Working from home seems like it's the greatest, right? Sure, it's nice having a commute that you can measure in steps instead of miles. And no one can deny there are definitely benefits to escaping the corporate cubical. But still, there are enough misconceptions about the growing remote workforce, that it seemed worthwhile to dispel a few of the most common.
Here are five of the biggest myths about working from home, and the reality:
You Can Work in Your Pajamas
While it's true that when you work from home, business casual takes on a whole new meaning, the reality is that working in your pajamas is a pretty bad idea for a few reasons. First, just because you work from home doesn't mean you never interact with other people. In fact, I work from home, but I still have an average of five face-to-face meetings (via video) every day. My team would be a bit surprised if their boss showed up in pajamas.
Besides, there's also a psychological effect that comes into play. If you're working, dress for work. Sure, be comfortable, but act the part. Get up, take a shower, and get dressed. You know, all the things you'd do if you had to leave your house and go to the office. It will actually make you more productive and professional.
You Work Whenever You Want
If you work from home, you definitely have more flexibility in your schedule, but chances are you still work with a team that also has a schedule. That means that you still have a calendar with meetings and phone calls. Even if you don't have meetings, you still have deadlines. You still communicate with other people working on your team, which means that having "normal working hours," helps keep everyone moving forward together.
Even if you work for yourself, there's a pretty good chance you have, you know, customers. And if you do, there's a good chance they have schedules too.
It's Easier to Manage Work-Life Balance
If you work in an office, you don't always have the freedom to drop everything to take care of family "stuff." For example, if you have to be in the office by a certain time, it gets complicated when your kids have a snow day, or even just a late start. It's also hard to sneak out early if you have family commitments. Working from home is great though, because you can always be available for family whenever they need you. Which is awesome...right?
Oh yeah, it's awesome--except for the part where you still have actual work to do. Which means that while it might seem easier to keep in touch with the things your family needs from you, when you work in your office, no one walks over to your desk and asks you to make them lunch. No one knocks on your office door because they need you to take the dog out. Boundaries are definitely harder to maintain when rather than worrying about taking work home with you, work is literally always home with you
The Work Is Easier
Working from home lends itself to a different type of work than you might do in an office or other workplace. Often that means you aren't likely to be installing carpet or repairing HVAC systems. In that sense, sure, working from home is less physically demanding.
But just because someone isn't sitting in an office doesn't mean he or she isn't doing real work. Not only that, but working from home frequently means you're responsible for creating your own workspace, providing your own technology and resources, and creating your own boundaries.
Working From Home Isn't an Option Where I Work
This might be the biggest myth of all, especially now that so many companies are coming to the realization that allowing employees the freedom to work from home has real benefits. If you're under the impression that you don't have the option to work from home, it's worth having a conversation about whether it might a viable arrangement for both you and your employer.