When an opportunity to work from home presented itself, I jumped on it. It seemed like a dream! Work from the comfort of my own house, doing a job I actually enjoy, while still getting to spend tons of time with my family. And it mostly is a dream. But, while there are lot of awesome things that come along with my five second commute to our spare bedroom, there’s a lot of not so awesome things I hadn’t really considered. As it turns out, there’s a lots of pros and unfortunately a few cons, of working from home. Especially when you’re working from a home WITH kids!
Pro: There’s no commute
As I said, it’s a non-existent commute. No time spent driving to work means more time to spend with my family before and after work. No rush to shower, get ready, shovel down some breakfast and get out the door, so I can sit in traffic.
Con: I tend to skip breakfast and go right to work
Sometimes I go straight from my bed to the computer. The commute is so convenient that I push aside my morning ritual and often don’t get to breakfast – or showering – until I’ve gotten a few hours of work in. Probably not the healthiest way to start the day.
Pro: My family is right outside my office door
It’s pretty cool that I get to eat lunch every day with my daughter, have a quick play with my dogs when I need a break, and as soon as I’m done for the day I’m already home with my family.
Con: So many distractions!
On the other hand, it’s really easy for lunch to turn into an afternoon spent watching cartoons, and a quick puppy play to turn into a long walk. Not to mention, knowing my family is right outside my office door makes it really easy to ditch work a little earlier than I should.
Pro: The dress code is whatever I want it to be
Setting my own dress code is a huge plus. Knowing I can go to work in pyjamas every once in a while is pretty great – provided I don’t have any Skype meetings scheduled that day ; )
Con: I pretty much live in stretchy pants
Yoga pants, sweat pants, and yup, I’m not ashamed to work in pj pants. It can be a little too tempting to dress comfortably 24/7. Sometimes I have to force myself to get crazy dressed up in a pair of jeans and a top that isn’t hooded.
Pro: My schedule is super flexible
I’m always able to make it to my daughter’s dance class, take her to the library for story time, and spend sunny afternoons at the park. When she’s old enough to go to school I’ll be there for every pick up and drop off.
Con: It’s tough to keep work and family life separate
It can be a struggle to keep regular hours and stay focused on tasks when I’m generally only working for a few hours at a time. And when I’m doing family things in the middle of a work day it’s hard to ignore the emails and alerts beeping at me from my phone. Work and family time have a tendency to blend together more than I’d like.
Pro: I get to see my daughter all the time!
The biggest pro for me, and the biggest reason I work from home is my amazing, adorable daughter. I get to hang out with for a big portion of every day. I love setting her up with colouring or playdough in our home office so we can “work” together. There’s also a big comfort knowing I’m just in the next room if she needs me.
Con: I get to see my daughter. All. The. Time.
My amazing, adorable daughter isn’t always so understanding that when Mom is in the office she’s in work mode. It’s not always that convenient to have her close by when I’m working. Her happy giggles and frustrated tears can often be overheard when I’m on an important work call, and I’m still recovering from the time she hit the power button on the computer while I was mid-assignment. Mini heart attack!
But no matter how many cons I keep discovering, there’s still enough pros to make working from home worth it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to head to the living room. I’m late for a tea party ; )