Every now and then when Mr Wallace is travelling, I work from home. It’s not always brilliant, the computer system is clunky and it’s kind of lonely. There are however some surprising perks of working from home. Here’s my top 11.
1. There’s no need to dress up
I work with a bunch of lawyers. Most of them are very trendy 20-somethings. The pressure to look the part is fairly intense. Being able to work in jeans is a novelty.
2. You don’t have to put on makeup
When you are a sleep deprived mother of three, you don’t always have radiant skin or a clear complexion. Makeup is obviously not compulsory, but when you work with a bunch of pretty young things, makeup becomes less optional. Without it you look haggard. One of the perks of working from home? There is no one to care about how haggard you look.
3. You can visit your regular coffee haunt
I know my local barista. He knows me and my order. He makes good coffee. When I work from home, I pick up a coffee after child care drop off. That coffee makes me immensely happy. Coffee from the cafe at the base of my building is far less joyous.
4. There are no interruptions
My colleagues are great. In fact, one of the best things about returning to work after maternity leave is the adult interaction. But sometimes you need to get shit done. Then the phone rings or someone appears at your desk wanting to chat. I’m only in the office 5 days a fortnight. I have to churn the work out. Sometimes ticking things off the to do list is easier at home without the interruptions.
5. When you take a break you can do a household chore
I don’t know about you, but at work if I feel my brain frying, I take a break by looking at something else on my computer. When your eyes start glazing over at home, it’s so simple to pop a load of washing on or sweep the floor. Another of the perks of working from home, if it suddenly rains, you can rescue the washing.
6. You can snack without judgement
My current office is the most health conscious environment I have ever worked in. There’s always someone on the 5:2 diet, or eating Paleo, or some other food fad that I am not up with. Even the emails about cake in the kitchen come with caveats like ‘it’s gluten free but does contain dairy, sorry’! When you work at home there’s no one watching on as you eat a chocolate bar or a salted caramel cookie. You can snack without judgement!
7. When you make a cup of tea the water is boiling
My office has those taps that dispense filtered hot and cold water. The problem is, the hot water isn’t at boiling point. Pesky health and safety laws. Black tea, made with not quite boiling water isn’t great. At home you can get that water boiling hot and then sip on a much better cup of tea.
8. You are home if the delivery guy comes
If I’m out when the delivery guy comes it inevitably means a trek to the post office to collect a parcel with the boys in tow. Which they LOVE! If I am working from home and the delivery guy comes it’s a double bonus. a) I am there to receive the parcel and there’s no trip to the post office and b) Mr Wallace remains unaware of the purchase. Winning!
9. There’s no commute to the office
I catch the train to work. It’s not a huge commute but add in a school drop off and dropping off two kids at childcare, and it feels like you’ve run a marathon before you even make it to the office. When you’re working from home the morning is less stressful. You can plonk yourself at the dining table once the drop offs are done (wearing comfy clothes, no makeup, coffee in hand) without having to scramble to catch a train and appear cool, calm and collected in the office.
10. You can audibly swear
There’s a certain level of decorum required in an office. Swearing isn’t necessarily welcome. One of the 11 perks of working from home is you can swear at your computer screen without strange looks being cast in your direction. No one cares when you exhale and loudly exclaim “for fucks sake” at the latest all staff email about training, raffles, social club events or system outages. Plus swearing at the screwed up things people to to kids makes a great alternative to sobbing.
11. You can poo without fear
It’s fair to say I have nervous bowel syndrome*. I can’t poo on a public toilet. In fact, I struggle to poo on a strange toilet. By strange toilet, I mean any toilet that’s not my home toilet. I can go for long periods of time without pooping. A weekend away, no chance I’ll poo on the hotel toilet. Once I’ve developed a rapport with the toilet, then perhaps. It usually takes a good while. Minimum four days. Pooping at work is not an option for me, I can’t do it. There are cubicles. When you suffer nervous bowel syndrome it is impossible to poo while someone you vaguely know is next to you. But, at home, I am safe to poo. More than you ever needed to know about my toilet habits, but there you have it!
What are your favourite perks of working from home? Is pooping without fear on your list? What about snacking without judgement?
*not an actual medical condition.