In principle, working from home is the ultimate dream. Who wants to commute when you can spend the day travelling between your bed and the fridge? Who needs a desk when there’s so many other options? (Pub, garden, pub garden). Who needs annoying Gary from accounts telling you another inane story about the dream he had last night in which absolutely nothing of interest happened, when you have daytime TV to keep you company? Hellooooo Jeremy Kyle!
In practice, however, sometimes WFH isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Take a look below as we take a look at how our idealistic expectations of working from home compare to what it’s actually like. The struggle is real.
Expectation: Complete and utter freedom to do whatever you want
You’re at home, your boss is nowhere in sight and you’re doing your work in your pants. This. Is. Freedom.
Reality: email paranoia
Paranoia sets in at about 6am and you start wondering whether your boss will send you an email with a question in it at 9am to test whether you’ve actually got up out of bed. There’s no email. Maybe your boss is too clever for that. They know you’ll start skiving off in the afternoon, that’s when the email test will come. Cue the next nine hours of incessant email checks. You’re so sure you’ll be caught out that you don’t even take a lunch break like you would have done if you were in the office.
Expectation: outdoor desk
Working from home will give you a new perspective on life. One day out of the rat race and you’ll realise how mad it is that we all go along with the conventional way of working: indoors. Who needs desks? You’ll think. Who needs roofs? Who needs swipe cards to get in and out of buildings? WFH means setting up camp outside, being at one with nature, and the chance to get a bit of a tan going.
Reality: Nature isn’t all that great
There are no plugs outside. The extension lead can’t stretch from the kitchen window to the small corner of sun you’re sat in. The sun is bouncing off your laptop screen and leaving you blinded. You’re pretty sure a bird is giving you a shifty look and the wind is creating a mini tornado with all of your super important work documents. You try it for 15 minutes and then go back inside.
Expectation: So much extra time
Not having to commute means you’ll save a good hour of time you would normally use on the train with your face in someone’s armpit, or trying not to fall over on the bus when it’s veering round corners. You could have a lie in and STILL have more time to do work than you would normally.
Reality: The longest day ever
You miss your desk buddies. Heck, you even miss annoying Gary from accounts. The presenters on the radio have friends, the people outside in the real world are chatting, and from your spying it looks like they’re having fun too. Even the people on Jeremy Kyle are making up. It’s pretty lonely working from home and now it feels like the longest day ever.
Expectation: the best lunch ever
With a whole kitchen at your fingertips rather than just a toaster, a dodgy microwave and some questionable looking tupperware in the shared work fridge, this is the ultimate chance to make a lunch fit for kings.
Reality: a disappointing sarnie
There’s nothing in the fridge. You’ve managed to make a dodgy ham sandwich with the ends of a loaf of bread left lingering in the back of the cupboard and you’d give anything to be within walking distance of a Pret A Manger.
Expectation: all day cat cuddles
Who need colleagues when you have cats? Or a dog? Or a gerbil or whatever household pet you call your own. You’ve always dreamed of working somewhere with an office dog, but now you’re very own pet can be your work companion.
You realise that your pets are actually quite boring during the day. They only really wake up during dinner times and ignore you when you try to play with them. When one does wake up, it drops a dead mouse on your posh notebook. You can’t wait to go back to the office.
For our tips on how to work from home productively, take a look here.
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