Back in 2008, I relocated from DC to Chicago and my boss was kind enough to keep me on the payroll as a part-time employee. It was my first experience in the working-from-home world, and I'm not going to lie, it took a bit of time to adjust to this new way of life. Do I make calls and then do the dishes? Clean the bathroom before or after I submit payroll? Take a nap or eat lunch? Life is so hard.
My husband's only request was that I change clothes daily. Before I had a kid that required daycare, I could easily stay indoors for 72 hours straight...especially during the coldest of winter months. I suppose his fear that my skin would fuse with clothing was pretty justified.
Freakouts are limited by regularly scheduled sessions at coffee shop where I listen to whir of the grinders and that weird old dude who seems to treat Starbuck's like his office. But let's focus on the positive, shall we? Why is working from home better than working in a sleek, social office?
1. No pants required. I mean, I do wear them but I don't HAVE to. I could sit naked as a newborn and zip emails off to people around the world who would be none the wiser. While I haven't worked up the guts to go pantsless during a Skype meeting, I enjoying knowing that their exists a choice in the matter.
2. No lunch to pack. Maybe you think this is a little perk for WFHers, but I can't stand packing lunch. When my kid goes to Kindergarten next year, he's going to get a piece of bread and a banana every day for the rest of his school days. He can trade his piece of stale bread or charm some poor lug out of an apple - all I know is those Bento Box lunches are BS and not happening in this household.
Anyway, at home I heat up some soup, or simply
pour eat a bag of kettle corn and some Heath English Toffee bits and call it every a day.
3. Dress like a fool to stay warm. Long ago are the days I argued with a co-worker who left the door open during his frequent smoke breaks. It was so God-damn cold and I had to look professional in my Ann Taylor sweater vest (shudder) and flats. But now,I can wear whatever the hell I want without fear of anyone aside from the mailman calling the fashion police on yours truly.
The downside to this situation is that when a professional appearance is required, I freak out, buy everything in sight and then feel like an imposter because I am so used to sporting mismatched socks, a fleece and messy bun. [cue the violins]
4.Get Fancy!. Is it ridiculous to consider the freedom to give yourself a mani at work a perk? Yes. Is it also awesome? Oh hell yes. I spend hours on the phone - days even. Oh hold, talking to assistants who put me on hold, talking to assistants to assistants to put me on hold - you get the picture. To maximize efficiency, I do what any normal employee does and fancify my unguises. Trust me, this is reason enough to open up your own little home office.
5. Start dinner. My friend Nikki hates making dinner. She calls it the "herpes of the world" and honestly, I think she is spot on with this one.
Dinner is a soul sucking demon. Just as glitter is the herpes of the craft world, dinner is the herpes of the mom world.
You can go all day and not have thoughts of dinner, but it’s lingering, lurking, and mocking you because you know it’s there. It’s waiting to flare up and irritate the living shit out of you. Dinner never goes away. Dinner is forever. (Read more about the dinner hating B who runs MWDAS here)
I wake up stressed about the night's dinner menu, timing of the dreaded meal and if I have to make a trip to the grocery store where I will likely spend one bazillion dollars on soap and diet coke in addition to whatever ingredients are missing.
But working from home makes meal prep a little easier.Forgot to thaw something in the AM? Don't worry about it. Throw that salmonella chicken under running water and BOOM - you win at life. Feel even lazier? Pop everything in a crockpot, smell that goodness simmering all day and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
It's the little things when it comes to beating that bastard known as dinner.
Yes, I do miss working in an office and harrassing interns and colleagues alike, bBut working from home offers up some pretty
absurd major perks that deserve to be lauded.
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