Working from home provides all kinds of freedom and may not seem like it would provide much embarrassment. However, there are some things that can happen to cause embarrassment and some freelancers have admitted to some very odd things. While you may get to set your own hours and have full control of your schedule, there are some things you should be aware of.
The reality of working out of your home is full of potential mishaps, anecdotes and other oddities. Here are some of the awkward moments you might face if you work from home.
Scatterbrained is a Way of Life
Maybe not the worst to make the list, but working from home will probably make you a bit scatterbrained. When your kids are in the next room and they don’t understand that you are “at” work, it can become a bit difficult. Imagine a three-year-old barging into your office or crying and your instinct kicks in.
There isn’t much separation between home and work, which makes it easy to become scatterbrained. Sometimes, you may get up right in the middle of a chat session with a client due to something distracting and come back to a number of messages wondering where you went. Other times, you may sit down to do some work and realize you forgot what you were going to do.
There are so many things that can happen and you have a family, along with a business to manage. This can make anybody scatterbrained and it will most likely just become a way of life leading to many embarrassing moments.
Showering Becomes Hard to Remember
While you may shower daily before you head off to work, when you work from home showering is something you do, yet forget you did. Often the days run together a bit and you might wonder, did I shower today?
Some developers and other freelancers have admitted to using the “pit sniff” test as a way to figure out if they need a shower. Others have admitted to getting down the road for a night out or a shopping trip unsure if they actually showered or put on deodorant before they left the house.
Pizza and Chinese Delivery Services Know your First Name
You might think working from home comes with the ability to easily prepare meals at home. However, this isn’t always the case. After all preparing home-cooked meals can take quite a bit of time. It’s much easier to order a pizza or some Chinese food.
Many freelancers have admitted to using food delivery services for many meals every week. This leads to delivery people knowing your name and potentially your order. One freelancer admitted that when she ran to a fast food restaurant found about two minutes from her home, the drive thru individual knew her name by her order.
Clients May Spot you in your PJs
Working from home has been advertised as working in your pajamas and this happens more often than not. Sooner or later, you may just take a video conference and get spotted in your PJs. Maybe you dressed up from the waist up, but you still have those PJ pants on. This could get caught on camera and provide some interesting and embarrassing conversation.
Social Skills go from Great to Nonexistent
Admittedly, this one has had an effect on yours truly. I went from working as a server in restaurants to working full time from home and slowly, but surely, my social skills have taken a serious nosedive.
Since social situations are not nearly as common for those working from home, they are often out of practice. Some freelancers will walk into a gas station when they get gas just for the social interaction. I know I often choose to avoid self-checkout lanes because I enjoy actually talking to another human being when I go shopping.
Working from home can be very isolating if you don’t make it a point to become social in other ways. Many people get their social interaction at work and with people from work. This won’t be as easy when you work from home.
Schedules and Meal Times Might Become Very Strange and Inconsistent
You don’t have a 9-to-5 schedule and the line between work and home is very blurry. This can often lead to strange meal times and a bit wonky schedule, especially if you don’t have children or a spouse with a 9-to-5.
You might start to default to a second shift or even a third shift type of schedule with breakfast at the normal time people eat lunch. Often, freelancers will rationalize their odd schedule and meal times by believing that as long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter what time they wake up, work, eat and sleep.
You Dread Conference Calls
Those not in the freelance world don’t get it and conference calls become a bit of a hassle. They seem like a great idea to your clients, but you may have a pure hatred for the phone. Sometimes, you may even chicken out of a meeting if the client didn’t specify they were going to call you because you don’t want to be the one to make the call.
It gets even worse if the conference call is with a group of people sitting next to each other and you are on speaker phone with them. It becomes hard to hear and understand them, which can get awkward when you repeatedly have to ask for the client to repeat what they say.
Boundaries are Broken Often
Not all clients, but some, will have no idea what boundaries are. They will email and call at all hours and Sundays off don’t exist to them. Some may even show up at your house, which can be even worse.
You have to set boundaries with clients and that may mean not answering emails or phone calls on days off. This one is on you if you don’t set good boundaries, but inevitably, there will be clients that think you should be available 24/7.
The work at home lifestyle isn’t for everybody and many of the oddities and embarrassing things may have you second guessing your decision to work from home. However, it comes with many rewards and if you can balance it out by dressing for work (sometimes), setting solid boundaries with clients and family, sticking to some type of routine and finding a way to socialize outside of your home, you may just love the freedom it provides.