Has this ever happened to you? You’re in your office meeting with an important client when one of your buddies shows up with a six pack wanting hang out – for three hours. Of course it hasn’t! Unless, of course, you’re part of the small, coveted and highly misunderstood population of people who work from home. If you are, then the scenario I mentioned above is totally plausible and even quite common. You see, for some reason, we tend to perceive home-workers as, well… not really doing anything. I can’t tell you how many times my friends have asked me to go shopping with them in the middle of the day, and then when I tell them I’m working, they seem utterly baffled. “But you work at home, right?” True, sometimes (and by sometimes I mean pretty much everyday), we start our workdays in our pajamas with bedhead we wouldn’t be caught dead outside with, but that doesn’t mean we’re not just as busy if not busier than people who actually have to commute to work.
I thought I was alone in feeling very misunderstood by my friends about what my job entails, but the other day, one of the other editors on my team asked me (over AIM, which is how we communicate because she’s in Buenos Aires and I’m in Queens) “Do people understand what you do for your job?” We got to talking and decided that someone should clear the air about what us seemingly good for nothing work-at-homers are really doing. So if you’re interested in working at home yourself or you just need something to kill time while you’re being unproductive at work, read on for 10 things you should know about people who work from home.
1. Studies show we’re actually more productive even though we’re still in our beds. Mindf@ck, right?
According to Business News Daily and CBS Boston, studies have found that people who work from home are actually getting more work done than those who commute. While there are many outside factors for this, and the suspect nature of the fact that one of the studies had employees rate themselves on how productive they were being while working at home (who decided that was going to be accurate?), I agree wholeheartedly with this finding. The time I save on getting ready for work and what my commute would be alone gives me more than 2 hours to just get right down to business.
2. We’re not at the beach (most of the time).
If you have the ability to work from home, you pretty much have the ability to work from anywhere that has an internet connection. I’ve tapped away on my laptop everywhere from an internet cafe in Frankfurt to the back of a Honda to the middle of bachelorette party in the Hamptons (shoutout to So Young!), but – and my friends who were present will tell you the same – I always take my job seriously and don’t take shirking my responsibilities lightly since I know people are counting on me to get sh!t done.
3. We’ve fed our kids, wiped a counter and, in truly dire situations, even peed while doing business with you.
The down and dirty truth about those of us who work from home is that there are distractions just like there would be at the office – and sometimes that means we are in the bathroom while we’re doing our spreadsheets. But that kind of just backs up point #1 I made above.