I have a new fear – I have become afraid of working from home. I’m not talking about a panic type fear this is more of a niggling nag that means I am more likely to choose to go into the office even when I have no need to be there. As I have done today.
As with most fear this new fear of working from home is primarily irrational.
Throughout 2008 and for much of the early part of 2009 I worked from home. This was effective, productive and in many ways less stressful. The facilities are better at home and I get to interact with the family more often. The coffee is certainly better.
So where has this fear come from? There are, as you’d expect, a number of elements.
One of my fears is a distrust of my own self-control. While the working environment at home is much better than it is in the office it is also much more distracting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never spent days distracted on things that aren’t work, I’m just worried that I will. Everyone who owns a home knows that there are always jobs to be done. It’s an irrational fear because there are just as many distractions in the office, they just look a bit more like work.
The self control fear also works the other way though, I worry about my ability to constrain work. I can be a bit obsessive about things and it’s easier to be sucked into work when you are working from home. It’s more difficult to shut the door and to declare it finished.
Another fear is the fear of missing out. What if I am missing out on something important or exciting? If I am at home am I always going to be second choice. At the crux it’s a lack of confidence in my own abilities and the value that I bring. If I was confident in my own ability I wouldn’t worry about being left on the sidelines. The irrationality of this fear is that the people who I interact with are rarely in the same office as me even when I am in the office myself.
Loneliness is another worry. There have certainly days when I have worked from home where I have taken a walk to the shops mainly to speak face-to-face with someone.
The last fear is a bit more of a personal one and probably the most irrational. In my mind I think that I get more headaches when I work from home, and I also think that these headaches turn into migraines more often at home than in the office. It seems like I’m stating the obvious, but I don’t like migraines and the fear of them can linger at the back of my head. Going into the office lessens that fear.
Am I the only one? Is this something that other home workers feel?
Do I need to just “get back on the bike” and push away my irrational fears?