1. Showering for Meetings
Obviously, you have to shower (or at least brush your hair and put on a clean top) for video calls, but if you’re anything like me, you have to get ready and change out of your PJ’s for any phone meetings. Bumming around in the same clothes you wore to bed with coffee breath doesn’t let you to take yourself seriously, which means that you won’t be at your best for calls. But hey, the up-side is that you can leave the house afterward without shame. (Except… you probably won’t.)
2. Running Errands for Human Interaction
Sometimes you don’t leave the house for days because you just don’t have any reason to do so (especially in the winter when the weather may make driving difficult). Sometimes you decide to run errands just to get some fresh air and put yourself into situations where you can talk to people. The bank teller, the cashier at the grocery store, the barista, any of these people are prime candidates to help you break your hermit status.
3. Dealing with People Who Aren’t Working
At the office, everyone around you is there to work as well. At home, though, you may find yourself surrounded by people who aren’t working – children, roommates, neighbors, etc. These people often seem determined to keep you from working, and overcoming their ruckus to get anything done is a skill that’s basically Linkedin-worthy.
4. Being Surrounded by Distractions
As if the kids and everyone else around you don’t provide enough of a distraction, there’s also the constant view of everything in your life that needs doing. You must learn to ignore the pile of laundry or pet hair covered floor and just focus on what you’re getting paid to do. The trick is to avoid feeling like a failure at the end of the day when your personal to-do list is untouched if you made some progress on your professional to-do list.
5. The Temptation of Sounds
Some of the distractions around you are actually really wonderful – the sound of birds chirping or a cool breeze rustling leaves. These sounds try to temp you away from your work by enticing you with a walk or a bike ride. And while there’s nothing wrong with taking a break from time to time, it takes deliberate effort when the weather is nice to stay working. Hellooo headphones!
6. Gaining “Work Weight”
At the office, people will judge you if you heat up pasta carbonara for breakfast or eat a whole box of cookies while finishing up a project, but your home tells no secrets. This is why it’s so easy to end up feeling run down and gain weight. Don’t put on the “work from home 15” – invest in some healthy snacks… or perhaps apply a difficult to remove child safety lock on your fridge.
7. Working Out on The Clock
Depending on what you’re working on, you can sometimes multi-task in surprising ways. People do all sorts of crazy things while on calls or answering emails – go to the bathroom, cook, play video games, and yes, even work out. Back in the day, I used to ride an exercise bike every morning while plowing through emails that I had received overnight. Hey, you have to balance out all those cookies somehow!
8. Forgetting to Stop Working
The telltale sign of working from home is working around the clock. For example, it’s 10:47pm right now. Would I ever stay this late when I had a cube in an office? Nope! But working from home blurs the lines between personal and professional, which means that you’re really married to your work day and night.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!