We asked our team members at Fire Engine RED to complete the following sentence: “You know you work from home when …”
Let us know if you have any additions!
You go shopping every night just to see someone face-to-face.
You get excited for that weekly grocery store run.
You get claustrophobic at the grocery store.
You realize you haven’t left the house in 3+ days.
You can’t wait to get off work so you can get out of your house.
You realize that what you thought was Tuesday is actually Friday … or vice versa.
Your friends buy you slippers for Christmas and say, “Since you never leave your house …”
You go to get dressed for a party and discover that all you own are sweatpants and t-shirts.
The Adidas outlet is where you shop for work clothes.
You get excited about a new pair of athletic pants … because you will now wear them every day to work.
Every day is casual Friday.
You never iron your work clothes.
Your work shoes are Freudian slippers.
You wear a sock hat to work to keep your head warm.
Your co-workers don’t comment on your sock hat when video Slacking, because it is perfectly normal work attire.
Your real clothes are all stored in the guest room closet.
You have an ongoing mental debate about whether to get rid of your “real” clothes.
The week before team meeting, you go out and buy real clothes and get a haircut.
You can’t remember the last time you wore real clothes and had a haircut.
You get nervous about team meeting because you’ve never met your manager before.
You need to wear a name tag at team meeting, even though you’ve been with the company for nine months.
You don’t recognize the company CEO at the team meeting.
You need your own room at team meeting because you’re not used to spending 8+ hours a day with co-workers.
What you’re saving on dry cleaning, you’re spending on dish soap, Kleenex, and toilet paper.
You scour the Sunday paper for those priceless toilet paper coupons.
You smother your significant other when they get home from work.
Your significant other tells you to get house chores done (e.g., raking, food shopping) on a Tuesday, like you’re not working.
Your significant other questions you daily about whether you’ve showered.
You go on a date with your significant other and after shopping, movie, and dinner – they look across the table and ask, “Are you going to keep your Bluetooth on all night?”
Your house is spotless.
You have a desk drawer just to store all of your devices.
It feels unnatural when you don’t have a device on your ear.
Your ear device doubles as a headband.
You have a spreadsheet to remind you when to charge each device.
You can’t find an empty outlet to charge your fifth device.
Something is always beeping.
You “detox” from devices on the weekend, and then your friends complain you aren’t answering your phone.
Your bathroom doubles as a boardroom.
Your couch/recliner/bed doubles as your desk chair.
Your friends come over and hang out in your office, because it doubles as your living room.
You can no longer take meetings in person because it’s too distracting and difficult to look at people while you’re talking and listening to them.
You can no longer proficiently communicate face-to-face.
Your first instinct in any situation is to create a Google doc.
You can’t stop multitasking, even after the work day is over.
You have employee-of-the-month/preferred parking every day.
A “morning traffic tie-up” is your cat not moving out of the way to your desk.
Your commute down the stairs to the laptop this morning was brutal… a whole 10 seconds longer because you tripped over your dog.
“Going to get coffee” means walking into the kitchen.
The only one to blame for the bad office coffee is you.
You have to throw away holiday leftovers because you can’t take them “to the office.”
Lunch is homemade and doesn’t have to be heated in a microwave. OR when lunch is a sleeve of Ritz crackers on a busy day.
You’re sick in bed, and I mean really really sick, but you drag your laptop into bed to perch on your chest and continue working. And you turn your IM sound back on to wake you up from your feverish sleep in case someone needs you.
You turn on video conferencing just so the person you’re Slacking with can see your hand gestures … sometimes it’s just that important!
You have your own dance party or do aerobics while listening in on conference calls.
You can have solo Lady Gaga dance parties while working, without worrying someone will walk in and see you shimmying away in your desk chair.
You know the UPS man arrives every day at exactly 10 a.m.
You get excited for the UPS man’s arrival.
You are on a first name basis with the UPS man.
You miss the UPS man when he is off for a federal holiday.
You are the only person in your company who works in your time zone.
Every day is “bring your pet to work” day.
Your dog knows the demo script.
Your office “white noise” is the elevator music on the weather channel.
You go to Steinhafel’s for new “office” furniture.
You work right in front of your space heater, just to keep down heating costs during the day.
You get sunburned while working from your balcony.
You take a mid-afternoon break to go get the mail.
You go to your neighbor’s house when you’re sick.
Your neighbors rub it in when they get snow days off and you don’t.
You know all of your senior citizen neighbors … because you also are home all day.
You recount last night’s Wheel of Fortune puzzles with your senior citizen neighbors … every day.
Your neighbors think you are still in college.
You know your neighbors’ schedules and start to freak them out because you know when they come and go.
Just like the old lady next door, you put less than 10,000 miles on your car every year.
You take a drive every Sunday to make sure you keep your car running.
Whether you’re a company of 8, 80 or 800, remote work is good for business. Check out this terrific TED Talk by Matt Mullenweg, cofounder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, a remote-first company with 800+ team members.
As a reminder, Virtual Possibility is the first-ever “how-to” guide on starting and running a 100 percent virtual company – one with NO central office. It’s based on Shelly’s experience leading Fire Engine RED, one of the first all-remote companies in the U.S. If you have an interest in starting your own 100% remote company, or even just working for one, this book is for you!