The Positives and Negatives of Working from Home | With Shelby’s Healthy Hedonism

Sunday, April 28, 2019

*This blog post is sponsored by my absolute favourite work snack; Shelby’s Healthy Hedonism. A guilt-free option to get you through the day! 

Working from home is something I think we all romanise about; sleep-ins, no commute time and not having to deal with the general annoyance of other human beings (no matter how much you love your colleagues and clients).

It’s one of those things I dreamt of for a long time, and in my head, the lifestyle was perfect for me. I’d been mixing work and play for almost my entire career, but even I knew taking the step to work from home full-time, all the time, would have it’s challenges.

So 9 months in, here it is; the good annnddd the bad!

T H E  P O S I T I V E S

It takes exactly 2 steps to get to work

For me, ditching that commute time solved a lot of problems. I used to be out of the house for a minimum of 12 hours a day, 4 of which were spent commuting. On the rare occasion that I got out of work on the dot, I still didn’t get home until around 8pm, which didn’t leave a lot of down time.

Most days I came home uninspired, exhausted and almost robotic. Dinner, clean up, shower, blog work, bed. Yeah, I wasn’t much fun to be around.

Funnily enough, now that I’ve switched standing under someone’s sweaty armpit for two ours for a brisk two-step walk to work, I’m a happier, more productive version of myself in both work and life.

Healthy Habits

Initially, I didn’t think this would work in my favour, because working from home meant I could easily get lazy, never leave the house and eat whatever I want (with nobody to judge me!).

But it has been the complete opposite! These days I eat better than ever because I’m not tempted by unhealthy work snacks (although doughnuts were a great form of bribery). 
Now, the only things I eat are what I bring into the house, my favourite being the range from Shelby’s Healthy Hedonism. These guys do THE MOST amazing snacks, which are also guilt-free! I love their range of dipped and dusted almonds to snack on during a busy day, which is a good alternative to the chips and lollies they supplied at the office.

The same goes for exercise, and for the first time in my life I’ve actually been doing regular workouts. I finally have the time and energy to prioritise my fitness and it feels so good! I always used to use long hours and commute times as an excuse not to workout, but now I have nothing in my way!

I am my most productive self

Staying productive was never something I was worried about. I am highly driven and I did my job as an unpaid hobby for a long time before I turned it into a career. 
But working from home has motivated me beyond what I could have imagined. I now work when I am most productive and can do things at my own pace, which is a huge benefit when working on creative tasks. At home, I can take a break when my brain needs to reset, not when my manager thinks I should.

I like being able to do what I need to do, when I want to do it. Working alone, I can prioritise my tasks to suit how I work and I don’t have to worry about aligning with a team or waiting on colleagues for pieces of the project. Plus, there’s no office distractions like chit chat or coffee runs!

I can work from anywhere (with a decent wifi connection!)

Again, this has made a huge positive impact on my lifestyle. Being able to work from just about anywhere gives me the flexibility to do more and stop letting work restrict my ability to live!
If there's an event on mid-week in my hometown I can pick up my laptop and do a day or two from there, go with my fiancé on his business trips and turn them into an adventurous weekend or even take my work to the beach, if that's what will inspire me most!

T H E  N E G A T I V E S

Work, work, work

Yes, switching off is the hardest negative for me to overcome. My work is readily accessible, I can ‘pop in’ to the office at any given moment and because my home is my work, it’s hard to seperate the two.

As a general rule, I try to be at my desk at the same time my fiancé Scott is at work, it helps to keep my hours regular and consistent (and it’s also the first time we have ever had the same work hours!). But often I find myself grabbing my laptop during my ‘downtime’, just to tick a few little things off the list or do more of the fun parts of the job, like editing while we’re watching a movie.

It’s easy to slip into work mode when I should be giving my brain a rest or be spending quality time with Scott. This one is hard to kick, because my downtime used to be spent doing what I now call my 'job', but I am certainly working on forming new healthy habits by separating the two!

Office culture, what?

I knew this is something I’d miss because I’m a social person and love being energised by people. My work wives were the reason I walked into work with a smile in the morning and I definitely miss having someone the clink a wine with after a long, hard week.

I miss things like team activities, lunches and even meetings where ideas can be shared.

I have to make way more of an effort to be social outside of work, to make up for the fact that I spend the majority of my time alone. 

Hey everyone, my work is still serious!

While working from home affords you the luxury of flexible hours and a more relaxed environment, it’s easy for people to forget that you DO have a job to do and there are still repercussions if you don’t get it done (like ahhh, no income?).

So just like when you were in an office, you can’t just take personal calls at 10am or go to brunch whenever you feel like it.

A lot of people are under the assumption that you aren’t busy or doing ‘real’ work, which sucks when you’re putting in so much effort. Being strict on breaks, not having my phone on me and constantly reminding people that I have a job to do is important for tackling this one!

Despite any challenges, my instinct was right, and being able to work from home (or anywhere!) is a lifestyle that I am so happy with and grateful for! It's extremely liberating, has done wonders for my mental health and positively impacted more than just my work life, but also my personal life too!


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