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6 things you shouldn’t say to your work-from-home friends

Martina Fugazzotto  |  May 21, 2020

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you don’t work. Here are six things those of us who work-from-home are tired of hearing.

The gig economy has given way to more people working from home these days. Moving the office into the living room isn’t for everyone. It takes a unique style of discipline and organization to stay focused and manage time well.  

But working from home doesn’t translate to “not working.” Just like everyone else, someone who works from home has meetings and calls to attend, reports to complete and co-workers to deal with. 

If you typically go into the office for work, you may be guilty of saying these things to a work-from-home friend. There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about working from home, and we’re here to set the record straight.

1. “Can you pick me up from the airport? I’d ask someone else, but they all have to work.”

I’ve received no fewer than seven requests to fetch friends, acquaintances, ex-boyfriends of my neighbor, and pets from major metropolitan airports during my workday. Look, I like being yelled at by airport security as much as the next guy, but please respect that working means working. Sure, working from home sometimes means there’s a bit more flexibility in the day, but not always. 

If you can’t escape the office long enough to pick up a friend from the airport, your work-from-home friend probably can’t either. 

2. “Can you watch my kid/pet/high-maintenance plant?”

Let’s be honest, this question should really be reserved for a baby-sitter, dog walker, or gardener, all of whom are paid professionals. As much fun as it sounds to hang out with your cute new puppy, these are requests that can be directed at more appropriate people.

3. “Aren’t you soul-crushingly lonely?!”

Well, this just isn’t true. Ask my UPS man. Every day when he comes to deliver the things I ordered but don’t need but just wanted someone to talk to, we chat and have an incredible time!

Yeah, okay, maybe this one is true. But let’s be honest, aren’t we all a little lonely sometimes? While working from home means there’s no hanging out at the water cooler with co-workers, it doesn’t mean we’re all devoid of human contact. Some of us spend our days on calls and video chats, while others may be meeting with clients or customers.

4. “I wish I worked from home. I’d be in such good shape. You must go to the gym every day.”

If that were the case, why did a doctor recently tell me I had a “worrisome” dearth of muscle tone? Getting in a gym trip everyday would be the dream for anyone that works from home. But, again, working from home means we’re working. And often the days start earlier and end later leaving little time (and energy) for getting in a sweat. 

5. “It’s my day off. Let’s meet for lunch and bottomless mimosas!”

If there are two things I love, it’s bottomless mimosas and long lunches. But working from home means a lunch hour, if that. Also, please stop drunk dialing me. I’m trying to work.

6. “I honestly don’t know how you can get any work done in your pajamas.”

I don’t know how I do it, either, but somehow my brain continues to function regardless of whether I’m wearing pants. I think I must have achieved that work/life balance thing everyone is talking about.

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