There are plenty of reasons to work remotely. Working from home means increased productivity, flexibility, and control over your life. It also means you can prioritize your health (hello, naps!), better manage being a working parent, and finally ditch your time-sucking commute.
But then there are other changes that come with working from home that you never see coming. Here’s what real work-from-home professionals told us about their experiences—the good, the bad, and the total surprises.
Keep reading for 10 unexpected changes that happened to real work-from-home professionals—the good, the bad, and the total surprises.
1. Working from home will give you a thrill.
“What surprised me the most when I started freelancing was how intoxicating the freedom could be. I found that I didn’t have as much self-discipline as I originally thought. It took the better part of a year for me to get a handle on the freedom so I could sit down and write and get my work done. Now that I have more self-discipline, I feel like I have even more freedom.” —Matt R.
2. You won’t feel as lonely as you think.
“I’m surprised that I don’t feel lonely at all. I see all my counseling clients from home via our online sessions. I also try to schedule at least one marketing lunch a week, so I get out of the house and connect with others who are in the field. I love that between clients I can get stuff done around the house, and I’m able to schedule my clients during the school day so I’m also available to help my kids with homework, take them to activities, etc. after school.” —Heidi McBain
3. It’s easier to find inspiration.
“I feel I have more control over my life, so I enjoy working more. I set up my home office the way I like and I feel that each morning it inspires me to be more creative. I can go for walk to the park before work and during lunch which helps me to relax. I’m happier now.” —Agata Krzysztofi
4. Your boundaries tend to blur.
“The biggest and most surprising change is that I’ve had to learn (and am still figuring out) how to turn work OFF. It’s always here and available to do ‘one more thing.’ When I used to leave work, I both physically and mentally had a much easier time leaving work at work. When I began working from home, I thought that I would be better at managing my work and balancing free time/work time since I’d be at home and fully in charge of my schedule, but the opposite has happened. Some evenings and weekends, it’s HARD to step away and fully relax when my laptop is right there, and there is work to be done, especially since how much work I do directly impact my income.” —Amy Isaman
5. You might be surprised to find more of a community than you ever had.
“I was surprised that working from home is so common—when I asked to work from home, I thought I was the first person at my company. Then I started having video meetings with people located all around the country, and realized they worked from home, too. Now I feel like I’m part of a community of remote workers who can commiserate about the downsides and celebrate the benefits.” —Noah S.
6. You can take better care of yourself.
“I eat and live more healthily: I dedicate more time to breakfast, I make healthy lunch choices (since I can prepare it myself versus buying something to go), I drink more water and herbal tea, and I have more time to go to yoga or for a run in the morning. —Agata Krzysztofik
7. You’ll discover some secret skills.
“The one thing that took me by surprise when I started working from home was my capability to be super organized. I was never the ‘planning’ type of person, but after starting my work from home job, I was extremely organized and planned my time most efficiently. This has resulted in a perfect work-life balance.” —Sireesha Narumanchi
8. The lack of commute is more game-changing than you thought.
“I didn’t realize how much my commute was stressing me out, but once I started working from home, I noticed I wasn’t spending the mornings coming down from feeling anxious about getting to work on time. I do miss the time I had to read on the subway, but it’s an easy trade off knowing I’m not panicking about late trains or traffic.” —Noah S.
9. You’ll have more time than you ever realized.
“The biggest surprise to me is how much longer I work and spend more time at my desk versus when I went into an office every day. I am much more productive and have even more time to invest in building my business by not commuting or wasting time on office politics and gossip. Even though I am an outgoing and gregarious person I do not miss working with a large group around me and all the distractions that can bring.” —Paige Arnof-Fenn
10. You’ll save money.
“I don’t buy lunch each day and usually, prepare something at home. Before I would spend at least 5-7 Euro a day just on lunch at work. Also, I don’t need to buy public transportation tickets.” —Agata Krzysztofik