Let me be honest and tell you that I'm suffering from 'screen overload'.
And on top of that - 'messy desk syndrome'.
One of the reasons for these is because I work from home.
Often when I mention this to people they comment like this "oh isn't that wonderful", "how lucky are you", "isn't that just the life" and other statements that lean towards thinking that it is the ideal work situation.
Well today, I'm here to tell you what its really like.
Its not fun
Its not enjoyable
Its not sociable
Its not easy
Its not convenient
Its not wonderful
Its not 'the life'
Its not ideal
Working from home is hard...
and takes effort...
and requires A LOT of motivation.
I travel to our office once a week where I interact with the most amazing bunch of work colleagues anyone could ever hope for - I feel priviledged to call them "friends". And I also have the most amazing boss!
Whilst in the office I have appointments with clients and finalise details of what I've worked on showing any issues to my boss.
I then pack up piles of clients information and files and make several trips to and from my car to transport them home.
REALITY NUMBER ONE: Transporting files is a lot harder than leaving them at work!
Have you ever thought about how it would be if once you arrived at work you needed to make about 4 trips to and from the car to get everything sorted? I don't even do that many trips when I do our grocery shopping and parking in the garage is a lot closer to the kitchen than the parking spot that I often find at work!
Once home I then move all the files into my office.
REALITY NUMBER TWO: Work comes into the 'home'.
I know its often mentioned how healthy it is to keep these two separate - but for some of us, that's not possible.
I have one desk. Work and home have to share.
Thankfully its a large desk.
I have added more shelves underneath so that on non-work days I can put files away so they aren't sitting on my desk, sometimes they don't all fit though so they sit on my desk anyway!
So when people talk about walking away from work - that also means for me sometimes I just don't want to sit in my office doing things that are 'home' things because work is still there!
Contrary to popular belief, on work days I don't get to run in and out of the house catching up on washing, or doing the dishes that I wasn't feeling up to last night.
Guess what, I actually work! Huh - funny that!
No I don't spend my time in the kitchen baking cakes & sauces & spread, even though that is much rather what I'd like to do!
I actually sit at my desk and work.
REALITY NUMBER THREE: Some days I spend the entire time sitting at my desk.
Yep, so next time you're in the office and you enjoy stretching your legs as you walk across the floor to give someone a phone message --> appreciate it. There's no-one to walk to here!
I have learned to make the most of lunch breaks, not just sit in-front-of-your-screen lunch breaks --> real lunch breaks. I love a sunny day to sit outside and appreciate the space.
Its hard to sit here and not have anyone to run random questions by, to discuss the latest news with, to show off your new shoes to, to comment on the client's work that you just "don't get". All of which I thoroughly enjoy on my day in the office!
REALITY NUMBER FOUR: Sometimes I don't see an adult other than my husband for days at a time.
And for someone who is quite the social butterfly let me assure you THAT IS HARD! And realllllllllllllllly depressing.
I have learned the importance of social interactions and as such my daughter now catches the bus to and from school so that at least I can see a few mum's up the road each morning and afternoon!
REALITY NUMBER FIVE: There is no down time between work and home.
The down time between work and home is quite relaxing. I realise now how much the travel time home from work really calms us! By the time we're home we often forget the work hassles of the day! When working from home there is no break between work and home.
Today's post was inspired by a teary moment in my 'lunch break' when it was all too hard & I just wanted to be able to work back in our office.
And yet I must not forget the positives that come from working at home:
Despite rainy days being lousy for a lunch break - it means that I get the privilege of having my kitty on my desk all day.
Sometimes I'm even blessed with this on sunny days too!
I also appreciate having use of our oven and stove at home because that means whatever I want for lunch I can pretty much have. I love a warm home-made lunch on cold days!
And despite all my frustrations the biggest positive is that I can still be a 'mum' to my daughter. I don't want her spending her afternoons in child-care and me not being a part of her life. I honestly believe that after school time is such a valuable time to connect with what's happening in her world.
....And so for that reason, and that reason only..... I have my cry & then I plough on. I close all distractions and get back to work knowing that I value both my job & my daughter!
So next time you hear "working from home" mentioned - instead of rushing in with the lucky/easy comments, take a minute to think - perhaps it isn't that easy. Tell them you've heard that it can be hard & ask them how they find it! Perhaps they don't find it so enjoyable either!!!