Working from home isn’t for everyone. In fact, 5 years ago I worked from home and hated it. But this time around I wouldn’t change a thing. This time around I’ve approached working from home differently and have learned a few things about myself and my workflow that has made working from home truly enjoyable.

The “typical” schedule doesn’t work for me.

Before I started working from home I was at a 9 – 6:30 pm office job in Center City. As much as I hated sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day, when I started working from home it felt strange if I wasn’t at my desk the entire time from 9 – 5pm. It took about three months for me to figure out and give myself permission to create a schedule that works for me. I enjoy the fluidity of my schedule and find that my work life balance is much more healthy now. Since I started working this way I’ve become much more productive and enjoy what I’m doing more than ever before.

Quickbooks isn’t that scary.

The aspect I dreaded the most about working for myself was the business side of things. My last experience with Quickbooks was over 10 years ago in high school. Thankfully since then, they’ve done massive updates to the infrastructure and it’s much more user-friendly and intuitive. I’ve never been the one that’s “good at math” (reading is more my thing) but it was a lot easier to figure out Quickbooks that I expected. Plus, they have a great chat support feature which has helped me solve problems quickly.

I never work in coffee shops.

I don’t know why I had this idea, but for some reason I had this vision of bopping around to different coffee shops, setting up station, and getting to work. But in reality, I’ve worked at a coffee shop maybe three times during the past year and a half. Basically, it comes down to this: I have a large screen desktop at home that makes working with multiple programs at once (Lightroom, Illustrator, Chrome, etc) much easier. I’m not one of those people who buy one coffee and nurse it for three hours.

Typical work-from-home rules don’t apply.

Every article I’ve read about the work from home life encourages having a separate office space (one that is not in your bedroom) and getting dressed every day as if you were going into the office. My office is in my bedroom and if I don’t have appointments that take me out of the house, I’m keeping it comfy at home. I haven’t had any issues falling asleep in my bedroom even though my office is in it.

Some people don’t think I work full time.

While I do have some flexibility in my schedule, I have a full workload and can’t just take the day off to visit a cool place or meet up for a chat all the time.  Sometimes I feel bad saying I’m unavailable because technically I’m the one who controls my schedule and I don’t want to come across as rude, but I also have deadlines and responsibilities.

Do you work from home? If so, what has been surprising to you?