I’m one of those travellers who also has a full-time job, so I have to fit travel into my annual leave and settled budget. Even though I’m lucky enough to love my day job, I still have those days were I just don’t want to go into the office.
My solution? I can work from home on days where I need more focus and have no meetings. And you know what? It’s so revitalising! Here’s why I found out that working from home can feel like a holiday:
I nearly always walk up without an alarm, but I sent one Monday to Friday ‘just in case’ I over sleep. Working from home? No problem, you can get up when your body naturally wants to walk up – which means you get the sleep you need and you’re in a better mood when you do wake up.
Less grooming (read: no grooming)
You know one of the things I hate most in the mornings? Putting on my makeup and straightening my hair. Omg, so time consuming. I wish I could be one of those women with amazing skin and hair that doesn’t frizz out and look big, but I’m not one of those people so I need to put in some effort in the morning. And honestly, I’m pretty basic in my routine. When I work from home I don’t have to do my hair or put on makeup, and I can just wear casual clothes (or PJs to the ‘office’ – though I do make myself get dressed to put myself into ‘work mode’).
One of the biggest time killers for the 9 to 5 worker is the commute. We live only 8 kms from the city, so really, my commute is about 25 minutes each way, but I only really have 10 usable minutes which is when I’m on the train (provided I can get a seat). The rest of my commute is driving 5 minutes to the station and then walking ten minutes from the station across the city to my office. When I work from home my commute is from one room to the next. Which actually means I usually start my day earlier, like checking emails over my morning coffee.
Most office workers I speak to hate that they have limited natural light all day. I work in a cubicle farm, and my cubicle is in the middle of the floor which limits how much natural light I get. In my house, every room has a window, and my home desk faces the window, which looks over the back yard. So that means I get to see blue sky and sun while I work (I also get to see what my neighbours get up to during the day). And not to mention…
How many of us get sick from being in recycled air-conditioned spaces? And I’m reminded every time our office air-conditioning system breaks down, that our windows do not open and we get no fresh air. Queensland is currently going through this time of year were it starts cooling down for winter, but it’s still beautiful sunny clear days – so I had a crisp breeze licking at my face while I worked. It just really made me feel good about my space and my work.
While we’re talking about things that are better for our health, let’s talk about how awesome it is to have all day access to your own kitchen and food. I love that I can make a proper meal for lunch when I work from home. I have use of the oven and stove rather than just what I can reheat in the microwave. I can take time out and sit at my dining table and have a real break rather than eating at my desk.
You know what else I got done while I worked from home? My housework and washing. Before you get upset that I was ‘working from home’ and doing my chores, let me explain. To dust my whole house takes maybe ten minutes… I use that as a reason to take a break and get up from sitting. Then do another hour of work before stopping again to say vacuum, or empty the dishwasher, or scrub the bathroom sink. None of these jobs takes much time, but we always seem to never find time for them, right? The best job is washing because it takes two minutes to stick some clothes in the washing machine, then you have a solid half an hour before you have to hang it out. Felt like I had a win in my work life and personal life that day!
So despite my regular breaks to do chores, I also got way more done then I would have in the office because I didn’t have people stopping by my desk and sucking up my time. I had the quiet and space to really focus on tedious tasks that take a lot of time to complete. I try to reserve working from home days for those big fiddly jobs that really need some focus and quite time. This also set me up for the next day in the office where I felt like I had gotten some of those tasks done that had been nagging me in the back of my mind.
Okay, so this one is probably the opposite of being on a holiday where you actually spend more money. BUT, the fact that I don’t have to spend money on public transport, fuel, a morning coffee or my lunch (and sometimes breakfast), means I can put that money right back into my travel fund.
Do you ever work from home? How do you find it?