+44 7879 440170 helen@unlikelygenius.com

Working from home is great. It’s everyone’s dream, right? To sit at home in your PJs all day, slacking off with biscuits and Netflix.

Ha!

Whilst the reality is wildly different to that, and I am working more hours than ever, there are indeed some wonderful things about remote working. But also some very random side effects and things I miss.

All polls before this life-changing event pointed towards it being a terrible idea for me, with a suspected severe bout of cabin fever within 24 hours being on the cards. Think climbing the walls, jabbering like a fool, pawing at the door like a cat wanting to go outside.

But 8 months on, I have only had a faint waft of el fever del cabino, and it was soon resolved with a ‘quick’ (expensive) trip to the yarn shop.

I have mentioned some of the benefits of self-employment in previous posts and had a crack at busting some of the myths that remote workers all sit around in our PJs all day, or with a beer in the garden. This is a collection of the more obscure of musings of remote working – some benefits, some downsides, and some random occurrences.


1. I miss wearing jewellery and my clothes

I am not someone who can sit around and work in my PJs. I have to be up, showered and dressed to function. However, I do wear my ‘scruffs’ – jeans and whatever t-shirt/jumper I find. So my ‘outfits’ don’t include jewellery or my most fun clothes (animal patterns a-plenty). That seems excessive for wfh.

I have an accessory (read: sloth necklace) for every occasion (except for sitting in the spare room office on your tod it would seem) just sitting there looking pretty. Maybe I’ll have to start just swanning around in all my refinery at home, or turning up to meetings and conference calls wearing all of it at once.

Pass me the tiara.


2. I have gained a new role — the Post Master General for the estate

Not only have delivery drivers twigged I am in, but neighbours all over the estate (some of whom I haven’t even met) are sending their deliveries my way if they are not going to be in. Or asking to leave keys with me for cleaners, builders and any other service they are using. I mean at least come and introduce yourself before you put me down as your designated door drop people.I suppose I should be glad it took them 8 months to twig I am hiding away.


3. I miss the fresh air

Some days I do not leave the house, except for a quick nip out to feed the bunnies, take the bin out or get to a medical appointment. Glamorous eh?I thought I would have loads of time to make sure I get out most days for a quick walk. To wander down to the shop for supplies.

That has only happened twice. Ooops.

I must schedule in the outdoors.

4. I get to clean the bunnies in the daylight

What a treat eh? Being able to see the poop I scoop in full daylight. It just gets more glam by the minute.In all seriousness though, it does make life a lot easier. Apart from the divas being doubly grumpy as I’ve usually woken them from one of their 18 daytime naps.

Life is hard if you’re a bun.


5. I never know what day it is

I never knew in the days of venturing into the outside world, so there is no hope now. I am surprised I haven’t missed anything yet (well, I haven’t realised if I have, so it doesn’t count).

It lessens the pain of regularly working at weekends I suppose as I just think it’s Thursday on a Saturday, and Saturday on a Tuesday.

It doesn’t help that my chap can work quite irregular hours so I can’t even live off his routine.


6. You should always, always have biscuits and brews in plentiful supply

I don’t know why I even had to ‘learn’ this. Surely this is a general rule of life.

But anyway, the freelancing wfh world shares much joy in biscuiting – eating biscuits, talking about biscuits, debating biscuits. Though little sharing is evident – just sayin’.

There is nothing worse than joining in a network chat, where in the kick-off everyone shares their biskwit and brew of choice and you have none. Nothing. Nada. Not even a stale rich tea (the inferior biscuit of choice).

Sad times. It can be a cruel world.


6b. As a result, I have formed quite the biscuiting addiction

I no longer function without my Leibniz or Dark Choc Digestive with my afternoon brew.

 

7. I rarely see my front room

The combination of having set up my office upstairs and being rubbish at switching off from work means I rarely seem to see the living room, or even downstairs, at the moment. I think this means I need to get better at scheduling (or sticking to it) and unwiring my brain on an evening.

I know it does.

Off I trundle to my Google calendar.


8. It’s not lonely!

Partly because I don’t have time to be lonely. But also, though I don’t have colleagues, I do have a network. And I only have to jump onto Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to get involved in some chat, ask a question or find some inspiration.

I do love the banter that comes with working in an office, but you can get it from other sources. And there are some serious GIF kings and queens out there, with a GIF for every occasion.

I need to up my game.


9. Noise is definitely an issue for me

I appear to have Misophonia – which brings its own challenges – and I have been aware for some time that I have a very specific volume tolerance (or lack of). The noise level with which my chap can eat a bowl of Cheerios is sure one day to trigger me to launch them into orbit.

Cheerio Cheerios.

In my previous life, I sat in the centre of a very busy office and found it hard to block out the noise and conversation that went on around me. Wearing headphones was not always the solution as having music on could be equally distracting when trying to write complicated content or work out something awkward in a build.

Jump to today, and being able to (mostly) control my environment is great and helps to remove some of the tension and frustration I used to feel build in me battling daily with my surroundings.

I knew this was an issue for me at the time, but not quite how significantly.


10. You are expected to do all the chores in all that free time you have now

Whoever you live with, you will be sure to be expected to do all the chores now. On your own. Little or no help. Cos you get loads of time now right? Those extended lunch breaks and lie-ins and easy access to hoovers mean it’s a given.

It may not be said out loud but there is certainly an undercurrent of expectation.

Ho ho…errrrrr no.

I rarely take a lunch break, I work long, long days and cram in chores in the odd 5 minutes here and there. But it probably doesn’t help that I have been doing that as it makes it look like I am easily doing it. But it is actually a constant battle to keep on top of that way.

Now my work is in the house I am regularly tweaking things, doing tasks and business admin when I would/should be resting. Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings, which used to be the time I cleaned, are now often an opportunity to catch up with myself. And the middle of the night can be a moment for emptying the brain of its random musings. Like these.

 

Write 52: Week 30
Theme: A few of my favourite things