As someone who works from home, I will tell you that working in my pyjamas is indeed awesome. Almost awesome enough to make up for the fact that no one pays me on time. But I want to explore the other significant ways I don’t miss working in the Gulag you call an office.
5. No need to pretend to care about your co-workers’ problems.
Seriously, when I look back to when I worked in an office I don’t know how I got any actual work done because a good portion of my day was spent listening to people talk about their amazing/non-existent/sicko relationship, wedding plans, mother, mother-in-law, breast size, diet, fertility, child’s bowel functions, or weird dream about being in a porno with Beaker from The Muppets.
And because I pretend to be a nice person, I would pretend to care. But if Keanu Reeves has taught me anything, it's that acting is hard work. Now that I'm working from home, I can conserve that energy I used to spend being nice and use it to nail my English accent.
4. No need to file sexual harassment lawsuits.
I’m not saying that I’m so hot men can’t help but behave inappropriately around me, what I’m saying is that men behave inappropriately. Often. In the 21st century.
Maybe you think Mad Men is a quaint look back at boorish male behavior but I watch it and get a PTSD flashback about the time my boss asked me in front of a meeting of co-workers whether I wore “boy jammies or girl jammies”.
I also once had a boss suggest that I sit on the lap of a client and entertain him while he was waiting. I’ve had a client interrupt the beginning of a presentation I was making to tell me I was “smoking hot". And I had a boss who regularly stared at my chest so intently that if he were a laser cat, it would have been instant double mastectomy.
3.You don’t have to spend 8 hours a day acting like you’re normal.
I’ve worked in some places where the culture was so stiflingly boring and uptight that I felt like Dexter’s father was haunting my cubicle every day reminding me,“You gotta fit in, Dex.” That's probably why I bought doughnuts for the staff every day and joined the office bowling team.
In those situations it wasn’t just that the workload was stressful, it was the fact I had to restrain the inner me all day long. Working from home I just have to pull it together for the odd meeting and client phone call but the rest of the time, I can let my freak flag fly.
2. No more office potlucks.
This is the worst idea for office bonding since foosball tables, Secret Santa and Christmas party karaoke. Usually organized by well-meaning women in the office, the potluck is actually a microcosm of life:
- There’s the overachiever who really makes the effort— they marinate steak for 48 hours in spices they crushed by hand, slow cook it on the BBQ for 12 hours, turn it into a crockpot full of chili that simmers for 3 days in a sauce they brought back from the Rio Grande and then expect some sort of Iron Chef coronation as they ceremoniously scoop up servings for everyone.
- There’s the guy who brings something his wife made. (Spinach dip in a bread bowl anyone?)
- There’s the “I forgot/I’m too busy” slacker who stops by the grocery store and picks up a wilting pre-made salad or a package of dusty cookies.
- Lastly, there’s the self-righteous, healthy vegan who brings in something that makes me poop for a week.
Mix all these people into the lounge area where we make awkward small talk (see reason #5) while balancing an overloaded paper plate full of lukewarm scallop potatoes on our knees. Really want to bond? How about redirect the money you spent making that non-dairy, gluten-free casserole sprinkled with kale chips and let’s go out to the pub and tie one on.
1. Kid Germs
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Howie Mandel when it comes to germs and I happen to like children very much (But please kids, fist bumps only). However, I am much, much healthier since I started working from home and not in an office filled with parents who drag their kid’s plague-of-the-month around with them like some sort of invisible cootie-coat.
If I know I have to go into an office for a meeting during flu season where there is a high concentration of parents with kids in daycare, I always imagine going home and acting out Gwyneth Paltrow’s hospital scene in Contagion.
Sure, maybe there are drawbacks to working from home (zero come to mind at the moment) and maybe you love a good office potluck because it beats that Michelina you normally eat, but working from home is pretty awesome (not to mention oh-so cozy in this new fleece onesie I just got).
Think the office has its perks? I need convincing so bring it on in the comments below.