I have two jobs and I get to work at home while doing both.
First, the day job that pays the bills - I am a telephonic case manager for people injured on the job. Second, my passion - I am a healthcare writer, coach, and nurse consultant. Both jobs afford me the ability to work from home.
For some of you reading this, you're jealous because working from home is your dream. Others are quietly listing the reasons you could never give up your time away from the house, laundry, dust, and work that calls your name. I get it!
I used to be you.
I remember when my kids were little and I worked at home in the evenings preparing my schedule for the next day of home care visits. It was a nightmare at times!
I would settle in to call patients and World War III would ensue over whether to watch Lion King (again) or Finding Nemo. I would cringe as I walked into the room to begin peace talks. It would take 10 minutes to arbitrate the war between my two small villains. Once settled, it would take me another 10 minutes to get my mind out of the war-zone and back into work-zone.
Today, working at home is totally different. It is peaceful, serene, and a mecca for creativity - most days. My kids are teens, so fights are less and their whiny cries to let me know they need something rarely ensue.
There are still things that I wish I could change here and there about working from home. But, who has a work environment that is 100% everything they ever wished for with no improvements needed ever? Not many people I know.
My 5 Lucky Reasons
1. Creativity - I am most creative when I am at home. I can play music, listen to podcasts, and eat jelly beans, which I swear boost my creativity.
Don’t get me wrong, a long walk, trip to a new place, working in a coffee shop or outdoor market can inspire. But, when compared with a dank, office building and dusty cube, I feel creative and inspired in my home.
To help with my creativity, I intentionally develop my office space spark creativity and allow thoughts to flow. I use colors, images, quotes, candles, and flowers to give my mind sights , sounds, and smells that help me tackle a new article or blog post.
Oh, and jelly beans! The flavors and little boost of sugar always help. I rarely make it through a writing job without a few jelly beans.
2. Flexibility - Whether it is a day-job office day or a freelance day, I can stay in my jammies, snuggle my pups, and tackle a load of laundry before starting the day. The flexibility I get from working at home has helped with my productivity.
3. Less Stress - Working from home has decreased my stress in huge ways. Don’t get me wrong, there are still barriers, struggles, and stress when you work from home. But, overall my stress levels are lower and energy levels are higher.
I have found that I can breeze through stressful situations in a healthier manner when I work from home. A 15 minute break in which I sit quietly to complete a guided meditation can do wonders for my soul. Meditating can be difficult to do when you are in a large office with bright lights, loud noises, and nosy co-workers.
4. Family Time - You often hear about moms who work from home with littles. I am not one of those moms. And, from my story above, you can tell that I may not have been a successful mompreneur when working from home with little ones.
Today, I have 3 teens. 2 bios and one step-son. Most days, it is me, my husband and my 2 kiddos, 16 and 14 years old. My step-son who is 17 is with us every other weekend and one night each week.
My work at home schedule with both of my jobs gives me extra time with all of them. In the mornings, I can help the kids get ready for school and out the door without rushing around to get myself ready too. While they are gone, I work. By the time they get home, I am ready to finish up my day and spend evening time with them. I can literally clock out and be with my family in 1 second. It is nice.
In the summer, I take my lunch break with my kids, if they are home. This gives me an awesome opportunity to engage in conversations with them in the middle of day and really connect in a calm, non-rushed way.
I have had more one-on-one time with each of them since starting my work at home path. We can talk, grab and ice cream after work, or have breakfast together in the mornings.
5. My Mental Health - Prior to working at home and starting my business, I felt burnt out and struggled
with anxiety. I had a nice job with leadership responsibilities but I was miserable. I had to step away from the stress. I stepped down, took a case management job, and started my business.
Essentially, I went back to a job that I am good at and I have always loved. Today, I am happy and healthy. When you have to make major lifestyle changes, it is hard. At the time, I did not feel lucky. Today, I know it is the best decision I could have made.
Many people struggle with making these types of decisions and feel that it is showing weakness. I can tell you from experience, that I have never felt my strength, grit, and vigor for life more than the day I stepped down. I did it for me, my family, and my mental health.
Working from home is great. It is not always rainbows and leprechauns, but most days I am productive and happy. It had been several years since I could say I was happy with my work. I am learning and growing in my freelance business and I love the flexibility working from home gives me.