Open Thread: Do You Need to Get Out of the House?

Vishal P. Rao at lifehack.org thinks that working from home can be hard on a relationship if your spouse or partner is working at home too:

The fact of the matter is that absence does make the heart grow fonder. There have been no times when my wife waits for me to return from a tired day at work. I am just always there! There is no thrill of taking a day off from work to do some of the household chores that have piled up or the excitement about saving time on a weekend to complete the shopping that we intended to do. Due to constant presence of the other person, we had probably got too used to being around.

Vishal also suggests that working at home can turn you into a hermit:

It is important that we realize that change is something that humans need. It rejuvenates and brings you out of the dreary boredom of regulated life. And if you are always busy on your computer day in and day out without moving out and meeting other people, you will soon become a recluse. Once you achieve what you want, the object looses its charm and attraction and that is exactly what happens when you stay with each other all the time.

Home-based work has many advantages, but it can make you feel stagnant sometimes.

My own personal experience lends some support to what Vishal says. I enjoy the time my husband and I spend working at home in side-by-side offices. But we have plenty of time apart too–we both travel for business regularly and he commutes to his Boulder office as often as he stays home. My husband’s four-day business trip this week made my heart grow very fond.

However, I haven’t found that home-based web work is turning me into a recluse. Quite the contrary. For the most part, I find web workerhood and home-based work even better for expanding my professional and social network than my previous cubicle career. I have made deeper and more meaningful relationships working online than I ever did working in a traditional office setup.

With work as usual, you are limited to the people in your immediate geographic vicinity. With web work, you can connect with the people doing work most similar to yours and whose ideas inspire you. But though I spend the majority of my days working online from home, I do occasionally get out for lunch, take business trips, and meet people face to face, thereby rejuvenating myself with new experiences. I can imagine that 100% home-based work might be a recipe for hermithood.

What do you think? Do you get bored of your partner if you spend too much time together? Do you find home-based work stifling sometimes? How do you refresh yourself after too many days working at home?

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