Gemma Styles: Working From Home Is Basically A Revelation
The Debrief: Plus: my cat's here - which is the main thing as far as I'm concerned
Photo by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
I write this to you from the depths of despair. The kind of despair that only comes after heavy drinking on a school night. Now when I say school night I don't mean actually having to go to school the next day. Unless you're a teacher. Or a pretty wild teenager. I mean, the night before any day where you have to get up in the morning and present yourself as a fully functioning adult to the rest of society.
My despair, however, is somewhat lessened by the fact that I am fortunately able to write about it from the comfortable haven of... my sofa. The Internet is a fabulous thing. For scores of people across the land it has completely changed their professional lives - because ever increasing numbers of people are able to live the dream and work from home. A couple of months ago I became one of these people and so now here I am to wax lyrical about the best features of packing in your 9-5 and using the world wide wonderweb to make your living.
The tea is free
Well, not free exactly, the price of a box of PG Tips and some semi-skimmed from the corner shop, but still insanely more reasonable than paying two to three quid per cup in a café. Even if the barista is super fit - this is not economical. While I know it's not impossible to construct your liquid gold in the little kitchen in the office, it's selfish and wonderful to be able to make yourself a brew without making 8 more for your coworkers, not have to use manky communal teaspoons, and always get the best mug.
Casual Friday is every day
You are your boss and you decide the dress code. Unless you're a bit of a masochist and insist upon wearing a suit every day to sit at your dining room table, working at home means that your pyjama bottoms and sweatshirt are perfectly acceptable business attire. I think this is both logical and great. Who doesn't work better when they're comfy and warm and wearing a tshirt with a cat's face on it? And speaking of cats...
All your stuff is there
For me, 'my stuff' happens to include the cat. Which is just great. I feel like a better cat parent because I end up spending a lot more time at home which means little fur face isn't on her own all day. Whether or not she's hugely bothered is another story, she spends most of the time asleep. But the time she spends batting my hands around the edge of the computer screen while I'm trying to type is a fun little game that she wouldn't otherwise get. Aside from any possible pets, there are other benefits to being surrounded by all your bits and bobs. For example, it is soooo much easier to get your washing done when you don't have to squeeze in a wash in the morning so you can take it out before you go to work. You also don't have to get home and hang things or fold things or try and match socks - because you've done it casually throughout the course of the day while happily waiting for the kettle to boil.
There are of course some downsides to an at-home lifestyle. If you're easily distracted then being surrounded by your books/telly/dog might be more of a hindrance than a help to your productivity. But if you're considering breaking free from the shackles of The Man and pursuing a slightly different lifestyle - I say go for it! I spent years thinking that having a solid, respectable, corporate source of income was the benchmark of success for a grown up human. But with the rise of the online marketplace, people are able to make hugely varied successes of themselves in an enormous number of different ways. From selling embroidery on Etsy to blogging to crafting a massively popular animal-based Instagram account, the world online is your big tasty oyster.
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Follow Gemma on Twitter @GemmaAnneStyles
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating