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Working from Home: The Good

Now that I work from home, I’m constantly getting asked what the best and worst aspects are!  I decided to dedicate two full articles to the subject.  This week’s post focuses on the good.

Working from Home

Working from Home

The Top 10 BEST Things About Working from Home

  1. Our cat isn’t suffering from separation anxiety anymore.  From October-December of 2010, my guy and I were working outside our home…and it drove our cat absolutely insane.  Now that we’re home for most of the hours in the day, even if we head out, he no longer panics thinking we’re never coming back.  For those of you with “real” (human) children, staying at home will give you more time with them too!

  2. No more driving/riding/taking the bus/walking to work!  We’ve saved so very much on gasoline.  And it saves time!  (No more accounting for “travel time”)

  3. No more annoying co-workers. As shown in my illustration above, my main co-worker is our cat.  And my favorite person (my guy).  Except on weekends when my roomies are home all day, I no longer have to deal with someone in the cube next to mine cranking up their music (which was always, without fail, decidedly not my taste).  No more office parties.  No more office politics.  I’m free.  Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  4. Flexible work hours.  I decide what to do and when.  I have regular hours for my job at WTR, but they were hours I chose for myself.  And I choose when and how to do my side projects.  I’m also the primary cook for my lil family and the one in charge of scooping the cat’s litter box.  Plus there’s always cleaning, bill paying, socializing, and grocery shopping to do!  It all has to be fit into the day somehow, and I’m the one who gets to decide how.

  5. I get to wear what I want.  No more suits, disgustingly bright polyester t-shirts (Del Taco, I’m talking to you), or uniforms in general…  If I want to dress up, I dress up; if I don’t, I don’t.  It’s wonderful.  If I’m feeling ill and all I want to wear is my comfiest p-jams, I can.  (Yes, unless I’m running a super high fever, I still work when I’m sick—I’m just that hardcore)

  6. I can get new equipment when I want/need it.  Raise your hand if you’re at a job where you have to report to the hierarchy whenever you need new office supplies!  Been there, done that.  If I need more pens, a stapler, or a new laptop—I go out and get it.  No more waiting around for someone, somewhere, deep in the bowels of an office building, to remember that “Oh yeah…Lauren asked for a new computer mouse about 2 weeks ago…”  (That darn thing was broken and the job ended before I ever got a new one!)

  7. I eat better.  Now that I’m at home, I get to cook all of my own meals.  Which, as we all know, are much healthier than going out to Jack in the Box or living off of whatever you can microwave in the office break room.

  8. I get to listen to the music I want to listen to.  At my last job, my co-worker was more than happy to “share” her music—which I hated.  I love listening to music: It puts me in a better mood, thereby increasing my productivity, and it helps me to stay focused.  But that only works if it’s music I like.  Now that I’m home, I get to listen to my own tunes.  But I still use headphones.  Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you get a free pass to be rude!

  9. All the gold stars go to me!  Ever had a co-worker take credit for your job well done?  I have and it really “grinded my gears.”  Now that I’m the only one doing the work, I’m the only one who gets the credit.  And if my work is good, I’m the one who gets the praise.

  10. Variety.  If you’re a writer (like I am) or a designer or an artist or any number of other jobs…  Your clients and projects are constantly changing.  And you get to go on all these adventures from the comfort of your own home! The idea that “you don’t have to deal with customers!” is a myth. My clients are customers. The only difference is, I don’t have to deal with them in person anymore. And that is very, very nice.

Tune in next Wednesday for my list of the worst parts of working from home!

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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Freelancers and the Importance of Socializing

Socializing with “normal” friends can help ebb eccentric tendencies and keep you from alienating your clients.

I own that outfit in real life

A completely accurate portrayal of what I look like when left up to my own devices

 The Anti-Social Freelancer

Most freelancers, especially freelance writers, work from home.  They pick their own clients and plan their own schedules.  Unfortunately, many of us forget to schedule a little “free time” into our dayplanners, leaving us anti-social and isolated.  (Or, if you’re like I am, being alone for long lengths of time can lead you to start humoring your more eccentric personality traits).

The Problem with Isolation

Isolation might not bother you.  In fact, many of us enjoy being alone on our days off.  However, the problem with complete and total reclusiveness from your fellow humans is this: Your detachment will start to affect your work.

Think of it this way:

  1. Your clients are probably humans/people.
  2. If you have no contact with humans/people other than yourself, you probably can’t relate to humans/people (or at least can’t in a way that’s considered “normal”)
  3. If you can’t relate to humans/people, you can’t relate to your clients.
  4. If you can’t relate to your clients, they won’t hire/pay you!

Oh noes!!

Keeping in Touch: What Can Help

I’m not saying that you have to start partying or even that you have to go out and physically see your friends every week.  There are lots of ways to stay “in touch” with the human race…

  • E-mail.  Making an effort to e-mail a friend (or friends) each week—particularly one who’s on the “outside”—can help to keep you feeling “connected.”
  • Phone.  Same thing as e-mail, but with more talk-y and less write-y.
  • Watch TV.  No, they aren’t “real” people (I’m not telling you to start thinking of Quinn Fabray as your girlfriend and Barney Stinson as your best friend), but real people are watching these shows: By watching—or at least knowing about—what’s on television, you start to absorb the lexicon (most of humanity’s common “slang” originates from the media) and get to know what people are talking about around the proverbial water cooler.
  • Know the News.  One of the first “tip offs” that you’re “out of touch” is when you don’t know the news.  For instance, if I had made a comment like “If we ever catch Osama Bin Laden…” after the events of May 1, 2011, I’d certainly get more than a few funny looks.
  • Get Out of the House.  People are EVERYWHERE.  No matter where you go, you’re bound to run into someone.  Even a simple “How are you today?” exchange with the bag clerk at the grocery store can give you some much-needed human contact.
  • Hang Out with Friends!  Hey, sometimes the classics just can’t be beat!
 
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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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