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It’s safe to say that I have my dream job. If you’re new here, I started blogging full-time about 2.5 years ago. Before that, I was working 10-6:30 gig out in Northern Virginia — I was a marketing coordinator at a media group.
Back in the day, I only had a 10-mile commute to work, but since I lived in the D.C. area, my commute was somewhere between 1-1.5 hours long. I’d then hustle back into the city after work for blog events, and get home around 10 or 11 pm. Then, I’d work on my blog until 1 AM, go to sleep, and repeat everything all over again.
When I decided to take the plunge and blog full-time, one of the most appealing aspects of the new venture was the fact that I could work from anywhere. And let me tell you: that is one thing that I still struggle with until this day.
I’m thankful that my hour-long commute has been replaced with a short walk from my bed to my desk. However, my life has definitely changed since I’ve started working from home…and there are some definite cons associated with it. Here are a few reasons why working from home isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be!
My Social Anxiety Increased
Growing up, I was always a super outgoing person. The day I moved to the D.C. ‘burbs at the age of five, I jumped out of the car once we reached our new home and introduced myself to all the other kids in the neighborhood. I was quick to join a sorority in college and lived with 19 other girls in the house during my sophomore year. I nailed almost every single job interview I had. I used to host blogger meetups in the District to get people together. I was a social butterfly.
And then, I lived by myself and worked by myself. As time went on, I noticed my anxiety go through the roof whenever I was out and about in public. When I was working my old 9-5, I had to interact with people all day, every day. When I worked from home? I would go days without human interaction, and it took a toll on me mentally.
Now, I’m caught off guard when someone wants to “hop on a call.” I write all day long for the blog and social media, but when it comes to actually speaking to someone, I don’t feel that I’m as articulate as I used to be. Whenever I have work meetings, I find myself fidgeting when I’m meeting people IRL.
Despite all of this, I still feel in my element when I go to blog events, and when I’m around friends and family. However, I’m trying to put myself out there and take more calls, meet more folks in person, and get back to the bubbly, outgoing, confident woman that I used to be.
I Have No Routine
I’ve come really close to having a routine. Like, really, really close. Back when I was living in Philly, I would wake up, go to my personal trainer, get a smoothie, and then log on for the day. At around 5:30, I’d log off, and I’d either make dinner at home or meet up with friends for happy hour.
Nowadays, my life is very chaotic. I still log on my computer at some point between 8-6 PM to answer emails, write blog/social posts, send drafts to brands, etc. However, I’m only home about ten days/month since I travel blog. I had to say goodbye to a gym membership, and finding time to work out has been difficult. When I’m at home, I’m so focused on cleaning, laundry, unpacking and repacking, that its hard for me to get back into any routine. Sometimes I have to head into D.C. for meetings and events. Sometimes I photograph 4-5 campaigns in a single day. Sometimes I’m on a press trip in another state. No two days are ever the same!
While I love the fact that my job isn’t monotonous, not having a routine in place can be hard. I’m a bit envious of my friends who can wake up, commit to that 6 AM workout class daily, meal prep for the week, etc. They’ve always seemed a bit more balanced than I was!
It’s Hard to Make New Friends
Admittedly, I was depressed when I lived by myself and worked for myself in Philly. I felt very lonely and isolated. Even though I had a small group of friends, it was hard moving to a new city and not having a ton of social interaction from 9-5. After I moved back to Virginia and moved in with Tom, I’m still having the same issues. Since I don’t have co-workers, it’s challenging to make new friends.
I’ve been on some coffee and happy hour dates, but nothing’s ever really stuck. I tried Bumble BFF and honestly found it to be a bit forced/awkward. I’d join a rec sports team, but since I travel so much, it’s difficult for me to enroll in a local program and keep up with it. I’m still trying to figure out ways to meet new people, but so far I’ve had zero luck!
I’m Not As Active As I Used to Be
I thought that by eliminating my hour-long commute, that I would have a lot more time to be active. I was dead wrong.
When I was in the office, I lived for my breaks. I would get up and walk during my downtime: walk to chat with coworkers. Walk to get some fresh air outside. Walk around the building to jump on a quick call. Long story short, I wasn’t really “sitting down at a desk” for 8 hours a day.
Now that I work from home alone? Welp. I’ve done a horrible job at taking breaks and getting up and moving around! Admittedly, most of my breaks are spent playing around on social media or texting/calling my family and friends. Please don’t ask me how low my step count is!
Sometimes, I Don’t Stop Working
Even though I technically have an office in our apartment, I share that space with Tom. And often times, I find it to be a little cramped. We’re moving into a house in a couple of weeks, and I’ll finally have an office space for myself. But in the meantime, I’ve been working on the couch over the last few weeks.
Since I have no separation between my home and my office, I often find myself working from the minute I get up in the morning, until I go to sleep at night. As soon as I wake up, I roll over, grab my phone, and check my emails. I’ll keep answering messages during dinner, and even right before I go to bed.
One of my mid-year resolutions is to reduce my screen time, sleep with my phone in another room, and pause my email inbox so that I’m not tempted to work every second of the day!
Overall, I like working from home. Being able to make up your own schedule and eliminating a commute is incredible. However, the isolation of working from home is something that I admittedly haven’t gotten used to, and it has taken a toll on me mentally. I thought that my work/life balance would improve after I started blogging full-time, but it’s gotten worse over the past few years. There’s a lot that I need to work on to live the best quality of life possible!
Anyone else work from home? Drop a comment below and tell me what you love/hate about it!
Photos by Tom McGovern