Remote working is getting more and more popular all over the world. Working from the comfort of your own place has become the work arrangement of choice for employees and employers alike in a variety of industries. And with good reason. There are many perks involved for all parties.
Employees can work without the hassle of commuting to the workplace, without adhering to dress codes, and most importantly without being in the presence of their boss. For employers it boils down to simply cutting down on expenses to maintain a legally acceptable workplace and, in cases like hiring international freelancers, to avoid entirely the pesky thing called insurance obligations.
Simply put, it the best of both worlds. Working and not working that is. But although keeping your distance from people that you either hate or are bound to hate eventually will do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being, working at home poses unique challenges of its very own. Such as the fact that you probably work on quotas and you are the only guy responsible for keeping your goofing around the internet to a minimum. And that, my good lad, is hard. Ooo, did someone just like my Facebook update?
The moment you sit down in front of your computer wearing only your boxers, is the moment you cross that fine line separating work from personal life. You are done with the ritual of taking the bus and punching in the card that signals the beginning of your daily suffering. No more of that for you. Working hours and leisure time just kind of melt together in a steaming soup of dubious productivity. Unless of course you are one of those rare freelancer saints with wills of iron and nerves of steel, who can toil away for hours on end without clicking on that sick video of a cat head-banging to Judas Priest.
You see, horrible though it may be to drag yourself, half-asleep to a place where you work to make somebody else rich, it does enable you to clearly set boundaries between work and rest. With the exception of investment bankers. Those guys’ life sucks. When you are at home, you are in fact exposed to a whole different world of distractions and things that demand your attention. And since willpower is a finite resource, good luck concentrating on the spreadsheets while you hear your kid running up and down the stairs, closely followed by a loud thump at 10 in the morning. Shouldn’t you be at school, junior?
Separating your personal life from your work as a home-bound worker is tough at best. There are just too many variables involved that are not in your hands. Things are a bit better if you have a dedicated space at home that you can use as a work area, but even then, for everyone else in the house you are considered present and therefore available. So it doesn’t only depend on you to keep your mind on the job. Martha has to also understand that yours is a real job and that whether she looks good in that dress will have to wait.
Bottom line is, the border between the two is blurry and you may find yourself crossing it more often than not. Balance is not easily found and you may often end up working insane hours, due to poor time management. And over time these things add up to job fatigue. But you know what? At the end of the day, working in your underwear is totally worth it.