Everyone has that one friend or cousin who works at Google and won’t shut up about the free gourmet meals, video game rooms, indoor climbing gyms, and complimentary homeopathic prenatal massages (for men too!) available to them at work. But some of us will never be able to enjoy a mid-day power break in a futuristic, space-age nap pod because we’re working at home in greater numbers than ever. If you end up working from your home office like I do, these are the 6 things you will love:
1. That extra hour of sleep. Fact: people who commute an hour or more per day are more likely to spontaneously fly into a homicidal rage for no reason whatsoever. Another fact: some facts are made up in order to prove a point. When your commute is from the bedroom to your living room couch, you don’t have to deal with traffic or listen to another minute of NPR’s fall pledge drive. Use your extra hour to make pancakes for your kids, take the dog for a much-needed walk, or (let’s not kid ourselves) catch another hour of shut-eye.
2. The dress code. Whoever said, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have,” probably never had a job wear-testing performance fleece pants. Have you ever attended an all-hands meeting in boxer briefs and a torn Green Day concert tee from 1991? With modern conference calling technology, now is your chance to have your voice heard and put in FaceTime while still dressing like you’re about to paint the garage.
3. The company. Most of us spend more of our waking hours with a colleague than with our spouses, which seems unfair since our spouses give us lifelong companionship and support while our colleagues give us budget reports and occasionally, the flu. Working from home often allows you to be with your wife when she’s sick, your kids when they have a day off from school, or your dog pretty much anytime she’s not out hunting squirrels in the yard.
4. The company (again). Not only does a home office give you more time with those you love spending time with, it also gives you less time with those who make you want to staple your hands to your ears. Even one day out of the office gives you respite from the overbearing boss, the analyst who takes inappropriately intimate calls at her desk and the middle manager who thinks ethnic jokes are funny.
5. Increased productivity. Many employees are able to get more done in five hours of focused, uninterrupted work than they are in a typical eight hour workday filled with meetings, phone calls, and hours spent trying to make the expensive, state-of-the-art screen sharing software work properly. Without these distractions, you’re free to clean your inbox and finish that presentation with enough time to start happy hour early.
6. Leave a smaller carbon footprint. Okay, working from home once every few months won’t really make a dent in combating global climate change, but when you add up the cars that are taken off the highway each time someone opts out of driving, it’s meaningful. Now you have an excuse to quit your 9-to-5 desk monkey job and work on that novel you’ve been talking about for years.