A couple of years ago the company I work for sat me down and asked how I would feel about working from home given the changing nature of business and for those who work with the media. My first thought was HELL YES that sounds awesome quickly followed by actually won't I be lonely sat at home all day? Suffice to say we decided to give it a go and at the same time become corporate club members, which sounds swankier than it is in reality. We would be given more freedom to manage our own hours and workload and then a couple of days a week head into central London and work together in what was basically a bar/restaurant but with more tables to fit your laptop.
Now working from home has huge benefits. Every day I can get up, (this is still 7.30am as my partner still commutes to work to get in for 9am) and make a coffee before leisurely logging in to my emails without having to deal with public transport --and even when I do go into the 'Club' it's arriving by 10ish so mercifully rush hour is a thing of my professional past. Also mid-way through the day I can go to the gym and do my work out which makes it feel less like a chore to be done at the crack of dawn, or when you just want to get home from work and pour yourself a large gin, and more like a break from the house! And true, if we need something delivered I can arrange for myself to be hear to sign for it, although I fear the neighbours have caught onto this and now I get aggressive Amazon delivery men banging on my door leaving stuff for me to keep safe. And lest us not forget I can do household chores. If it's sunny the bed can be stripped and the washing put outside and then made again as if done by fairies. These benefits are mundane but I don't care they free up my 'free time' even more and that's great. Equally, if needs be I can start working at 7am or 10am depending on what I've got on that week and as a result I can finish at 3pm or finish at 8pm. Yes dear readers I have that much power. And it does benefit my daily work schedule immensely because I work in publicity and if I've learned nothing else from journalists' shouty emails is that they don't want to be bothered between the hours of 11-4pm because they're on deadline!
However, let's roll quickly over to the darker side of working from home. Ever since I announced this change in my professional life to my family and friends it quickly become apparent through the jokes and jibes that they don't think I do anything. A summary of the comments would make you believe that I: sleep in everyday until midday, go for 3hr boozy lunches (WHO WITH?????!!!!), take long weekends, sit outside sunbathing when the weather is nice, watch Netflix, go shopping...I mean you get the picture and quite frankly it's incredibly frustrating. And even the above outlined positives start to take on a negative edge because since I am at home it's assumed that things like the washing will be done, I can be in for packages to be delivered and I can go to the supermarket for the weekly shop on a Monday instead of together at the weekend. And sure most of the time it is fine, but I feel like it shouldn't be expected because at the end of the day I AM WORKING and my hours and commitments can change. News alert: I might have to go outside...
Also, and as a side note about working from home, if you're planning on making the jump then you should also probably be notified that you do start talking to yourself .... a lot. For the simple reason that you don't have the luxury of going to the kitchen and doing a tea round or chatting with someone sat across the table from you about what you did at the weekend. And if you live with other people then you also need to prepare them for the deluge of information that will assault their ears as soon as they get home --this is worst in the winter months when you don't leave the house because there's torrential rain and winds-- because it does happen, you can just ask my partner.
Don't get me wrong I ultimately love working from home. It's like one of those things that when it happens you never know how you used to cope with working regular hours in an office. Or what life was like before wfh. Therefore, I urge everyone who knows anybody, or bear in mind that you will probably come across someone in the future, who works from home to just take a second before you comment that life 'must be one big prosecco fuelled day time drinking party' and instead just pipe down or simply ask them how was their day?