With quarantines and shelter-in-place orders hitting more and more of the world, thousands of people who have never worked from home are suddenly experiencing the joys of the home office. The result? A surprising amount of chaos. It turns out that working from home is harder than you’d expect. Luckily for us, there are some brave folks who have done it before and they’re here to give us the tried and true tips.
One of our work from home friends went so far as to tweet it all in a thread that has gone viral for its surprising content. Do you want to know the real secrets of working from home? Our girl Lex has you covered, with true tips from eight years of working from home. Her real advice? Absolutely do not do what she does because you will get nothing done. Her life is your list of no-nos.
Are you ready to become a work at home master?
Eight years of working from home? Sounds like this gal knows exactly what she’s talking about. She’s probably got this down to a science!
Lex has never done that. 7 p.m.? That’s an appropriate start time, right? Time for some insomnia!
Well, you can rest assured that they’re absolutely true. And if you’re like most people you’ll make it much worse by not reaching out to your friends and family.
Coffee! Nothing could go wrong with sweet caffeine. Unless of course you pour eight shots of espresso down your gullet in one sitting like a madperson, which is what might happen to you while working from home.
A wise commenter shared a brilliant piece of advice: if you have your OWN espresso maker you can have as much espresso as you want any time. Fuel that 7 p.m. work binge.
Even Lex was afraid to expose herself to that much power…and the heart attack that is likely to come with it.
Write down many things! As many things as possible! Do not do the things. That is the most important step in this process.
Lex are you suggesting that we should get down and dirty with our unemployed ex in the middle of the day? Well if an expert says I should…
It can be when you work from home because now you don’t answer to anyone! You have the power!
A puppy. We’re talking about a puppy. Did you think we implied having a baby? Absolutely not.
But you should definitely still buy office clothes that you will never wear. In case you’re suddenly possessed and decide to work while wearing a blazer on your couch.
You need to make sure your laptop is as well-dressed as you are, with bags and baubles. Again, there is no way you will ever use this while working from home.
That way you can hide from your coworkers if they ever try to make you work in the office. Bleach that hair!
We lied. Stay in front of your screen literally all day every day until your eyes melt out of your head and you see in blue light.
I want to know what will actually happen when I work from home, not some BS about “having good boundaries” and “being responsible.”
It’s basically “exercise” if you walk two rooms to the fridge every 30 minutes, and that’s what working from home is all about.
Who can afford to have a house with three whole rooms?
Buy more things you can’t afford! It’s like the online shopping addiction but bigger and house shaped.
There are other people there and that’s honestly the whole point of working from home: getting away from the people.
She has the powers of two men! Ten men! Fifty men sleeping instead of working from home!
They can verify that Lex has this down to a science, and knows exactly what she’s talking about.
You know that feeling when someone knows all your faults exactly and then describes them on the internet? That is the personal attack of reading this thread as someone who works from home.
Print it, frame it, never forget the importance of these life lessons that Lex has learned on your behalf with years of anxiety and insomnia.
Practice your penmanship (while ignoring your work) by writing down all the rules.
Five more years (of drinking too much coffee)! Five more years (of not working until 7 p.m.)!
This woman is about to become a legend for how thoroughly she’s mucked up working from home.
Or do you want to “actually accomplish things” during your time in quarantine?
Every time I brew myself more espresso I’ll be thinking of Lex. Shout out to my girl.
(and honestly you really shouldn’t because it is a full list of all the wrong things to do), you can still find some joy in the humor of it.
For instance: one tip is that sometimes it’s okay to ignore tips.
People love answering random questions that have noting to do with the topic at hand! It makes them feel alive!
You don’t want the muscles in your shoulder that hold the subway bar to atrophy, do you? remember to keep working it with your shower rod.
Having a Cheryl to complain about is important for any marriage, partnership, or roommate situation. you always grow together when you have a common enemy.
It is a Cosmic Rule of the Universe: if you’re in an office setting and you put your name on a yogurt, someone else will eat it. This work from home situation we all now find ourselves in is proving that.
Look, not everyone is good at direct communication. Sometimes you have to talk to someone through someone else. And cats don’t care, they’ll let you talk at them about anyone (so long as you don’t interrupt their endless lounging in any way).
Those ids will understand when mom uses the paycheck she earned working from home distraction-free to buy them groceries and school clothes and Nintendo Switches.
There’s economic stimulus, and then there’s emotional stimulus. So why hasn’t the government yet issued one (1) dog to every American?
We haven’t been wearing bras since February, and is it even going to be possible to go back? I say no.
If you’ve ever beaten an RPG, you know you end up with about 30 extra potions and mana elixers. Don’t let that happen with your trail mix. Go ahead and enjoy some now.
Pajamas are for sleepy workers. Yesterday’s clothes are made for efficient and practical workers. If you’re on a Zoom call and your boss notices you’ve got on the same blouse on as you did yesterday, they will certainly give you a raise.
Like, what are you up to David? You always pay rent on time, but I don’t think I ever saw you leave the apartment, even before this?
The pugs have been putting in good work for a long time now, and they deserve at least a title bump. (Their pay will not increase, as they are paid in dog food and that would be unhealthy.)
I wonder if it’d be okay to continue your office relationship if you went and reported it to HR? (HR is the cat.)
Hey, don’t mock this man’s preparedness! Imagine the devastating scenario where he runs out of Cadbury Mini Eggs mid-workday! That must be avoided at all costs.
Another god option: seduce an insurance salesman, have him commit the murder, and then use him to push through the new policy payout. (But make sure to seduce him over the internet! We’re keeping social distance.)
Many people will not be comfortable with becoming emotional houseplants, but the sooner we all accept it, the sooner we can begin to grow.
The worst part of this situation is not the guy breathing. It’s the awkward moment when everyone slowly starts to realize that someone has to say something to Michael because it sounds like he just went for a six mile run and put his microphone inside his mouth.
I bet you’ve got plenty of chairs sitting around that can be combined in interesting ways to recreate the sort of desk set up you’re used to.
While I’m working from home, I like to take little scheduled breaks so as to get some distance from my work. But… I still think about work constantly during those breaks, so it really is like yard time in prison — a poor facsimile of freedom.
How many of us are truly, at our deepest cores, the type of people who want to wear suits everyday? I suspect it is significantly less than the number of people who, before this, wore suits everyday.
Yes, we all used to get things done at work. Those days are done. Accept it.
Enforce those boundaries, and enforce them hard. I like to throw my phone and laptop in a small waist-high safe everyday at five PM and activate the time delay so that it only opens again at nine AM. Let’s see you get ahold of me and make me do stuff through solid lead, Mark.
Get your business done and head
home to your bedroom.
Although, I do miss those slow times at the office, after my work was done. I’d go get myself a cup of coffee and grab someone else’s clearly-labeled yogurt out of the fridge and head back to my desk to just kick it.
Another hot tip: make about 45 sandwiches on Monday morning. Then you can keep eating sandwiches throughout the week without having to be constantly making sandwiches. (Well, let’s be honest, they won’t last a week. Three days, max.)
These little interns have been looking for a chance to step up and get more involved in the business, and this is the perfect time.
I’ll tell you this — the idea of wearing anything other than gym shorts and t-shirts feels like torture. Sorry in advance to anyone whose weddings I show up to dressed completely inappropriately, but it’s happening.
There will be a not insignificant number of people who are fired during this quarantine and immediately replaced with their cats.
Your work is important too! I bet that drawing of a duck will inspire a ton of aerospace engineers (you know, when they’re taking a break from designing innovative gadgets that literally help human beings fly and go into space).
Listen, not everyone is going to discover fundamental laws of physics every day. Cut yourself a break.
Do NOT do what she does. That is master level working from home. If you’re just starting you should probably do what the experts suggest and have a schedule, put on clothes, or take real breaks.