Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Working From Home: A Non-Users' Guide


(The cartoon really doesn't have much relevance, but I couldn't resist!)

I'm very lucky that I work from home. I love the solitude; I adore setting my own schedule; and I get more work done in one day than I did in a month at the office (not really, in case any former bosses are reading this!). 

However, there's one thing that makes working from home insanely frustrating: when people don't get the 'working' bit. Do I call it 'slothing around at home'? No. 'Stuffing my face with Twizzlers at home'? I do not. Funnily enough, I call it 'working from home' because, yanno, of a little thing called work

So, to assist others in my predicament, I thought I'd compile a non-users' (i.e., those who work out-of-home) guide to aid understanding. 

1. Basic premise: I do actually work. Hard. 

2. No, I cannot go out for coffee mid-morning for 'just a couple hours', because I'm working.

3. Yes, I'd love to go shopping with you at 3 p.m. but there's a little thing standing in the way: work. 

4. There's a reason I didn't answer your call to chat for thirty minutes. It's called a job. 

5. Oh, hello, house-guest. Yes, please stay for the night or two. But don't assume it's okay to extend your stay by five days and expect me to play host. And don't expect me to entertain you 24-7 because 'it looks like I'm free'. I'm not free, actually. I'm working. 

(This post was brought to you by the letter G for GRUMP).

Harrumph.

And oh yes, have a happy Wednesday. 

63 comments:

  1. Great guide Talli, a good example to follow.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so impressed with your willpower! At my last job, we were allowed to work from home as frequently as we liked, and I always had trouble staying focused and not getting distracted. Happy Wednesday!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. And why when HE spends a day at the office on the computer - it's 'work'
    When I do it - it's 'mucking about on your laptop'???

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, and when I'm staring off into space I'm STILL working! It's called plotting. :)

    Laura
    A to Z of Immortals, Myths & Legends

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wanna print this out and hang it in my house!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I recognise that! Expats get the same thing: I'm on holiday permanently because I live in Thailand!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved this post! For kicks I'll add to that for those of us with kids - Yes, Mom sitting in front of the computer is Mom working, so please stop interrupting me to get you a juice-box when you're standing right in front of the fridge lol.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for posting that timely reminder of why you've got so many books out and I'm trying to finish several! You're absolutely right, Talli.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That cartoon is hilarious! I can totally relate to the phone call thing. That's why my phone is constantly set to the answering machine.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great cartoon!

    Actually I don't think houseguests should extend by 5 days and expect me to drop everything, ever : )

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hope you get rid of that visitor soon-could you fake some kind of pest infestation (bed bugs, mice, wasp nest?/ gas leak?!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Simply true and perfect..... ! Fab! x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Talli, your discipline is paying off. If you let everyone treat your job like it's not a job, it soon won't be. Good for you for being strong!

    And a little grumpy.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Amen, sister! The worst part is when it comes from your spouse who also works from home. Somehow he's 'working' but I'm not and can be interrupted at any time. Yes, please come in and talk about your feelings.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, this hits home, Talli.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hear you :-)))
    Loved the post Talli, I am in the same boat.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Talli,
    This is AWESOME. Yes, I had to shout that. I need to share this with all those who (including hubby) who think my days are set aside to run errands and make phone calls and chat it up for an hour or so. Loved this!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh, I can imagine that must be frusterating! I might actually be joining the 'work from home' ranks soon. My contract ends April 30th and I'm looking at self publishing my urban fantasy series sometime in the fall (but I have ALOT of work to do before that becomes a reality)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ha, go Talli.

    I work at home some and the biggest obstacle is having the stocked fridge so close. I think it calls my name at times.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes! People always think I'm free with an open schedule because I work at home. I guess they think my books magically write themselves. Wouldn't that be nice...

    ReplyDelete
  21. I may be unemployed in the next year and have been considering how to make the jump to writing as my full time job. Your list above covers many of my fears! I admire your dedication to treating your work time as just that--work. I worry that I will be good for the first few weeks, but then coffee dates, lunches, etc, will slowly creep in...

    I admire those of you who are full time writers and work from home. I think it is much more difficult than it sounds.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It took me a second to hear the 'yanno,' properly. At first, I read it, 'YAH-no.' Chuckling at myself ...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Heh. Heheh. I had to carry my laptop downstairs and show the cartoon to my husband, *who works at home*. Heheh. Luckily, we haven't got to that stage quite yet.
    And, oh yeah, I hear you. Enter the defense answering machine...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Isn't it interesting how many people hear 'I work from home' but the 'at home' seems to cancel out the 'work'?

    ReplyDelete
  25. You mean Charlie and I will have to entertain ourselves?!?! Awww! :-)
    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  26. Instead of wine I'm going to whine a little! If I responded to every phone call, invitation for lunch, call for volunteers at the kids school, tennis games, etc I would NEVER get anything done. As it is I have to pack everything up at 3:00 to go get my adorable offspring. But yes, it's work and I have to sit down and do it. Wow, sorry to vent. Clearly, this hit a nerve with me!

    ReplyDelete
  27. This. I definitely find i get asked to do errands a lot more since i started working from home

    ReplyDelete
  28. Excellent guide! I agree with you wholeheartedly. A plague needs to be made with these on it to hang on the front door.

    ReplyDelete
  29. LOL!!! Yeah, it does seem that the "work from" part of "work from home" gets ignored. Like selective hearing.

    Friend who ignored the "work from" part of "work from home": So since you're home, you can do those two or three loads of laundry, do a midday brunch, then a 2 pm tea and follow that with a shopping spree because, ya know, you're at home, right?

    Then you politely smile at them, do your best to excuse their selective hearing and remind them of the "work" part requring you to, ya know, work.

    ReplyDelete
  30. All so true, and even when it is explained simply, I find even so some people don't really understand. And will never understand.

    On the other hand, (whisper) working at home does mean I can sometimes take time off in a way I couldn't if I had a 9-5 job.... not often, though.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You should print that out and carry it around with you at all times.

    Love the cartoon too.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I could have written this post. Nobody thinks I have a job. Two people in the last week have asked me when I'm going to get one. Oh, I felt the rage...

    ReplyDelete
  33. You need to print that out and frame it for your house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least you have some books to prove it, Talli, I think people are getting a little suspicious of my 'writing projects'...great post, stay strong in the face of coffee mornings and guests:

      Delete
  34. Loved the cartoon, loved the post... still smiling. Thank you Talli you've started my day on a good note. Yes, I will 'get to work' very soon. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I hear you! I was able to do a lot of my job at home. Nobody ever understood, so I eventually quit doing it. Worse than that even, is when you work out of the house and you work the graveyard (overnight) shift. NOBODY understands that you are usually sleeping during the day. The knock on your door, they call you, etc... Other than that, I really liked that shift.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Working from home is a blessing and a curse. It's hard enough to make yourself work; it's even harder when no one will let you. It seems like a losing battle sometimes. But, I wouldn't want an outside-the-home, 40-hour-a-week job ever again. I love what I'm doing, even if I have to struggle to get anything done.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Love it! It's amazing how many people assume people don't work when they work at home!! Nuts :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Gee, I'd like to meet this GRUMP who took over your blog today as he/she shares so many of my opinions. But seriously, can we expect people to change their mindset? Not really. Home has not really been accepted as a workplace. We just have to be strong. I, for one, leave my home and escape to a library to work. There no one can find me, lol!

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
  39. I totally agree! I have a friend who works from home and I've witnessed how hectic her day can be.

    ReplyDelete
  40. You tell them, Talli! I hope to share your frustrations one day :-)

    ReplyDelete
  41. That's SPOT ON! Even when I ran a dog grooming business from home, I'd have a dog up on the table getting its clip on, when a friend would just pop around, stick their head in the door and offer to put the kettle on. They couldn't understand why I wouldn't just drop everything (clippers break easy and dogs tend to get snarly if you drop them) to sit down for an hour and chat.
    Same now with the writing, but I'm getting better at saying no.
    Wagging Tales

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh, I agree with everything in your post, and I can totally relate. I teach classes at school, of course, but most of my other work is done at home, including my second job working for a website. But a lot of people in my life think that my schedule is more flexible because I work at home. I would never expect them to hang out with me on days that they have to work, yet they expect me to just put my work aside every time they have time off because they think it won't be hard for me to catch up with it later. The last time I did that for a friend, I ended up more than a day behind in my work.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Working at home is super hard. You still have to do all the work but get very little pats on the back. Oh well, I guess you can't have everything :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. hehe, I love this post - It doesn't matter where you do it, work still has to be done!

    ReplyDelete
  45. That comic made me LOL! Yes, working from home requires immense self-discipline. What annoys me is when the Hubster comes from work and comments "On the computer again? You've been there all day! Come watch some TV with me."

    ARGH!

    ReplyDelete
  46. So true! I live in the sun and have a pool, so I sit around that all day drinking wine...as far as folk back home like to think. They cannot grasp I am now an author. They think I am playing a game of typing on the computer, and it is now niggling me. I have to give up three weeks of May to play hostess to guests, and I know there will be some little comment about 'my hobby'. Grrr!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Ive worked from home (at least part of the time) for years. No one including family gets it
    Thanks for the rant!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I love that reading is part of my job description. "Sorry, can't be interrupted at the moment, guys. I'm doing some research." Love being the one who writes that job description. So happy to be my own boss!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I know exactly how you feel... It seems everything only takes five minutes... But it all adds up! Day gone - no work completed!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have a problem though. When I hear the words "meet for coffee," "meet for breakfast," or "meet for lunch," I'm weak...very weak. :D

    ReplyDelete
  51. Great post. Just because you're home doesn't mean you're not working!


    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

    ReplyDelete
  52. I can SO relate to this post. I may print it, frame it, and hang it in the guest room :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. So true, Talli! Why is it we writers who work from home get accused of not working? Don't people know what happens when they ass-ume things???

    ReplyDelete
  54. I guard my writing time carefully. You have to.

    I dislike how some people think I'm doing nothing at home, as if books write themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I hear you, Talli. I work from home too and I get the feeling everyone thinks I don't "really" do anything all day. Sometimes that's true but most of the time it isn't! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Quite right. It is even worse if you choose to work on a labour of love - like my blog. Have a nice week

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi again, Talli. I have just finished reading The Hating Game. It is the first book I have read for ages in the hard to put down category. Not only funny but quite suspenseful as well. I liked that Mattie wasn't all that lovable but you got to know her. I'll be getting to your other books soon.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Haha, LOVE this! I know you work, and how hard you work...it is what keeps me from going insane with envy over the fact that you get to do it from home instead of an office. More posts like this will help spread the word to those who don't get it though. xo

    ReplyDelete

Coffee and wine for all!