The guilt of working from home

Michelle Lee-Ann
7 min readAug 28, 2019

Working from home is a better option for a lot of people instead of heading to the office 5 days a week. Maybe it’s so they can see their kids off to school or pick them up, never worrying about getting to and from the office in time. Maybe it’s because they live far away and a commute is too draining to partake in every day. Maybe, like me, they love being at home and throwing in a load of laundry while hammering through work without any distractions. And, that’s the key to working at home. No distractions.

There are days when I’ll wake up at 6am, happy and bright and ready to start the day without even a sip of coffee. I pad over to the kitchen and start the process of making better coffee than was ever found inside an office and then hunker down at the kitchen table or my desk (honestly, more often the kitchen table) to begin work. I start work at 6:15. There’s no one to greet or chat to or catch up with, except my two cats who scream for their breakfast. I can sit and clearly think and get things done quicker than I would at work. When I feel the need for a break, I take a walk around my yard, do some chores, or scroll through my phone for 5 minutes.

The break is always shorter than it would be if I were in the office. Because as soon as I stray away from my work, the guilt sets in. I feel ashamed for taking a break and wasting time. I should be working non-stop, proving that working from home is better than the office. Which, it is. For me, at least. Some may not be able to resist the call of the couch or the fact that you can easily pop out for groceries during the day skipping the murder-inspiring lines of Costco. Sometimes, the shopping leads to lunch and that leads to more shopping and that leads to feeling too tired and lazy by the time you get home to do any actual work. These days are okay, though. Everyone has a lazy day every now and then. Somehow, you feel guilty when it’s attached to working from home, even if you were having an off day, even if you were finished all of your work, even if you only went to the grocery store and not to lunch and shopping and Netflix. You feel the guilt, regardless of where it’s coming from, solely because you’re taking a break.

Except, you took breaks at work. You may not have worked as hard inside the office as you do at home, now. You allowed yourself a chat with…

Michelle Lee-Ann

Recently published kid's book author, lover of all things Karl Lagerfeld, Golden Girls enthusiast, and finds happiness in books from Hemingway to Harlequin.