When I received the approval to telecommute with my company, I read all the telecommuting blogs and spoke with several people who were in the same shoes. I felt completely prepared. I also had illusions of what I thought the experience would be like. Last week, I shared my favorite perks of telecommuting,and this week I want to share the many misconceptions I had about my own telecommuting experience. Eighteen months after making the transition, I’ve debunked a few of my own telecommuting myths. 1. Lean Mean Machine My first thought that popped in my head when I received approval was “I’m going to have so much time to work out and I’m going to look like Jessica Alba.” Wrong, I was very wrong. I was actually in better shape when I worked in an office because I had a set routine of going to the gym after my workday. Since I’d been at the office all day, I had no problem checking out at 6 PM to make it to my 6:30 Turbo Kick class. Of note, just because you work from home does not mean you have extra time during the day. It’s actually harder to break away from my computer at home and leave my house to run to the gym, even though I’m already dressed in gym clothes. It’s even challenging popping in a workout DVD in living room because I can’t make myself leave my desk. Telecommuters can fall into a dangerous trap of becoming vampires and once you get into that mode, any glimpse of sunshine will burn you alive. Hence, my struggle of making it to the gym or going for a run on the beautiful beach that’s at my doorstep. 2. Super Puppy Mom We got our first pup, Cannoli, to keep me company when I first started telecommuting. I was thrilled she didn’t have to be in a crate all day and I could do lots of puppy training. I assumed we would have no puppy accidents we’d get lots of exercise outside with long walks and trips to dog park, and she would be the best behaved dog in the world. All hopes of mine for sweet Cannoli, did not exactly pan out. Again, I’m glued to the computer 10-12 hours a day because of the hundreds of deadlines, juggling clients and long conference calls. I remember the horrible guilt I felt when I didn’t have the time to take Cannoli out for a bathroom break before I hopped on a long conference call and she had a bunch of accidents all over the house. I bawled my eyes out and considered hiring a puppy walker. I did eventually get a grip on reality, and even thought we had a puppy walker consultation, it did not fit into our budget. The parental guilt is real people, even for parents of puppies. Oh, and did I mention that Cannoli turned out to be one of the worst behaved dogs on the planet, but she is too darn cute!
3. Spick-and-Span House Now I try my hardest with this conquering this myth because if my house is messy, I have a really hard time focusing on my job during the day. I feel cloudy and lose my train of thought if clothes are everywhere and dirty dishes are in the sink. However, I envisioned that my house would be clean as a whistle because I’d be home all day and I’d have time to run the dishwasher while on a conference call, fold laundry while I had my lunch break and I could wipe down counters in between reports. Wrong again! I always slack on making the bed and if I do run the laundry, I’ll get distracted and forget about it. Wet clothes will sit in the washer for a week. My first fight with my husband when we moved into together was about how I left fresh clothes from the dryer in the hamper. I forgot to fold them because I got swept up in the workday and they became wrinkly. Now my husband is no Mr. Clean, but one of his pet peeves is wrinkled clothes. I was so upset I forgot to fold the clothes that I took out all my anger on my poor husband who simply asked me to leave clothes in the dryer if I don’t have time to fold right away. He now stays away from me when I’m in the laundry room out of terror. Overall, telecommuting is a great set-up and despite my deflated dreams listed above, it’s been really beneficial for me in my personal and professional life. However, I was definitely thrown for a loop on when I discovered my own remote working reality. I’m still figuring it out every day and I’m almost at the two-year mark so I’ll leave you with a meme to sum it all up. P.S. Follow my blog with Bloglovin