The idea of working from home is one thing; the reality tends to be another. . The imagination can conjure an image of one sitting at a quiet desk with a cup of tea in deep thought. The scene might look like a writer’s retreat full of books and the kind of surroundings where a great novel could develop. That’s the imagination. The reality was put to me by a group of young people who live together. Each one works for a different company and each is now required to work from home. To preserve order they established a set of house rules. The rules might apply to you too…
- Put on real clothes in the morning and get out of your pajamas. Real shoes required and sweat clothes do not count as real clothes.
- Discussion of getting a puppy or kitten will not be tolerated.
- Use toilet paper only when necessary. Every sheet counts.
- Talk to Mom no more than thirty minutes per day.
- Don’t start drinking alcohol until 4:30.
- Leave the apartment every day even if it is raining. Take as long as you want.
- No daytime television shows. None.
- Stay away from stalking old boyfriends or girlfriends. If you do, no discussion allowed about it.
- Productivity is not measured in the number of emails sent. Don’t brag.
- Have a daily meeting to tell each other to share anxieties and moods and to eliminate annoying habits in others.
- Limit news coverage to no more than one hour per day.
- Keep things clean and do the dishes after each meal. No piling up in the sin.
Working from home can be a challenge, especially in an apartment where space is at a premium. Under the best conditions, it can still be noisy, distracting and challenging to get real work done. Like this group of Millennials who established rules, better to set boundaries and expectations than to give up.
It’s easier to go into the office to be productive. But today for many, that is not an option.