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I recently put in my two week notice at a company I've worked at for the better part of nine years as a digital marketer. The company has treated me well and provided learning opportunities. The work day is consistently 8 to 5. The work-life balance is something I've never had before this job. However the days have gotten a little boring with a lot of bloated process and I feel like I don't even use my degree that much because we're in so many meetings talking about endless things.

Recently I got a job offer to work remote for a company out of New York who has a partially remote workforce as well as an in-office workforce. The pay is significantly higher and I can work from home or anywhere for that matter. The work is roughly the same but I anticipate learning something new as another benefit. I even have a contact on the inside who has told me that the work-life balance is great and the culture is great.

After accepting the offer and giving my boss a two week notice the following day, I instantly started to regret it. For the first few days I left work and cried thinking about all of the people I'll no longer interact with. The beautiful office I'll no longer get to go into. My parking space and desk with a view I won't have if I ever come back. Then that sadness subsided some and now I'm worried about the loneliness of working and living alone. I've looked into some co-working spaces but I don't think that's going to give me the same level of interaction an actual workplace would give me. They do have some get-togethers a few times a year where we would all fly in but I think loneliness is my biggest concern with this new job. I'm also starting to feel concerned with the whole idea that output is now more important as a remote worker than presenteeism. I know that sounds bad but I just hope I'm not entering a micromanaging environment. My research says otherwise but it's always fearful to go off into the unknown.

Has anyone else made the transition from a full-time office job to a full-time remote job? I think this is worse than new job jitters because I'm also adding the remote aspect as well. I tell myself worst case I'll just try to go back to my old job to be around people again if I can't stand it after 6 months but there's no guarantee they will have openings and it could be awhile maybe even into next year before I could get into something again.

  • Does your company offer funds/can you use your higher pay to join a "coworking space"? You'd still be working remotely, with others who work remotely. Best part is, no one is technically your coworker, so if you don't like the regulars there, you could try a new space. – Mars Mar 11 at 1:49
  • Thanks for responding. they don't offer funds for a co-working space but my pay increase was so large I was thinking of just paying for it out of pocket. I already toured one co-working space and I wasn't impressed because there was only like 5 people there and it seems pretty dead. I have only one other co-working space in the city and I'm really hoping that one has a better social Outlook. I was also considering the library. – DanielMatt772 Mar 11 at 1:58
  • No it's not the first time but this is the first company that has had great work-life balance and I really like the building. I know that sounds silly but it's just such a drastic change to go from working in an office to being out on the street so to speak. – DanielMatt772 Mar 11 at 11:46
  • Change is scary but necessary. Just remember that you've evaluated your situation and you chose this path for a reason. Head into it full of force and enthusiasm. In a few weeks you'll forget that you were ever afraid. – MonkeyZeus Mar 11 at 13:20
  • @DanielMatt772 If you pay out-of-pocket for co-working space, check with a CPA / accountant if it can be written off as a business expense. It will help reduce the earnings, which can lessen your tax expense. Also, consider having a room in your residence converted into a work only office, if your CPA indicates it will give you a tax break. 25% of your home used for work 50% of the time is (if it applies) a business expense of 12% of your rent or mortgage. Rules apply, and your CPA / taxing authority will offer the rules, if you ask them. – Edwin Buck Mar 11 at 14:28
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Buyer's remorse is a real thing. You are feeling the new job equivalent of buyer's remorse.

Remind yourself that if you didn't take the new job, you'd still be at your old job. You know, the one that was not challenging you. The one that was letting your skills stagnate until you probably couldn't easily land another job.

Sure, there will be new challenges; but, that's what keeps you fresh. Just remember why you started looking, and know that those reasons wouldn't disappear if you had (in some parallel universe) kept your old job.

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You should look to the evenings and weekends for interaction. If you do not currently have any hobbies that give you that, start some. If you participate in an organized religion, consider increased involvement in that. Go to some meetups for any interests you have or would like to develop. Do some volunteering.

If you have a really active evening and weekend social life, juggling which activity you are going to tonight, the time at home just doing your job will be a pleasant contrast.

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After giving two weeks notice, you are still employed for two weeks. It is entirely possible to go back to your manager, and tell them that you changed your mind and would like to stay.

They don't have to keep you on, but it is entirely possible for the company in this situation to take your notice and throw it into the bin. If you are an employee they want to keep, it is reasonably likely that they would do that.

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  • Good point also mentioning the possibility to get back the old job during notice! – iLuvLogix Mar 11 at 9:39
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    This thought has run through my mind many times and it's only been one week since I gave notice! As much as I want to I think it will ultimately be better to leave for 6 months or so and then come back. My notice has already been sent to HR, my going-away lunch is scheduled. Embarrassment aside, I think my commitment to the company would be questioned or I would be put on the slow track for promotions. so ultimately it probably is for the best to just leave for a bit try it out and if I don't like it try to come back and hope they have openings. – DanielMatt772 Mar 11 at 11:50
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    I had a colleague who left on Friday afternoon and called Monday morning, 9:10am if he could have his job back (it took him ten minutes at the new job that all he was told in the job interview was lies). He returned, HR fixed things so that he never "left". Worked there for many years after. No problems for him. So if the company does indeed say "yes" I would expect no problems. – gnasher729 Mar 11 at 12:27
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    Giving notice and then retracting it might seem really embarrassing now, but most people will quickly forget about it. Just last month someone on my team gave notice and, on their last day with the company, had a productive discussion with their manager and ended up staying. We were actually thrilled about it. – Dan Wilson Mar 11 at 12:55
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You'll be fine, it's always stresssful moving jobs, especially if you've never done it before (or haven't in a long while).

Working remote is no different from working in an office - you'll get to know the people you work with still, but you'll also get to meet people in local cafes.

But just chill, you'll be dead soon this is a very low-stress situation, all things considered.

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  • You'll get to know the people you work with Not in my experience... – Mars Mar 11 at 3:29
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    "you'll be dead soon"?? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Mar 11 at 6:18
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    By ‘you’ll be dead soon’ the poster simply means, life is short, enjoy it, don’t worry about something so small...atleast i hope thats what they mean... – morbo Mar 11 at 7:33
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    "Working remote is no different from working in an office". Absolutely not in my experience. I mean if you work remotely and have daily contact with coworkers you're clearly doing something wrong. I've done remote work and I absolutely wouldn't want to do it for an extended period of time exactly for that reason.. I like having people around. – Voo Mar 11 at 9:46
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    @morbo oh man, yeh, i didn't actually order a hit on the OP... – bharal Mar 11 at 12:04
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To answer your bold-printed question: I made the transition from full-time office job to 90% remote job last summer. I love it.

I have to admit, though, that my daily life wouldn't please everyone, and I even have colleagues complaining they feel lonely. Just give it a try, else you'll never know.

There are lots of online advices to remote working, but I'll try to sum them up.

Benefits:

  • I take breaks whenever I want - as long as colleagues can reach me (on the phone or via chat), everyone's fine. I tend to have headaches and simply need more breaks than I was allowed to have in the office. My sick days have gone from 25 - 30 per year to 0.
  • My housekeeping work integrates seamlessly into my work day. I'm a lot less stressed because I can hang out the laundry in one of my breaks, instead of washing everything in a rush in the evening. I even enjoy zoning out now. If I wanted to zone out in the office, e.g. by getting a cup of tea, there was always someone talking about business. I was really stressed by that. Even the enforced lunch break at 12 o'clock was no break to me.
  • Finally I spend more time with my husband than with my colleagues. At first we were really afraid of unnerving each other if we're both at home. But well, the house is big enough, we only spend our breaks together.
  • Getting things done - I tend to schedule my work to the evening, when people won't disturb me anymore. I get a lot more done than I did in the office, because I can concentrate better
  • No commute: I really really hated having to rush out of the house early enough so I could get one of those limited parking spaces near the office
  • Work from wherever I want. I prolonged my last holiday a week and worked from my hammock in the sun.... And because all of my colleagues are free to do so, there was not even a single word of envy! This could have never been where I worked before!!
  • Last, but for me as a female for sure not least: I regulate the office climate myself. Damn it, if it's too cold, I heat my office up! I open the window without someone complaining about his hayfever. If I like the sun in my face no-one is stopping me by letting down the shutters because they can't see anything on their screen. And if I get cold feet anyway (remember: female ^^), I get a cover or a hot-water bottle!

Drawbacks:

  • People will try to reach you around the clock. Stop them right away. Where I'm working now, we are reachable from 8 to 5 - except we mark it in the calendar that we're not available. I block the calendar for some hours a day, so I can do the hard work with concentration. In the office I could not block colleagues out. Outside hours I don't answer the phone, e-mails and chat are answered only if I like to and on an irregular basis so people don't get used to it
  • Overworking. When you don't clock in and out and get less feedback (there's no boss behind your back! You're at home! The micromanaging you're fearing is impossible!) you tend to feel you've not done enough. I stop myself from thinking like that by keeping track of my hours. I do some extra hours, yes, but I try to keep them low.
  • Loneliness. Exactly your point, isn't it?

For me this isn't a great issue. I have my dogs, I have my husband, the rest of the world unnerves me. And though - I'm not really lonely. We're an awful lot on the phone. We also talk about private things (from weather to what did you do last weekend) - the same as when meeting at the coffe machine at the office. Team excursions really improve that. You get to know each other. There are colleagues you like more, others less - same as in a full-time office. For those you like you feel you're calling an old friend on the phone. There's really a lot of conversation. You're still working with humans. We meet up at least once a week with the whole team. But there's almost no day I'm not calling someone. We collaborate, we're a team!

One of my colleagues feels really lonely though. He has begun to turn on his camera now. Well, we others don't follow his example, but he may do that if he feels better like that. Maybe he will leave. In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves. This is no reason not to try for yourself!

Some other DO's:

  • have a dedicated workspace. Don't mix your private life and your work life. Though I love working from my hammock, I also enjoy having that one clear space in my house to keep my notes, my laptop, my big screens and so on. I see now I don't like to hang out in my home office when I'm not working. The workspace is the workspace. Don't spend your leisure time there.
  • Some people say go out once a week. Meaning, look for a place with free internet and sit there to work. People tending to feel lonely obviously like that. If it's too loud where you're going, block you're calendar, so people don't try to get you into meetings.

In the beginning I regretted my decision to leave my old workplace. Like you, I've been there over ten years - and it was the only place I've worked before. I really liked my colleagues. But like for you, daily work had gotten boring/unnerving. I think I would've stayed anyway, but finally they took this decision for me by giving me new micromanaging boss. I simply couldn't cope with him. Regrets faded some weeks after leaving. Wouldn't ever think about getting back there!

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