Like millions of people around the world, I have successfully worked from home for many years – since 1998 to be exact. As a remote worker, I believe my efficiency, availability and output far exceeds the vast majority of traditional workers.
I’m not plagued by office politics, constant interruptions and distractions or a draining commute. What I am plagued by, however, is the condescending comments often made by those who have either never worked from home or worked from home unsuccessfully.
For me, the most offensive comment is that working from home is a “luxury.”
First, let’s take a look at the dictionary definition of this word courtesy of TheFreeDictionary.com:
As you can clearly see, working from home does not fit the definition of being a luxury in any way, shape or form. If by luxury you mean a perk, paleeze. A perk would be a gym membership or free beer.
Working from home is a location.
We still have desks, uncomfortable chairs, stare at computer screens all day and participate in all sorts of conference calls, webinars and meetings.
We’re not at home working from a backyard pool or Jacuzzi tub – or goofing off all day (at least not those of us with a strong work ethic and conscience).
Still think working from home is a luxury? Let me break it down for you some more:
The food isn’t that great.
While you’re enjoying a nice catered lunch courtesy of the company, I’m hoofing down two-day old lasagna-flavored Hamburger Helper while never disconnecting from the IM/chat service that keeps me connected to the outside world.
You’re in the company of others all day.
Whether to talk about a project, brainstorm ideas or just laugh about a joke, you have people around you. I work in isolation a good chunk of the time. The rest of the time my office bud is a 7-month-old who speaks babbleish. Ever try talking about the Panda algorithm change with someone who still poops their pants?
It does get lonely working from home.
I constantly struggle to prove myself and make sure that I’m “visible” from afar.
I don’t want anyone to EVER think that I’m taking advantage of being out of view or not getting shit done. I work – even in my sleep sometimes. You – the in-office worker – have comfort in knowing that you are there, in-person – visible to co-workers and, more importantly, your boss.
You’re in earshot of important company updates and pieces of info that lend incredible insight into where the company might be headed or what the future looks like for all of us.
I’m usually last to know or I find out by chance through the grapevine.
I have a hard time disconnecting or finding a good work/life balance because work is always right there in front of my face.
Unless you plan on doing an office overnighter, there is a strong probability that you get in at a reasonable hour and leave at a reasonable hour.
While you’re able to take part in company-wide (not exactly) outings and events during business hours, I’M STILL WORKING! I’m not riding the coaster at the nearest theme park or participating in a corporate softball game.
My fun only happens off-hours.
Working from home is not a luxury by definition.
It does have its advantages, but so does working in an office environment.
I’m thankful for being a remote worker (even though there is a certain stigma attached to it and many misconceptions, I consider it to be a privilege and the best of both worlds), but in the grand scheme of things, unless a company has only one location and all employees work from there, we are all remote employees.
Satellite offices are detached from corporate headquarters. Suppliers in one country fulfill orders for a company in another. Individual employees telecommute from their homes here, there and everywhere.
It’s a remote world.