Lessons Learned From Working at Home for the First Time

I've never worked from home before. That is, until last week's impending snowstorm that plastered the northeast with up to two feet of snow. Yes, I'm a Vermonter. And yes, I'm used to driving in blizzards. But dying on the way to work wasn't on my to-do list last Friday morning. Didn't want to end up like this car.

Why I typically don't work from home

I've always associated working from home with people who create couch cubicles, don't get anything done, are easily distracted by cat videos on Youtube, and spend the entire day on Twitter and Reddit. Plus, I thought if I worked from home, I would just work on my own projects. Au contraire, my friends.

How it went down:

It was decided. I was working from home. I emailed the team and let them know I was going to play stay-at-home-marketer for the day. It felt like Saturday morning - but it was Friday at 5:30am. And I needed to put in a solid eight hours of work today. I couldn't spend it browsing Pinterest virtually eating brownies. I couldn't scroll Lifehacker for the latest tech-hack. And I couldn't spend the whole day playing chubby bunny with grapes. I actually had to work on what I got paid to do.

I remained in my pajamas, put my glasses on, and shoveled fruit for breakfast. I sat down at my computer at 6:30am (technically I was on at 5:45am but I read seven hundred snow forecasts before deciding I was going to work from home).

I managed to make it through the day with no scars. I never left the house. I blasted Ra Ra Riot and Ellie Goulding all day. I got stuff done. It was a miracle on Maple Street. Oh, and I learned a couple things about this whole work-from-home gig:

1. I can start work when everyone else is sleeping

I'm up at 5:30am every day - even weekends. Working from home would mean I could start work earlier and stop work practically after lunchtime. I could work literally half of my day before many of my co-workers are alive an kicking. And, I added on an extra 32 minutes to my day because I didn't have to commute. I ended my work day at 3:00pm (I actually accounted for a 30-minute lunch - see point #3).

2. I plow through my to-do list

I planned my day in five minutes and started crossing off to-dos like nobody's business. I wrote a 1,300-word guest post, compiled three reports for the boss-man, did SEO work, completed competitor research for multiple products, and even managed to get some learning in at the end of the day. I just kept on trucking - it was awesome.

3. I eat the contents of my fridge

I need to work on this. I bring my lunch to the office and have a set amount of food I eat. For some reason, when I work from home, I eat the contents of my fridge: 2 apples, 2 oranges, 1 banana, 12 strawberries, a couple blocks of dark chocolate, a bowl of salad, and leftover chicken and quinoa. It's not like I got Pizza Hut to deliver, but I snacked all day.

4. I can work from anywhere

As my job stands, all I need is an internet connection to get work done. It means, if I needed to, I could work from Austrailia, a beach in the Carribean, or the coast of Spain. This is true for many couch commuters, but it's fun to know you could work from anywhere. But, I don't discount the benefits of an office environment.

5. I like my work office more than my home office

I have a tiny desk at home. It's crowded with a homemade monitor stand, printer, desk lamp, and three pesky drawers. I like my actual office better. I have a huge desk, space to move around, and an enormous window (plus, an office-mate who loves my sarcasm). While I do seem to get more done at home, my office is a cool place to be.

I don't see myself working from home all the time, but every once in a while would be nice. Saving the commute time and starting work super early are definitely perks. To do it every day would likely drive me up the wall, so I'll leave that to the freelancing crowd.

What have you learned working from home?