Dos And Don’ts: Tales From A Work-From-Home Dropout
A remote-based position is often a coveted opportunity. Visions of commute-free mornings, more family time, and relaxed work attire are enough to get most of us drooling. In my case, however, expectations failed to match reality.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
With the classic breakup line ringing in my ears, I ended my relationship with remote work. Often when that line is spoken, it actually is the other entity at some fault; but of course it was not working from home that was at fault, it was me.
My intention was never to thumb my nose at the gracious opportunity I’d been presented with, but it seems I simply could not fit myself into the successful remote worker mold.
Scores of people have graduated from the (fictional, of course) Work from Home Academy of Awesome Workers, but for the first time, this A+ student is a dropout.
Where Did It Go Wrong?
You could say reality hit when I was scrambling to find anything decent to put on so I could answer my front door … at 1 p.m. It truly sunk in when it was the umpteenth time this sad scenario played through. “I’ll be right there!” I’d yell.
Or you could say it was when I realized at 4 p.m. I hadn’t spoken out loud to a living soul. When I went to speak (to the dog), my voice caught in my throat.
Maybe you could even say it was when I convinced myself that Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU were my true and personal friends.
Of course everyone’s situation is different. Work arrangements, team schedules, requirements, norms, and time zones will all play a part in the remote worker’s life. Personal attributes, learning styles, and capacities for alone time also play a large role.
What I simply failed to acknowledge and respect about remote work, was just how much (for myself, at least) the personal aspects of yourself affect the job.
A Misguided Belief
An introvert at heart, it seemed that remote work would be a perfect fit for me. After social situations I often find myself needing complete alone time in order to regroup and process the interactions.
While previously I had worked successfully in the office, and happily engaged in many interactions with my coworkers; given my natural disposition I assumed that I’d perform even better on my own.
In a classic “live and learn” situation, this turned out not to be the case. It was with the best of intentions and thorough preparation that I entered this position. It was with a slight feeling of defeat, and a wave of relief at the office-life awaiting me, that I left the work-from-home life behind me.
Don’t Be Like Me
Success is most certainly a viable option for most who seek out and obtain remote work. But I have to imagine that there’s at least another person out there who just might struggle as I did.
With experience as the best teacher, I’d like to look back on some things I’d do differently.
I’ll try to not reiterate all of the same tips and tricks you could take from any number of resources, like Procrastination Management: How To Do What Needs To Be Done When You Don’t Want To Do It
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