In my last post, I mentioned that I currently work in a small, three-person office in a co-sharing building in the city centre. It’s not a bad office – apart from the fact that it is miniscule and has no windows, so it can often feel quite dungeon-esque – but I’m much more excited about the office I’ll be moving to at the end of the month. This one’s bigger, has windows (I’ll actually be able to tell the passage of time now!), is conveniently located and has some great amenities. The dress code is super-cazh – I hear pyjama pants are totally acceptable. Also, the new office cuts down my travel time significantly. No longer do I need to be worried about bus or train schedules – my new commute only depends on how fast I can drag my feet from the bedroom to the living room.
Yes, starting May, I will be embarking on the wonderful new experience of working from home. The work I do doesn’t require my colleagues and I to be in the same place physically – in fact, most of our communication happens with people placed in Australia, most of them in a home-working situation as well – and it just makes more sense to save on rent as well as travel time and cost.
Oddly enough, I was offered this option when I was first hired (I was the first employee of the company, so we had to make a choice, re: office versus home work), and I opted to work out of an office. At the time, I had been freelancing for about 10 months, and not having an office environment was slowly killing me. I’m a born procrastinator, so it was impossible for me to work in nebulous conditions, setting my own hours, targets and standards. The idea of doing that in a full-time capacity freaked me out, so I chose the safe, familiar routine of an office.
So, when the home-working topic came up for discussion again a few months ago, I was surprised at how much more open I was to it this time around. I know the routine of my work, I know what’s expected of me each day, and I know how much time I need for any given task. The work is a lot more routine than creative writing (my freelance work), which depends a lot on how you’re feeling any particular day. Also, even though I’d been working in an office for over a year, I’d been unsupervised for pretty much all of it (my boss is very trusting), so it didn’t feel like a huge leap.
Plus, the more I thought about it, the more advantages there seemed to be to working from home. Of course, any situation has its shares of pros and cons, so to be more objective about it, I’ve listed them below:
Pro: No more travelling to and from work!
Con: I actually like travelling by bus, and I get a lot of reading done on commutes, which I’ll now have to fit in somewhere else in my schedule.
Pro: There will actually be more time to fit that reading in, because I’ll be saving more than two hours just on commute.
Con: My procrastination habit means I’ll have to work really hard to make those extra hours count.
Pro: Pyjama pants all day, baby!
Con: Two steps back from my carefully cultivated habit of “looking presentable”.
Pro: More time to go to the gym!
Con: No excuses left not to go to the gym.
Pro: I can cook all my meals at home, so I’ll be eating healthier.
Con: I have to cook all my meals.
Pro: I don’t need to get out of the house every single day!
Con: Oh, God, I’m going to become a hermit.
Pro: No more central air-conditioning making the office either freezing or really stuffy, and making my allergies act up.
Con: There’s really no con to this, the ventilation at work is AWFUL.
Pro: I don’t need to travel to the post office early on a Saturday morning to pick up parcels because I’m never home for deliveries!
Con: I can’t ask for half a day off to receive “important” packages.
Pro: I don’t need to carry food/snacks/whatever to work – the kitchen is right there.
Con: The kitchen is right there. Also, it’s attached to a (very stockable) pantry.
Pro: I can have lunch dates with my sister-in-law who also works from home!
Con: There are no cons to lunch dates with sisters-in-law.
Hm, it seems about evenly split, doesn’t it? (Well, the cons are just me whining that I have no more excuses to be lazy, but let’s not dwell on that.) Anyway, it doesn’t matter – I just placed my order for a new desk and chair at IKEA, and I’m hella excited to see how everything pans out. I’m excited for the comfort, the extra time and all the productive things I’m possibly going to get to do.
WFH peeps, any tips for me?