Things I’ve learned by working from home

I’ve been working from home full-time for most of the past 4.5 years. I haven’t reached any special milestone, but nevertheless I’m going to compile a list of some of the things I’ve learned, some bits of advice, and general observations. In no particular order, numbered for reference:

  1. Not commuting is awesome
  2. Sometimes your car battery will die if you don’t drive for a while
  3. I’m possibly too comfortable not leaving my house for days on end
  4. Getting a dog is probably healthy
  5. Playing fetch is a good way to get out of the house when you don’t really want to do anything
  6. I don’t worry about someone stealing my packages
  7. I’m pretty sure the UPS man thinks I’m unemployed, and possibly a recluse
  8. It’s easy to forget you’re still wearing pajamas at 2pm
  9. Comfy slippers are worth it
  10. Roosters are loud
  11. If you leave a window open, people on your video call are likely to hear some crowing, or even mooing
  12. Pets have no concept of work hours
  13. Pets have no concept of personal space
  14. A cat is likely to send at least one Slack message
  15. Check for nearby cats before entering any commands in a production terminal
  16. If you can’t be work productive, be personally productive
  17. A decluttered desk can mend a cluttered mind
  18. If you’re in the zone, don’t worry about the 4 coffee cups you’ve acquired next to your keyboard
  19. Someone in your life will believe you’re unemployed no matter how many times you tell them you work, just at home
  20. It’s easy to use “sorry I’m working” as an excuse to avoid social events, even on evenings and weekends
  21. Don’t do that. At least not too often
  22. It’s hard to take a sick day unless you’re at a high risk of literally vomiting on your keyboard
  23. Hardly anyone steals my lunch
  24. Sometimes I don’t eat lunch as much as snack between breakfast and dinner
  25. Taking an actual lunch break is hard
  26. Don’t forget to wash that hoodie
  27. Regular video meetings, even if sometimes unproductive work-wise, are good for recalibrating your teammates’ sarcasm levels
  28. Sarcasm is likely to backfire once in a while in text based communication
  29. Emoticons and emoji can actually be helpful in setting tone
  30. Imposter syndrome is very real
  31. People you look up to are also asking so-called stupid questions, they’re just in one of the other 2839416 Slack channels you haven’t stumbled into
  32. Don’t forget to stretch
  33. Sometimes the scenery gets boring
  34. Working from a coffee shop is tricky
  35. Working from the couch is cozy
  36. Mind your posture
  37. A second laptop charger is worth it
  38. No rules against sitting outside
  39. Working from a hammock is logistically challenging
  40. It’s hard to ignore work stuff during off-hours
  41. I’ve saved so much money by not commuting past fast food and coffee stands everyday. Oh, and the gas…
  42. Drink more water
  43. It’s hard to take “unnecessary” days off, but they are necessary
  44. I bet real office chairs are nicer than hard plastic, I should consider this
  45. The less you drive, the more handy a key hook is
  46. You’ll forget how tall/short your coworkers are
  47. Document everything
  48. I will never be able to convert UTC to PST in my head
  49. Yes, I know it’s just add 8 hours
  50. Video chat will never remember the proper audio/video settings

15 thoughts on “Things I’ve learned by working from home”

  1. they’re just in one of the other 2839416 Slack channels you haven’t stumbled into

    I think we just hit 2839417 this morning.

    All sarcasm aside, this post is awesome and a really good reminder!

  2. “It’s hard to ignore work stuff during off-hours”… Yes… Thankful for a gracious spouse. GREAT list. I replace all things “cat” with “one-year-old” most of the time:
    -A one-year-old is likely to send at least one Slack message
    -Check for nearby one-year-olds before entering any commands in a production terminal

  3. Been there: Check for nearby cats before entering any commands in a production terminal or the cat screaming for food while Im in a call. LOL

  4. Love your insights! Working from home gems: no commute, comfy slippers, and the joys of fetch breaks. Also, relate to the pajama struggle at 2 pm. 😄🏡

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