We hear this a lot at Groundwork:
This place is amazing! You’ve built such a special community here. But, I really love working at home.
I get it. Working from home is truly great. You can blast your music, stay in your sweats, throw in a load of laundry, and keep your dog company, all while making money and doing your job.
Here’s the catch–
Working from home can become unhealthy over time. Let me explain why:
You’ll get lonely.
Loneliness is a growing epidemic among adults, and studies have found that it decreases your lifespan, as well as your productivity. It’s hard to build strong social connections when you spend most of your time at home. Here’s a great read about loneliness from a former US Surgeon General.
You’ll lose your professional edge.
If you work at home, it is easy to slip out of touch with what other people in your field are doing. Getting out among other professionals is a great way to stay motivated, exchange best practices, and stay on top of your game.
You’ll miss out on opportunities.
Maybe you aren’t looking for a new job or gig, but everybody can benefit from connections and opportunities. By getting out of your house, you might discover an opportunity to contribute to your community, or a career change you didn’t even know you wanted.
You’ll become less productive.
I speak from personal experience when I say that productivity can dwindle over time when you’re working from home. When I started working at home it was all marathon writing and early-morning tasking before I even opened my email. Slowly that became a string of things calling me away from my work: shuffling to the kitchen to fuss with the french press, then to make a snack, then the floor needed to be swept, then the laundry buzzed.
As I became less productive I still needed to do the same amount of work, so this led to really long days. I was constantly finishing things long after dinner thanks to my lack of focus.
Going to a place away from distractions (like a coworking space) where others are working around you is a great way to stay on task and stay focused.
You’ll start talking to your dog.
And I don’t mean about dog stuff, but about that client that just pissed you off. Or you start posting selfies and food pics to fulfill your desire for connection. Or you start talking to yourself. In other words, when you work at home for long stretches of time, well, you get a little cray.
But, still. Working from home is great. Really, it is.
Just do me a favor: make sure you stay balanced and sane by getting out of the house AT LEAST once a week. Lots of coworking spaces (including Groundwork.) offer community memberships and flexible options so you don’t have to give up your home office.
It takes a little bit of effort to get out of your routine (and your PJs), but I promise the effort is well worth it.