So you want to work from home? Or maybe just wondered what it's like? I didn't know I was going to be working from home until after I interviewed for my current position. I had no clue what that entailed, if I would have support, and if I would like it. All I knew is I told myself I never wanted to be restricted to the confines of a traditional office from 9-5, like I had done for the 3 previous summers. Going into my first job out of school working from home and traveling for projects was daunting, but I'm 7 months in and I think I've got it down. If you're interested in consulting, a lot of firms now have their consultants work from home when they aren't traveling (my arrangement). Friends and inquiring minds have asked me a lot of questions, so I wanted to write about what it's really like to work from home.
*Mind you, I am a single person with no kids and my experience working from home varies from those of others!*
What people think it's like:
- You can get away with not working at all
- You're alone
- There's no discipline/rules
- You don't get a lot of work
What it's really like:
- Sometimes you can find yourself working late hours because you don't have to commute and can't get away from the computer!
- There are colleagues, teammates, managers, and mentors all looking out for you who you talk to everyday!
- There is a clear expectation set about your availability and performance, although there is a certain flexibility associated with working from home
- I often work in my pajamas and from my couch
- I sit in just as many meetings, most of them just virtual
- Get a rhythm going and get comfortable with your working style and hours
- Go into the office (sometimes) if there is a local one available to you
- Make yourself visible to local coworkers
- Ask for help, guidance, and mentorship
- Take initiative in asking for more projects because if people can't see you they can't picture your workload!
- Work in the same place everyday, get really familiar with your local coffee shops!
- Skip hours of work. It will catch up to you.
- Work from home if you don't have good self-discipline (it's OK)
- Work too many hours. It's very possible to lose track of time.
If you're interested...
If you have other questions, feel free to shoot me an email!