One thing that is absolutely fascinating to me is the sheer number of people who “hate to leave the house” within the work-from-home community. For example, I had a boss once who bragged about averaging “about 30 days” between exits from her home. Once a month! She leaves her house once a month! That’s 12 times a year! That’s insane!

I, for one, love leaving the house. Sure, when it’s super busy (or polar vortex-y), I might go a day or two without leaving my city dwelling. But after more than 48 hours without seeing the great outdoor world, I am climbing the walls and need to leave the house.

Errands are my friend, friends.

Somewhat importantly, leaving the house on a regular basis gives me the opportunity to interact with people who aren’t just online. Honing these social skills seems incredibly important, given the fact that I would one day like to have a job that lets me leave the house on a daily basis. But I digress.

Honestly, I feel like the “never leave the house” bragging is just an extension of the natural human inclination to talk about how difficult you’ve made your life. (See also: engineering majors who won’t shut up about how many all-nighters they have “had to pull.”) In fact, other work-from-home folks like to brag about all sorts of random hardships such as:

  • The last time they showered, brushed their teeth or put on makeup.
  • How long they can go without doing laundry.
  • The last time they felt compelled to put on shoes or a pair of pants with zippers.
  • How long it has been since they met someone new who wasn’t already on their G+ contacts list.
  • How many hours per day they can stream Netflix.

A Better Way?

Now, I suppose I shouldn’t judge how people want to live their lives/spend their free time. And I’m not judging! I swear! I just choose to use the absurd amount of flexibility I have in my current employment situation for other pursuits.

Here are just a few of the things that I can do because I work from home:

Join an APA pool league.
Also, play a whole lot more pool than I’ve been able to in the past few years.
Become more active within my church community.
I even make baked goods for the priest. Because I have the time.
Explore the various places to go in my neighborhood.
Bars, restaurants, cafés – you name it – becoming a “regular” is a pretty sweet gig.
Ice skate.
There’s a park right by my house where the skating is cheap and the music is bangin’. (Plus, there’s the added entertainment of watching packs of children crashing around on the ice.)
Grocery shop.
I have the ability to shop when no one else does, which certainly makes life easier and more enjoyable.
Go places.
As long as I have the internet, I can work. Sure, it’s easier to work in my home office, but if I feel like going to Pittsburgh, I can go to Pittsburgh. Or Detroit. Or wherever I want, really.

Sure, I’m sure there are plenty of people who are completely fulfilled staying indoors all the time and legitimately do not see the need to leave their houses. However, I like exploring and vitamin D and all the benefits that come from leaving my house.