Working From Home: Expectation vs Reality

Ah, working from home – the millennial dream.

Or is it actually a young professional’s nightmare?

You bragged to all of your friends about how short your commute was to the “office” (ho, ho) when you first started #WFH. But pretty quickly you began to miss the interaction with other human beings, and you were setting up meetings with your cat by the end of the week.

Despite all your lofty expectations of how glorious working from home would be, it turns out the cold, hard reality often involves you hot-desking around your apartment in your pyjamas.

Behold the naked truth of working from home.

Expectation: You’ll make amazing home-cooked lunches everyday.
Reality: There’s nothing in the cupboards because you NEVER leave. So instant noodles it is, then – for the third day on the trot.

Expectation: You’ll get so much done being on your own.
Reality: Loneliness has started to eat away at you. You jumped for joy when a delivery man knocked at the door yesterday – only to realize he had the wrong address. You’ve also started to actually take part in telephone marketers’ surveys just for someone to talk to.

Expectation: You’ll spend the summer days working out on your balcony.
Reality: Your lousy internet doesn’t reach that far and the glare on your screen is a nightmare, even with your sunglasses. Plus, that street noise is beyond annoying.

Expectation: You’ll be so up to speed with your household chores.
Reality: You will get around to doing that mountain of laundry and unloading the dishwasher – just as soon as you finish this spreadsheet… and answer that email….

Expectation: It’ll be a pleasant change from all that racket in the office.
Reality: Between the endless fire alarm checks and the ongoing maintenance work in your building, there is barely a moment’s peace in your ‘9 to 5’.

Expectation: Cutting out your daily commute means you’ll have time to go to the gym, have a leisurely breakfast, and start your day in a calm and reflective manner.
Reality: Alarm goes off. Snooze seven times. Wake up at 9:05 am, jump out of bed, and turn on your laptop to find 23 emails already waiting in your inbox.

Expectation: You can make an ambient work playlist to have on in the background.
Reality: You spend far too long in a YouTube spiral, singing at the top of your voice in your empty apartment. Once you’re hoarse from power ballad-ing, you self-impose a ban on music during the work day.

Expectation: I’ll still get dressed each day to increase my productivity.
Reality: Apart from the occasional Skype meeting, where you need to wear clothing on the top half your body, you spend most days in your pyjamas or sweats.

Expectation: You’ve created a workspace that encourages you to be at your most dynamic. You’ve decorated it with motivational quotes that inspire you to work hard, and positioned it away from all the distractions in your apartment.
Reality: You do all your work from the couch or your bed.

Expectation: You’ll take leisurely lunches and go for nice long strolls in the sunshine.
Reality: Generally, meals are eaten in between replying to rapid-fire emails and often left to go cold. You rarely make it outside, despite telling yourself everyday that you ARE going to take a full hour this lunchtime.