As someone who regularly works from home (WFH), I can certainly appreciate some of the benefits – I live where I want to live, I have no commute and I don’t have germ-ridden co-workers getting me sick. These are all good things for sure, but after doing the WFH lifestyle now for several years, I’m beginning to experience what I think might be some side-effects. For example:
- I have a lovely wardrobe of house pants, comfy socks, flip-flops and slippers, but my career attire seems to be lacking or no longer fits, which brings me to #2.
- I’m starting to get a muffin-top, but didn’t really start noticing (thanks to the elasticity of my house pants) until I tried to squeeze myself into jeans and then…there it was…spilling over…Mr. muffin-top. Very reminiscent of my life as a lady of leisure with a flourishing muffin top.
- I talk to out loud to myself a lot and have started answering some of my own questions.
- My “water cooler” conversations are a big fail. Very boring and always one-sided.
- I even began to notice that my cats (who have since departed) were getting tired of my presence. Yoda no longer wanted to sit on my lap and in fact, started to hide under the bed so he could have some alone time (sans weirdo, socially deprived mother!)
Yep. That’s me in all my WFH splendor. Are you experiencing similar? If so, here are some tips that might help reduce the severity of these and other side-effects.
- Force socialization. Spending too much time at home alone is “crazy-making.” Extract yourself from your house pants (remember that house pants = pants for the house only!) and get out of the house. Work from a coffee shop once a week or better yet, find a local office share where you can interact with other business professionals.
- Get dressed every day (at least from the waist up). Then you can video conference to get some “face time” in with your colleagues so you won’t feel like you’re alone on an island. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of trying to find something to wear, here’s a tip. Just find a nice shirt, comb your hair (ladies slap on some blush, lipstick, etc.) and make sure that your webcam only shows a head/shoulder shot. Then, you can wear your house pants and bunny slippers and nobody is the wiser. It’s like being a mullet, but instead you’re business from the waist up, G-rated party from the waist down (G-rated, pull your head out of the gutter!).
- Get moving! Start your own muffin-top reduction program by carving out time in your day to move. Go for a twenty-minute walk on your lunch hour. Spend ten minutes a couple of times a day stretching or take five minutes to jump rope, hula-hoop, or do sit-ups. Whatever floats your boat, the point is to move – to get the blood flowing – which will mitigate your muffin-top and unleash some creativity.
- Get a dog. They always seem to want attention.
If you WFH and feel like you’ve reached isolation station, I hope you’ll consider these tips. And for those of you who go into an office regularly, I applaud your ability to tolerate commutes, deathly sick coworkers and of course, the “who microwaved fish?” guy or girl at the office.