I’ve spent three years working from home. Despite making a living from the desk in my living room (or, very occasionally, my bed), I encounter a slew of misconceptions every time I discuss my work arrangements. Here are six myths about working from home I hear from people who can’t seem to get their heads around the idea.
1. “Can you can pick me up from the airport? I’d ask someone more appropriate, but they all have to work.”
I’ve received no fewer than seven requests to fetch friends, acquaintances, ex-boyfriends of my neighbor, and pets from major metropolitan airports during my workday. Look, I like being yelled at by airport security as much as the next guy, but please respect that working means working.
2. Or its less-loved sibling: Can you watch my kid/dog/high-maintenance plant?
Not to point out the obvious, but you have just described the duties of a baby-sitter, dog walker, or gardener, all of whom are paid professionals. As much fun as it sounds to be patently taken advantage of and made to do what should be paid work as a favor, I think I’ll pass. And go back to my paid work, which I am doing in my tax-deductible home office.
3. “Aren’t you soul-crushingly lonely?!”
Well this just isn’t true. Ask my UPS man. Every day when he comes to deliver the things I ordered but don’t need but just wanted someone to talk to, we chat and chat and have an incredible time! He was actually so enthusiastic about talking to me that he started throwing my packages at my door from his truck. And before I moved to New York, I forged a friendship with the parking attendant at my gym in Los Angeles. We got so close that I gave him my number like best friends do, and now I live in a different state but sometimes he still sends me texts at 2 am.
Yeah, okay, maybe this one is true. But are you really having the time of your life making small talk with Chad in accounting?
4. “Agh! I wish I worked from home. I’d be in such good shape. You must go to the gym every day.”
If that were the case, why did a doctor recently tell me I had a “worrisome” dearth of muscle tone?
5. “It’s my day off. Let’s meet for lunch and order bottomless mimosas!”
If there are two things I love, they’re bottomless mimosas and long lunches. But working from home means a lunch hour, if that. Also, please stop drunk dialing me. I’m trying to work.
6. “I honestly don’t know how you can get any work done in your pajamas.”
I don’t know how I do it, either, but for some reason my brain continues to function regardless of whether I’m wearing pants. I think I must have achieved that work/life balance thing everyone is talking about.