5 Working From Home Expectations vs. Reality

You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Or in my case, beyond the view of my laptop camera. This year I became Tulip Tree Studios’ first 100% remote employee. A few months ago, I was working in a downtown Rochester office with my insanely talented co-workers. Now I work from home in Kansas City, with my insanely talented kids and pets. For a Type A business professional, the adjustment was…interesting. I’ve listed out my top 5 work from home expectations, the unexpected reality, and solutions that worked for me.

Expectation #1: My kids are old enough to understand when Mommy’s working.

Reality: Turns out, my kids don’t give a rip who I’m talking to, video chatting with, or emailing important documents to. It is their life mission to request more screen time at any given moment and as loudly as possible.

Solution: We added doors to my office. #Boundaries

Expectation #2: It will be nice to work alone – I will get so much done!

Reality: I need adult conversation. Technology is great, but actual human interaction is the best way to build and maintain relationships.

Solution: I joined some amazing networking groups and got myself out there! It’s amazing how many people are willing to (safely, of course) grab a coffee or lunch and get to know you and your business.

Expectation #3: I only have to dress professionally from the waist up.

Reality: Wearing stretch pants every day for a few months and then attempting to put on your favorite jeans will make you cry.

Solution: We found a great CrossFit gym and are really trying to get out of bed and go. Full disclosure: we’ve gone twice in 2 months, but we are still paying for it, so that counts, right?

Expectation #4: Clients prefer to meet in-person.

Reality: I’ll admit that when we first shifted to Zoom meetings due to the pandemic, it was awkward. Now that video meetings are the norm, this instant communication has made getting work done faster and more efficient for everyone.

Solution: Two words: ring light.

Expectation #5: I won’t feel like part of the team being so far away.

Reality: The Tulip Tree team has gone above and beyond to include me in all of the in-office projects and shenanigans. Find yourself a work crew better than mine. I’ll wait.

Solution: To put it simply, everyone has to be willing to make it work. Find communication platforms that work best for your team. We like Discord and Zoom the best.

Between a global pandemic, a cross-country move, virtual learning, and transitioning to a remote employee – 2020 has been quite the year! Ultimately, this year has challenged me and helped me grow. Working at home has definitely not been what I expected, but the reality is I am not alone in this experience. My best advice for those working from home? Find ways to connect with people, take a break from your screen, and get comfortable with creating your own structure with your work day.