Blog The Life Aquatic

The Year Without Pants; What It’s Really Like to Work From Home

05/17/2014

Working from home sounds ideal to some, but it’s not for everyone. Personal preference matters. For me it means control over my day, creative freedom, ability to multitask and take breaks as needed, and yes sometimes not wearing pants in the home office. No pants club! Stay Home club! photo source: stay home club However it also means working hard to maintain a productive schedule and proactive attitude as well as balance between work and life. ( Not that the two are mutually exclusive – in my case). Working primarily in media and communications, the lines often blur between the two. Most professional outings are social events with friends too!       This can be a bit of fun at times, but something that one needs to be mindful of. For me this means having the ability to step back from work related tasks or getting caught up in taking too much on at once.  It means consciously setting aside time to spend with friends, family and especially time to myself. Its important as a freelancer & entrepreneur to make sure that I’m taking care of myself in all regards so that I can work efficiently and maintain my composure.       For most there are disadvantages to working remotely. However, There are also many benefits! The primary changes are cultural. For me working out of the office allows me to take on projects without distraction. Even though I may not have the social benefits of the office, I also don’t have the frustration of the daily commute. I also find more time for inspired reads and developing my personal online presence. Recently I have had time to sign up for an in depth 40 session entrepreneurship 101 course through MaRS as well as an intro course to financial accounting. The time I’m able to set aside daily for these types of focus areas allows me to feed my interest in continuous learning as well as improve my professional experience and scope. The knowledge and skills that I acquire not only serve myself, but also clients that I work with directly. Not all remote work is the same, and it doesn’t necessarily mean working form home. Remote work is actually very common. About 1 in 5 works from home globally! Some work is easier, or harder to do remotley. Of course depending on the physical nature of the work it may be impossible. The more autonomy workers have, and the clearer the goals of the work are, the easier it is for remote workers to perform well. The powerful benefit of remote work is it empowers employees to find for themselves where and how to be most productive instead of presuming management knows best for every individual.   You may work mostly remotely without even realizing it! If you primarily work in email and web browsers, you’re nearly a remote worker. How much of your time is actually spent interacting with co-workers (without a computer)? Something to consider. Remote work isn’t so strange and unfamiliar! So wether your on your third latte crunching out figures for your small accounting business in the local Starbucks, making revisions on your newest clients website,  or blogging on the beach, learn to appreciate the small freedoms you’re blessed with today! If you’re not fortunate enough to have these opportunities, appreciate your work place culture and social aspects of the environment. Also next time you hear someone say “I’m working from home” don’t assume this means they are skiving off, or doing less work. Infact many entrepreneur types that “work from home” have developed ways to make your work and life easier! Think about that next time you’re using Facebook to connect with friends,  Linked in to search for your next job, your mac computer, or I don’t know.. watching netflix. Either way.. shouldn’t we support work environments that foster creativity and community? I think so!

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