nothing makes me happier than walking to the bathroom and getting bombarded by my puppies! Kitty also likes to spend a large portion of her day in my lap while I am taking calls. There’s nothing better, and more relaxing to me, than being surrounded by my beloved pets!
- No boring cubicle! Same spot every day! This used to be an issue for me, and if you’ve ever worked in a call center, I’m sure you can relate. You found the PERFECT spot! It’s the only cubical that has partial window access. You sit there every day. Until that one day you walk in, and, BAM… Some asshole is in YOUR seat! So, naturally, you start to come to work a little earlier. But then HE starts to come to work even earlier.. You get my drift. LOL I know, it’s a petty little problem, just sit somewhere else, right? Yeah, yeah. Still, I thoroughly enjoy having my own workspace with notes, pictures, and drawings from my nephew on the walls. 🙂
- No contact with people means no germs means no getting sick! I haven’t been sick in ages. A lot of that has to do with my diet. However, another part goes to the fact that I have very limited contact with co-workers and other people that would normally pass on sick-germs. I also rarely deal with money (germs galore!) and I am only around my boyfriend and roommate most days.
- NO DRIVING!!!! When you work from home, your total commute is about 15 feet. Maybe. And I don’t know about you, but I am not the biggest fan of driving. I’ve had bad ‘car-ma’ in the past, and I am just way too anxious to handle a dangerous, death-trap on wheels! LOL So no commute and no driving for me is a god-send. Especially since reliability isn’t my car’s #1 area of expertise. Que Adam Sandler’s “I’ve got a piece of shit car…” 😉
Now that you’ve seen some of the best reasons to work from home, let me fill you in on some of the less thrilling… Con’s:
- You forgot how to dress because you wear yoga pants every day. Yup, it happens. I’ve totally forgotten how to best accessorize and match my clothes. Now, I stick to the same “going out” outfits and rarely wear anything but. I have closets full of clothes, yet, I always feel like I have nothing to wear!!!
- You don’t shower as often. It’s true. When you don’t have to leave the house, what is the point, really? Unless you smell awful, of course. However, sitting at a computer for 8 hours isn’t the most strenuous job in the world… So generally speaking, it takes a long while before I start to stink. 😉
- Sometimes you forget to brush your teeth, every day. Remember how I said I usually wake up with little time before having to log in to work? Yeah, that doesn’t leave much time for grooming in the morning. So that means, most days, I am too rushed to brush. Gross but true! I usually get to it around noon…. Bless my bf for still kissing me good-bye every morning!
- It’s super hard to wake up early! When you know that you can be logged in and ready to go in 2 minutes flat, it’s REALLY hard to get your butt outta bed in the AM. I’ve been trying to get out of bed an hour early for as long as I’ve been working at home, it seems. And for some reason, I still snooze until the very last minute. It’s annoying and I hate it!
- That feeling of dread when you have to go to your ‘work’ room. This has definitely happened to me a time or two. You hear the alarm go off and you think, “NOT AGAIN!!! I CANNOT DRAG MY ASS INTO THAT ROOM ANOTHER DAY!” But you do, because you get paid to. It’s not all bad. At least this slave job has been more decent than the last few….
- Other people (roommates especially) confuse ‘work at home’ with ‘homemaker.’ I work from home. What that means is instead of driving into town to sit in a cubicle all day, I get to sit at my own computer to work. I am ACTUALLY working. I am still taking calls, answering emails, and doing other work-related things while on the clock. I am basically attached to my computer for those 8 hours. Some people tend to forget this. They hear ‘work from home’ and think, “Oh, this chick works from home…She must have plenty of time to clean and take care of the house. She doesn’t really work.” Yes, yes I do. And washing your dirty dishes ISN’T on my list of job requirements.
- People think you don’t have a real job. While ‘work from home’ generally entails a phone/computer type position that WOULD require you to sit on your ass all day, again, it’s still a job. I am really working for 8 full hours a day with a one hour lunch break… Just like most other full-time positions.
- Sometimes it’s hard to keep work and personal stuff separated. I work on a laptop provided by my company. Right next to it, I have my home PC setup, on which I do my ‘personal’ stuff during the day (Facebook, Pinterest, Gmail, ect…). Most times, I would muuuuch rather be dealing with the screen on my left (the home PC), but there’s a call coming in on my right. Alas, I always go with the one that pays me… Though I can’t say I don’t get somewhat distracted at times… 😉
- No contact with co-workers, management, or people in general. While some people would probably praise the fact that they don’t have to meet face-to-face with their boss or deal with annoying co-workers, it’s something I rather miss. Working from home means all your contact is via a text-based instant message program or emails. Sometimes, there’s a group or personal phone call.. But those are very rare. Mostly, all contact is via the internet and makes you feel quite disconnected from reality. I’ve only met one person at my current company face-to-face and that was during our interview. My supervisor and all management are just faces on a website to me. It’s a bit disconcerting, however, I have a feeling that this is where most of these types of jobs are going.. And lastly…
- You become a hermit. Okay, maybe this one is just me? Still, I have a very hard time leaving my house these days. I pretty much only go out when I need groceries once a week, or on very special occasions and holidays. I know I should probably socialize more, but the fact is, I’m drained after the whirlwind of texts, emails, and phone calls with customers 8 hours a day for 5 days straight. I’m just not made for these types of jobs. Or maybe I just need to get out more.
So there you have it. Work from home jobs are not all the same, of course, and this is just my personal experience thus far. I have a feeling when I am working on my own business from home, things will be quite different. 😉
Until then….. Namaste for now!