The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

A typical day for me looks like this: roll out of bed around 7:30 a.m., walk downstairs to grab breakfast and then walk back upstairs to my office where I proceed to work all day. You might be jealous that I get to spend my days working at home, but I'm telling you it's not all roses and sunshine. Don't get me wrong. From the first day I was allowed to work from home—about four years ago when I was working full-time for the fraternity and commuting one hour each way every day to do so—I felt so lucky. It's amazing that I was and still am trusted to get all my work done outside of the office ... and paid to do it the same as being in the office! Now that I'm working as a photographer, I feel lucky that I had that experience because being thrown into this working from home thing is a little bit jolting.

Just to give you an idea, here's my pro and con list:

Pros of working at home: You can work in your PJs You can go for a run in middle of the day or do dishes when you're slow There's so much more flexibility with your schedule You save on gas money (and maybe even on eating out) You have a lot more hours in your days (or at least I did once I took out that two-hour commute and getting ready in the morning!)

Cons of working at home: You're all alone alllll day It's hard to stay on track/be productive because of all the distractions It's hard to get away from work because your home is also your office You don't have much reason to get dolled up I don't make as many phone calls to friends because I don't have downtime in the car

I think the biggest things I struggle with are not being around people and keeping myself on track productivity wise.

Interacting with People: I am lucky enough to have awesome co-workers at the fraternity, each of whom I like. Yep. I like all of them. It's hard missing out on stuff and feeling like you're not always part of the team.

To counteract this, I try to schedule a couple coffee dates or outings at least two times a week. Plus, my goal for the new year and slow season is to get involved with a couple organizations that will introduce me to new people and get me out in the community at the same time (that's the benefit of working from home: I have a flexible schedule to be able to do this stuff!). I've learned that you have to be proactive in getting things on your calendar because it's really easy to just let days and weeks go by without seeing anyone (besides the hubby!).

Another goal for my slow season is to start getting in a habit of connecting with one friend/family member a day. That could be by phone, e-mail, hand-written card, etc., I just want to do a better job of keeping in touch with people and staying connected.

Staying productive: It is sooo easy to lounge in bed until 8:30 a.m. or be enticed by the TV when you don't want to work anymore (see, it's 1 p.m. and I'm just now getting my blog post up!), but I've learned that it just makes you feel worse when you get too relaxed with your schedule.

To counteract this, I schedule out every, single work day so I know that 1) I have goals for the day and 2) I have a purpose as the day goes on. This might seem a little extreme, but I tell you it works for me! I think it's the list-maker in me. :)

Working from Home

I schedule in everything, from work stuff to breaks to making sure I have time to relax. If it's written out, I do my best to make sure I'm staying on track.

And let me just say that breaks are uber important for me. If I sit at my computer for four hours straight and don't take a break, I'm waaaay less productive by the end of those four hours. But if I work for an hour and a half and then take 15 minutes to straighten up the living room, that time away from my computer helps me reset for the next hour an a half.

So tell me, if you're a work-at-homer (or worker-at-home?) what helps YOU stay on track and ready to seize each day??