Working from home sounds like a pretty sweet gig – which is probably why so many people want to do it!
(Around 80-90% of the US workforce says they’d like to telecommute, whereas only about 2.8% of the workforce actually spends at least half their working hours doing so.)
At MeetEdgar, our entire company is remote – and while that’s meant figuring out lots of practical solutions for our day-to-day work habits, it also means everyone has some pretty strong opinions about how it feels to be separated from your coworkers!
So we asked the team: what’s the most underrated and the most overrated thing about working from home?
Here’s what they had to say! (Also, some cute dogs.)
Marketing Analyst Marcus and Senior Product Designer Kevin agree – you can’t beat working alongside your best friend on four legs. (Or fewer. All dogs are good!)
Fun fact: being around your pets can have a profound positive impact on your brain chemistry and mood!
(It can also dramatically increase the number of times you ask “Who’s a good boy” over the course of a workday.)
Content Manager Tom says sleeping later is remote working’s most unsung perk, while Jessi, PR & SEO Specialist, believes lunchtime naps are significantly less awkward at home than they might be in a cubicle.
(Tom recommends using an app like sleepyti.me to squeeze as many sleep cycles as you can into a single night!)
Create your own dress code
QA Lead Sarah says not to underestimate the freedom of wearing whatever you want to work, and not having to maintain a separate “work clothes” wardrobe.
Voice of dissent: Amanda, our User Outreach Specialist, says this freedom of choice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “I still wear pants,” she says, setting a good example for all of us.
Our Customer Experience Director Kristina believes firmly in the benefits of the emotional and literal solitude of using your own bathroom.
Laura, our founder and CEO, takes advantage of this underrated perk by breaking up the workday with a shower – a 100%-scientific method for getting the ol’ neurons firing.
No commuting necessary
Nicholas (Marketing Tech), Jen (Conversion Copywriter), Jennifer (Executive Assistant), and Amanda all agree – not having to commute is remote work’s biggest perk.
(After all, the average American spends about 42 hours per year commuting. That’s basically an entire extra week of work!)
Cutting back on your travel time can be a bit of a trade-off, though – which brings us to some of the worst things about working remotely.
Never (ever, ever) having to leave the house
Not commuting is convenient, but staying cooped up all the time gets a little old – Laura, Nicholas, Kristina, and Jessi agree that it’s hard not having an excuse to get out.
Team Edgar tip: Find a place near home where you can set up shop with a laptop! Whether you’re logging a few hours in a library, a cafe, or a coworking space, you might find that a little social facilitation does wonders for your creativity.
Losing track of work/life balance
When you work where you live, it’s all too easy to blur the line between the two. Marcus catches himself working through breaks, while Jennifer tries not to be tempted to spend them doing chores.
Team Edgar tip: Use an alarm or an app like Remind to schedule breaks – and actually get up and walk away from what you’re doing! Medical researchers have found that getting up and moving around can actually improve your mood, so give it a try.
The irresistible allure of a nap
Our People Ops Manager Tyra has found that midday naps are both the most underrated and most overrated things about working from home.
Team Edgar tip: For the most powerful of power naps, limit yourself to about 20 minutes. While you could fill out a gap in your afternoon with something longer, you’ll slip into a deeper sleep, and could wake up groggy.
No walking required
“You have to work harder to fit in physical activity when your bed is 25 steps from where you work,” says Sarah – and Jen agrees that walking to work isn’t quite as exciting when you’re only going from one room to another.
Team Edgar tip: Even if you don’t have time to take a walk around the neighborhood once a day, spending more time standing and less time sitting can make a big difference! Health experts have found that people with desk jobs often spend too much time sitting as it is, so give the ol’ legs a stretch whenever you can.
When all of your meetings are conducted via video call, it’s easy to be caught off guard by an unanticipated webcam angle.
Or, as Kevin puts it, “That brief second where Zoom is broadcasting your video before you realize it, and you’re making sure you don’t have something in your nose.”
(Don’t act like it’s never happened to you.)
Team Edgar tip: Make sure there’s nothing embarrassing protruding from any of your orifices before jumping on a call.
So, all you work-from-home types – what’d we miss?
What do you think is the most underrated part of remote work?
What do you think is actually kind of the worst?
Tell us how you really feel in the comments below!