PRO: I've got a fantastic commute.At my last office job, I worked in Chelsea all the way over on 11th avenue. Every day, I would walk several avenue blocks from the subway, way past the Highline, with the wind off of the Hudson River whipping my face until it felt positively raw. For those of you who are non-New Yorkers, just know this: it was a far walk, and it was no secret that I hated it. Now I take about twenty steps from my bed in the morning, and I am literally in my office. It never gets old.
CON: I have to be intentional about being active.When I first moved to NYC, it felt relatively easy to stay in shape. Again, my commute was substantial and I was always running around at work, so I got a lot of exercise without even thinking about it. Working from home, though, is a totally different animal. I could easily turn into a lifeless pile of mush if I stopped being deliberate about keeping my body moving. Considering I run a blog called Avoiding Atrophy, I feel like that would be a bad idea.
PRO: I don't have to deal with awkward office culture.One thing you need to know about me: I hate small talk. So much. I genuinely wish it was socially acceptable to ask, "Oh hey, what's your deepest, darkest secret?" within minutes of meeting someone, but alas, it's not. And as everyone knows, offices are a hotbed for all of the worst kinds of small talk: conversations about the weather, the slowness of the Keurig machine, the malfunctioning air conditioning, what you majored in, how your weekend was -- BLUH! That is like my personal hell. I do not miss these superficial encounters even a little bit.
CON: It can be isolating.Okay, maybe sometimes I miss those superficial encounters, actually. As an introvert, I often revel in being by myself. Seriously, whenever I think of my "happy place", I always picture me sitting alone by a window just writing in my journal and eating a crepe (is that weird?). But even with my aggressive form of introversion, there are times where I crave human interaction during my work day. It's this realization that led me to make "collaboration" my word of the year. Working from home doesn't have to mean working in a vacuum.
PRO: I can work anywhere.So yes, working from home is one way to describe what I do, but I actually spend a good deal of my time away from my apartment. Usually, you can find me at a coffee shop, fighting off the urge to buy a second butter scone as I write the next great American novel. JK, I write emails, but still, I enjoy changing up my workspace and exploring NYC through these unique venues. I'm lucky to live near some of the best coffee shops in the city. Maybe I'm biased, but whatevs.
CON: Working in coffee shops can get expensive.While the idea of writing at a coffee shop has a sort of romantic appeal, it can also get expensive. Sure, there are libraries and other spots to work that don't require the purchase of a latte, but honestly...I just like working at coffee shops. If that means that I pay $3 a day to do so, then so be it. But yeah, I know that it's a little ridiculous, but just like...shut up, okay?
PRO: I can set my own schedule.This is by far my favorite part about working from home. I am the type of person who gets really drained by the typical 9 - 5 work schedule, so I feel fortunate to be able to craft my own timeline for the day. I get asked about my daily routine A LOT, and I'll definitely write a post about that in the future, but honestly, it changes all the time. There are consistent creative spikes in my day where I am able to be far more productive. Usually 4 - 10 PM is a good time for me to be doing my actual writing, while the fragile morning hours are better suited for answering emails, doing research, and drinking warm lemon water because, believe it or not, I actually do make some good choices every now and then.
CON: It can be difficult to set boundaries between work and family.Since my husband is usually done with his work day at 6 PM, it's kind of unfortunate that I tend to be in my creative zone just as he's getting home. In general, since my home and my workplace are the same space, it can be really tough to know when it's time to stop. Any time could be work time. Any time could be play time. So when I'm working, I'm dreaming about play, and when I'm playing, I'm stressing about work. I'll get better about it, I promise. Or I won't, and I'll just live the rest of my life with this mildly sick feeling in my stomach. It's manageable though.
PRO: My cat is my coworker.I mean, look at this guy!
CON: My cat is my coworker.I mean, look at this guy...
What are some pros and cons about your work environment?