Working from home – sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it? Just think, no office politics and no wondering who broke the handle on your coffee mug. Working from home is the perfect employment alternative for those that have chosen to eschew the pressures of working in an office.
But before you hand in your notice and become a ‘consultant,’ however, consider some of the reasons why working from home might not be all that it’s cracked up to be:
1. The snooze button
If you are going to take on the responsibility of not needing somebody to tell you off when you’re late for work in the morning, you’d better not get too trigger happy with your alarm clock’s snooze button. If you’re answerable to a boss, the snooze button is an occasional guilty pleasure but if you’re the boss yourself, the snooze button can be more addictive than heroin!
2. Social media
When you work in an office, the amount of time you spend watching videos of cute kittens is directly proportionate to how often your boss walks past your monitor screen and this doesn’t necessarily change when you work from home. Therein lies the problem. As you are now the boss, the likelihood of you taking yourself into the office for a quiet chat about excessive social media usage is highly unlikely – mainly because you haven’t got an office anymore.
3. Your daily diet
When you work in an office, you have limited opportunities to pop across to Pret a Manger to stock up on Pain au Raisin throughout the morning because if you aren’t at your desk, somebody will want to know why. At home however, your kitchen is a Waitrose, Eat and Greggs all rolled into one. Even worse than that is the fact that you don’t have to queue at your fridge to make a ham and cheese toasty at 11 o’clock. We’ve done the maths here at The W1nners’ Club and have calculated that everybody would put on a good 3 stone in weight as a result of working from home for a full 12 months (based on our publisher’s current eating habits).
4. Bills, bills and more bills
One of the great benefits of leaving your flat empty throughout the day when you go to work is that it doesn’t cost you anything. Think about it. Your workplace is not just paying you a salary, but also keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They pay every time you fire up the kettle to make a cup of tea or coffee and they even pay for the water every time you flush the toilet after using it (assuming you’re the sort of person that always flushes after a poo of course). When you work from home, the cost is borne by nobody but your good self. Let’s see if you constantly moan about the air conditioning being on too low in a heatwave when you get your first electricity bill after a few weeks working from home shall we?
5. The end of the day
The happiest part of every office worker’s day is when the clock strikes 17:30pm or 18:00pm (or whatever time you manage to arrange an early afternoon client ‘meeting’). As far as the average office worker is concerned, for at least the next 14-15 hours there’s no such thing as work. You could in theory set up your own political party, become a concert pianist or even climb Mount Everest if it were possible within the available time slot. People working from home however, don’t have as clear a boundary between the working day ending and real life beginning. That email you got at 18:15pm might actually have to be read!
6. Sleeping at your desk after a liquid lunch
At work there is always somebody on hand to wake you up and give you a rollicking if you happen to fall asleep at your desk after a liquid lunch. At home, the only thing you have to wake you up if you fall asleep is your alarm clock, which isn’t going to go off until 6am the next morning. To compound matters further, it also has a snooze button so you don’t in theory even have to wake up (see number 1: The snooze button).
7. Stealing stationery
Isn’t it funny how you always have office stationery like pens, calculators and rulers etc. at home even though you’ve never actually bought any of these items in your life? That’s because you’ve always had a ready procurement source from your place of work. If you work at home and steal stationery, you’ll only be stealing it from yourself, which is at best a rather silly thing to do!
8. Annual season ticket travel loan
Back in the days when you worked in an office, they lent you the money and deducted it in instalments from your salary so that you could buy an annual travel pass to get in to work. The said pass could be used for shopping trips and just about anything else you can think of that requires you to use public transport when you leave the house. Who’s going to lend you the money for a £3k travel pass now that you’re working from home we ask?
9. Sick pay
I’m going to write something down in the next sentence and I want you to take very careful note of what it means: AS AN EMPLOYEE YOU ARE LEGALLY ALLOWED TO SELF-CERTIFY YOURSELF FOR UP TO 4 DAYS SICK LEAVE WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S NOTE!! ON FULL PAY!! If you take even a day off work when working from home, it’s goodbye gratuitous purchases of Orla Kiely bathmats for at least the next month.
10. Subsidised gym membership
What’s that you say…………….? Funny, because we’ve asked around here at The W1nners’ Club office and nobody here knows what a gym is either!