I believe that there are pros and cons to everything in life, even working from home. While the thought of working from home is very romantic, here are the thing I miss about being employed.
1. Air-conditioned offices
Yes, even when someone fiddles with the switch and every time you step into the offices it feels like you stepped onto a tropical island. The flipside of the coin is that men have a higher body temperature than women and they set the air conditioning on cold during winter too!
Our houses are not insulated as they are in other countries. Afterall, we live in sunny South Africa. So, if you work from home and your house is notoriously cold, you will need to switch on the heater or dress in thick clothes with a blanket draped over your legs from time to time.
2. Computers, printers and other techno’s forte
Suddenly you realise just how valuable the IT department was – even if they stare at you for calling them for something (not so) trivial (to you). You are now responsible for software licenses, upgrades, computer hardware & consumables and “How do I…?” in Google becomes your favourite search phrase!
3. Fitting comfortably into my clothes
When going to work you usually pack your lunch and most of the time that is all you’ll eat during the day. However, at home it is a different story. It is as if when, every time you get up from your desk, something calls you to the fridge or the cupboard where snacks are stored! You promise yourself: just one cookie or one handful of crisps. Before you know it, you’ve smashed the box of cookies and the packet of crisps. It takes a different kind of discipline not to constantly snack.
4. Dressing up for work
When working from home you can dress down or even spend the whole day in your pj’s, right? I miss the high heeled shoes, boots, tights, scarves and jackets. I also miss the pretty dresses and cute summer sandals. You can hardly dress up like that when working from home. After all, who will see and compliment you on your pretty new outfit?
5. Sound-boarding ideas
In my last job my dear colleague and I used to bounce ideas off each other and it worked very well. Your ideas may seem great until you verbalise it. By brainstorming with others, you get a different perspective which works better most of the time.
6. Proof-reading your correspondence
With English not being my colleague’s (or my) first language for that matter, we used to often proof-read each other’s important emails, just to make sure we get the point across in a subtle and non-offensive way. My writing style is more factual and to the point, while hers is gentler and more explanatory. The pocket Thesaurus was a big help in finding words that took the correspondence to the next level.
7. Being part of a Team
We all know that there is no “I” in team. No man is an island and it really does take teamwork to make a dream work.
8. Taking time-out
When things get to much at work it is far easier to get up from your desk and go for a walk, even if it means blowing off steam at work friends not in your immediate environment. When working from home and you need to blow off some steam – there is no one you can vent to; you would have to call someone. Going for a walk also takes more effort. You often need to close windows, lock up and by that time it does not seem like such a good idea anymore.
9. Employee interaction
As annoying as some colleagues can be, I miss greeting fellow workers in the morning and chatting to work friends during the day. Working from home can be very lonely – sometimes you just want to drive to the shops to see other faces!
We all know that eating is a social event and it is even better when a group of friends share their lunch. Eating on your own is no fun at all; you must eat the sad sandwich you made – whether it excites you or not!
10. Free Wi-Fi
When you step into the office, your devices automatically connect to Wi-Fi. You run your software updates; you update your applications – without giving it another thought.
It was not until I had to fit the bill for my own Wi-Fi from constantly working online, that I realised the cost thereof and how grateful you should be for the privilege.