I’ve been a proud remote worker since early 2020. First by force, with the pandemic onset, and then by choice when I took a role with a new company later that year.
I really love working from my home. I know some people who feel like I do and cannot imagine their work life any other way. I also know some people that absolutely lose their mind at the thought of it because they need to be in an office, or they need to be anywhere BUT home in order to work.
Despite my adoration of working from home, there are indeed some tradeoffs. Nothing so big that it makes me rethink my work situation, but notable enough I’ve had to instill new habits to ensure I am always feeling like my best self.
I live in the most adorable, miniaturized studio apartment, complete with tiny furniture that makes tall visitors feel like they are in an Alice and Wonderland scenario. It brings me joy, it brings me peace, and as a remote worker, it can also bring me cabin fever! To prevent cabin fever attacks, I try to get out every morning for a run or a walk, but some days that doesn’t happen. If I have too many of those “doesn’t happen” days in a row, I start to get all jittery and agitated with a cabin fever attack. To thwart an attack, I’ll make it a point to walk to the local convenience store a block and a half away to get a fountain soda just to physically feel some sun and fresh air. Plus, the lady who works there always addresses all customers as “baby” or “beautiful”, so I don’t mind that, either.
Working from home means that I no longer have unplanned moments of social interaction with coworkers. Gone are my days of hallway-passerby conversations, having a quick girl chat when you happen to be in the bathroom at the same time, or connecting with a coworker while walking out to your car at the end of the workday. I have to be intentional and thoughtful about social interaction, and even a little creative. Now I have good morning chats while I am getting ready for the day and a coworker is driving into the office, I have virtual lunch with others, and once a month I hop on an early morning virtual call with a coworker and we catch up while we are doing our makeup together. Still social, just more intentional.
This one really ticks me off. Let’s be clear: Yes, I am working. Remote workers are working. What makes you think we aren’t?! What is it about being physically present in an office building that some people make grandiose presumptions that you are actually productive whereas if you are working out of your home you are lazy? If you work from home and get this grief, you will understand why this one makes me growl like a pre-hissing cat. I am wildly productive working from my home and I love pushing myself in my own space. Presuming a remote worker is not working, sans evidence, is a reflection of an observer’s bias that needs to be checked at the door. End rant.
Anyone who knows me knows I love fashion and makeup and taking my sweet-girly time to really enjoy getting ready in the morning, all while enjoying the Today show. When you work from home it’s very easy to get lazy and sloppy with what you wear, and I started to notice that being lazy and sloppy was bringing me down. Hardcore. Fashion is my passion and I can’t neglect it, even when I am home alone and people only see me from the chest up. I’ve made an effort to be more playful with makeup and hair and outfits, as I feel like being home brings me a safety zone to play more like my own personal sandbox. I need to honor what brings me joy and dressing up for ME matters and makes me feel like my best self.
All in all, I love working from home. I am more productive in my own space, I avoid a commute, and I am my best self.
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
Megan Leasher is the Chief Solutions Strategist for Talent Plus, a global HR solutions firm whose mission is to leverage science to help people and organizations discover and develop talent, creating a world where people do what they are good at and enjoy. A member of the Forbes HR Council, Megan has been named as one of HR’s Rising Stars by Human Resource Executive Magazine and The 10 Most Influential Leaders in HR by Insights Success Magazine. Megan lives in northern Kentucky, where she loves coffee, bourbon, and Converse Chuck Taylors. Click here to follow Megan on LinkedIn.