15 Things Only People Who Work From Home Understand

I was at the mall last weekend, and I couldn’t help but notice all the pretty work outfit displays at Express and Ann Taylor Loft. Behind thick glass lived perfectly tailored blazers, skinny black slacks, nude heels shinier than engagement rings, and crisp white button-ups I would never need to own. In fact, I didn’t need to be at the mall at all: I work from home, so clothing and accessories are both very optional.

To be honest, most things are optional when you work from home. All “work” rules get thrown out the window, because you are basically your own boss. Behold, all the struggles and perks you face when you never have to step inside a building for work, ever.

1. Your desk is merely ornamental 

You totally set up your desk. You got Post-it Notes and pens to make it look even more desk-like. You promised yourself that you’d really use it. . .if only your bed wasn’t so warm and cozy, and your laptop wasn’t RIGHT THERE. Your bed has become the bull-pen, the war room, the main power office. And when you’re tired of working under your comforter, sorry desk, the couch is next in line.

2. Daytime TV is your co-worker

Hoda and Kathie Lee, Wendy Williams, the OG cast of 90210—you rely on these fine folks to provide you with background noise, human semi-contact, and lunch break company.

3. Falling asleep at night, unfortunately, is an issue

It happens when you spend the day working from bed. I’ve learned that the body begins to associate the bed with work, and work is just not very conducive for sleep. I guess you just can’t have it all, can you?

4. PJs are considered ‘corporate casual’

You have no need for pencil skirts and blouses when a pair of Hello Kitty PJs will do just fine.

5. But you find yourself shopping for “comfy work-from-home clothes that are still fashionable” anyway

Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on office fashion, so I’ll compromise: a maxi skirt paired with a soft, cotton t-shirt or a button-up chambray dress will make me feel fancy and legit even though I’m just typing away on my couch.

6. You have a “Dream Home Office” Pinterest board

Mason jars spray-painted gold to hold all your pens, inspirational quotes framed above your desk, and a bright accent wall to give your office some whimsy are just a few of your grand plans to design the perfect creative space. Of course, even if you built this magical room, you’d still probably work from bed.

7. You sometimes have to explain you’re not actually unemployed

It may *look* like you’re just searching for Game of Thrones gifs all day long but. . . OK, yes, that is precisely what you’re doing, but so what? Gifs are a full-time job, obviously.

8. For lunch, you go to Your Kitchen, a quaint spot just down the hallway

They have awesome lunch deals on lasagna leftovers and microwavable burritos. WIN.

9. Since you have no set hours, you sometimes work until 2am

And then start all over again at 9am.

10. You order EVERYTHING online

Missing the UPS/Fed-Ex person is never a problem.You don’t have to deal with the anguish and agony of having to retrieve your package from the post office because you weren’t at home to sign for it. So why not order furniture, clothing, books and other things you can’t afford on Amazon? Also, leaving the house sucks.

11. You’ve probably gone three days without speaking to anyone

When the phone rings, you hesitate answering because it would feel unnatural to talk to a human NOT via e-mail.

12. By Thursday, you sound like an alien that just learned how to communicate with earthlings

The weekend rolls around eventually, and someone who loves you will want to take you out to eat or dance or see a movie, and you’ll actually have to, you know, talk to them. “I. . .whoa. I have a voice. Hi,” is what you will probably sound like for the first few hours.

13. You get seriously decked-out for work video chats

You gleefully try out your new MAC lipstick whenever you have a work meeting on Google Hangout. Finally, someone will be able to appreciate this tangerine-red hue besides your cat.

14. Your office gossip happens over instant message

One of the best things about work is work gossip! In restaurants, this generally entails talking about horrible customers and weird managers, and offices have their own fair share of gossip. Since you probably don’t really deal with a boss or co-workers, you and an online buddy have other things to chat about: the obnoxiousness of your neighbors blasting Journey at 11am, mean Internet commenters, the audacity of Facebook for taunting you with personalized Madewell ads, etc. Basically all the really important stuff.

15. You make serious plans to spend a day working from a Starbucks 

But then you never get out of bed.

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