I’ve been a bad, bad girl. Not only did I sleep way later than I should have done this morning, when I finally did get out of bed, I ate ice cream for breakfast. McDonald’s ice cream. So bad.
After the initial bout of “OMG it’s WHAT time already?!” induced anxiety, though, I arrived at a very wonderful conclusion: it doesn’t matter. And it really doesn’t. (Well, OK, the McDonald’s ice cream matters. To my thighs in particular). Last week’s two-day slowdown has been replaced with the usual business, but there are no pressing deadlines, no time-sensitive projects to be done in a hurry – nothing, in short, that can’t just as easily be done tonight, this lunchtime, or at 11.45am tomorrow.
And this is why I love working from home.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve been asked twice how on earth I put up with it. The question always surprises me, probably because I spent so long dreaming of being in a position to work from home that it came to feel like the holy grail of work to me. The fact that that other people don’t feel the same – that other people, in fact, actively choose to drive to some stuffy office every morning and remain there all day, able to leave only when someone else tells them they’re free to go, never fails to surprise me. It always makes me want to counter the inevitable “why on earth would you want to work from home?” with a “why wouldn’t I?”
I mean, what’s not to like? Who doesn’t love freedom? Who wouldn’t want the freedom to get up when they want, take breaks when they want, surf the Internet when they want, eat ice cream when they want..? It boggles my mind that people actively choose the slavery of the modern workplace over that. It’s like those people who go around saying, “Oh, if I won the lottery I wouldn’t give up work. I’d get bored!” Eh? What’s that about? Are there not enough books in the world for these people? Not enough places to visit, new things to see? Mind. Boggled.
I just can’t for the life of me imagine lying on a tropical beach, or wandering through a Moroccan bazaar, or gazing upon the Pyramids or Ayres Rock, or the sales rack at Nordstrom, and thinking, “God, I wish I was in a call centre right now.” I just don’t get it.
But then, everyone’s different, of course. What surprises me most, though, is when people pick up on aspects of working from home that are almost exactly the same as working from an office, and identify them as the things they just could. not. stand. For example, two of the people who recently questioned me about my working life said that it must be just awful being stuck in the house all day. Well, pretty much the same as being stuck in an office or a shop all day, really. The only difference is that I can get up and walk out of my house any time I damn well, please. I can play music in my house, or have the TV on in the background. My dog lies beside me when I work. If it’s sunny, I go for a walk. If I was in an office I’d be just as stuck in the same place as I am here: I’d just have less chance of escaping.
If I ever had to go back to working in an office, I’m pretty sure it would kill me.: in fact, it really almost did. I’m just not cut out for the petty rules and annoyances of the office. I can’t stand being micromanaged, watched like a hawk at all times, or forced to sit in endless meetings in stuffy offices on summer days. I’m so happy that’s not my life any more.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for breakfast…