Working from home. The dream, right?
No long drives to the office.
No early-morning wake-up calls.
No cubicle, no boss hovering over your shoulder, but definitely a cup of coffee in hand, sweatpants, no shoes, curled up in a blanket. Or, short of that, holed up in the corner of a cute little coffee shop with a laptop and some good tunes on repeat.
It can be a really good time.
My internship this semester is at a church in Chicago that does not yet have a permanent space; we meet in a banquet hall’s ballroom on Sundays and rent the space on Thursdays as well for music rehearsals. Other than that, we don’t really have a concrete location. I spend about half of my hours each week meeting with my boss at coffeeshops or setting up gear and running services at our rental space, but otherwise I’m quite on my own for a lot of the time.
I thought it couldn’t get any better. And some days, it can’t. I’m an ambivert – I am really fine with having a lot of alone time, but I need a pretty good amount of human interaction, too. That means that, on days when I’m on my own, I tend to make conversations with the strangers around me (usually kids or old people), just because I get some energy and joy that way. I also call and text my mom pretty often, and actually it’s getting to the point that I’m wondering if I’m becoming annoying (sorry Mom, I’m just alone a lot). I enjoy the alone time and I tend to work pretty well that way, but it can be hard to be alone all day while my roommate and friends are all usually in totally different parts of the city for nine or ten hours every day.
A major perk is that I have a ton of freedom to explore. I tend to ride the L around Chicago and find coffee shops to sit at and work pretty regularly so that I don’t end up getting stuck in my apartment. I love going to new places and finding unique spots to spend my time, especially during these early months of fall while it’s still pretty nice outside. It is fun for me not to be stuck in a white cubicle all day and to be able to learn about the city while experiencing it, all during work hours.
One of the hardest things for me about working from home is that I sometimes have a pretty hard time separating myself from my work. It’s not unusual for me to sit in my apartment on a Friday night feeling guilty for not working when I could be (or, sometimes, actually working to ensure that I get the number of hours that I need for the week). When you go to an office and come home at the end of the day, you can leave things there a little more easily, but when your apartment is half office, it can be a real challenge to separate work time from free time.
Working from home takes a lot of discipline and motivation (and coffee, if we’re being honest), but it also requires an ability to keep yourself on schedule and allow yourself the freedom to not be scheduled when your work hours end. It can be a hard balance, but it is an important part of today’s work force, and a huge part of my job.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think about working from home.
“Yet whenever your people turned and cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven. In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them many times!”