I’ve had 3 different people ask me about working from home this week alone. Two of which were neighbors wondering how it is that I can be heading off for a hike at 8 am most mornings. “So what exactly do you do?” “How do you ever get any work done?” “What is it like?” “Do you get lonely?” I never realized so many people had so many questions about WFH life.
As some of you know but most probably do not, I work for a social agency called McBeard, which is a Fullscreen company. (More specifically, I must say we are one of the best social agencies on record! We were named in AdAge’s top 50 agencies this year. ❤ ) McB has offices in LA, Atlanta and NYC with various clients across entertainment, consumer products and brands. But, what makes us different than most agencies is all employees are hired into a “remote first” policy. I was SUPER psyched about the opportunity to be remote first when I was started at McBeard, but I could see how some people (and let’s face it, most companies) are not in favor of working remotely. And I guess other people just have a lot of questions. So, what’s it really like anyways? Here are four things I’ve learned/discovered/realized/proven/dis-proven with my to-date time working from home!
1. “What do you even do?”
Work. A lot. I am no longer surprised when I sit down to my computer at 9am and essentially don’t get up until 6pmish. I mean I totally take breaks to make food, put my laundry in, etc., but I really truly am productive as heck working at home. I know what you’re thinkg…”but like how can you work with your bed right there?” Not going to lie, there have been a few days where I worked wrapped up in blankets in bed for a majority of the day. (It was a long winter guys!!) But, for the most part I sit at the cute little desk corner I’ve created in my room like a real person.
It’s also great to see how much time you keep in your day when you aren’t running from meeting to meeting every 30 minutes to an hour. I don’t know about you, but I found myself going through the following once or twice a day, easily: 15 minutes until my next meeting, I should prep/head over soon. Five minutes into the meeting – wait around the table awkwardly chatting while we wait for the last remaining attendees. The hour-long meeting-that-could-more-or-less-bern-condensed-into-20-minutes is finally over. 15 minutes later you’ve finally mozied back to your desk and are getting back to whatever you were doing. What was I doing again? *Checks to-do list, puts on playlist, etc. etc*. Quite a process, huh? It sounds funny, but most people I work with will work from home on days they really really have to get stuff done, whereas they expect/plan around the constant distractions when they will be in the office. Sound counter intuitive to me to make everyone work in an office everyday, but that’s just me.
2. Friend: “Hey, I’ll be in town Tuesday, let’s go for a hike and then the beach!”
Okay, so, after reading the above you hopefully realize, I HAVE A REAL JOB. I don’t just run around doing whatever whenever on any and every day. I have meetings, and deliverables, and deadlines to hit to keep my campaign moving forward so I need to be on/near a computer most of the time. Just like all of you. Sorry if that was a surprise. 🙂
3. “But aren’t you lonely?”
Nope. Not a day goes by without having to jumping into a Google Hangout for a meeting (and because I’m sure you were wondering, none of us “get ready” for work. It’s amazing.) We also use Slack, an instant messaging platform that has “chat room” like capabilities. (Highly recommend!) so I’m always in contact with people. By default I’m usually talking to my team or the designers about the latest projects, but we also have chat rooms for the #McBookClub, Happiness Habits, News of Note and more. We also have company-wide and team-wide team days every quarter which is a great time to see everyone IRL. Not only is being together in person great for collaboration and sharing leanings from our campaigns, but it is much more fun because it doesn’t happen all the time! (And because there is lots of food.)
I could see how some people need that constant interaction/guidance in an office setting, but those are also the people you avoid in the hall so you don’t get sucked into a 20 minute conversation you don’t care about. And they probbbbably aren’t that great at their job. Needless to say, it’s pretty dang great working from home being someone who only likes people half the time. Kidding 😉 Plus, BONUS – since I’m home most days I’ve gotten to start fostering dogs for the local rescue, so I always have a furry friend to talk to!
4. “Do you miss going into an office everyday?”
Lol, NO. I save so much money on gas and am cutting down on my carbon footprint!! I get an hour in the morning and the evening back that I would otherwise spend commuting. It is absolutely amazing to get to sleep until a reasonable time (I don’t even set an alarm…) AND get to knock my workout out all before 9am. I don’t have to wear real people clothes, or shoes, or makeup. You really don’t want to know what my hair looks like most of the days. I get to cook whatever I want for breakfast and lunch – no more last-minute morning meal prepping or giving in to eating out because I’m lazy. Now that the weather is warm, I can work out in the back yard while simultaneously getting my vitamin D for the day. The list could go on but, you get the gist.
Annnnnd, that’s all I’ve got for you. I’m sorry if you hate me after reading this, but I just thought I should put on paper some of the “mysteries” behind my WFH life. Yes, I’m here to help brainstorm strategies to convince your boss/company to start allowing you to work remote more often. I have no clue why it is not as popular, but I do have faith that it will catch on in the next 5 years. I hope so for my sake – if we’re being honest, I’m not certain I could ever transition back to going into an office every day after living like this!