As a remote employee, I don’t think I’ve become a recluse yet, at least not to the point I’m watching Ice Station Zebra five times a day and growing my nails long like Howard Hughes did when he ditched public life. But I may be getting close.
It’s getting harder to leave my little nest of four monitors and a kitchen full of Smarties, wasabi crackers, M&Ms, and endless Fudgsicles delivered to the refrigerator once a week by mi esposa extraordinaire.
I get my work done while sporting lounge shorts (code for boxers), a “remote workers do it by themselves” t-shirt and flip-flops. And when I need to go to our regional offices for the day, it’s quite an inconvenience.
I have to shave and take a shower – not an everyday event in my effort to be green – and wear long confining Dockers, dress socks, dress shoes, a belt, and long-sleeve button-down shirt.
Do people really work in these clothes every day? It’s difficult to think and to feel comfortable in this outfit.
To make it worse, I have to get in the car and drive to a place that doesn’t have a large pair of golden arches in front and doesn’t serve McGriddles, and where my portion of the conversation consists of “bacon, egg, and cheese McGriddle, please,” then “hi,” finishing with “see ya.”
When I leave home I have to interact with other people, my co-workers, who I do like and am happy to see. And it’s pretty good doing that, I admit, and a nice break from the isolation of home, telephone communications and email.
Then I leave the office and suffer in traffic, which is torture. I’m spoiled and am lucky I haven’t wasted hours of my life looking at bumpers and bumper stickers. Knock on wood.
And after 11 hours, I walk in the house shredding the layers of clothing and stripping down to my usual work uniform. The puppy steals my socks, my daughter pretends she’s Cato in The Pink Panther and sneak attacks with a pillow to my head, and order in nature is restored. Life is good again.
Its interesting that you say this, I actually crave the confines and silence of an external office!
I also work from home, and getting the kiddo to school at 9 and picking up at 3:20 leaves a short window in which to work – that seems punctuated inconveniently – by the postman, neighbors, dog and all manner of phone calls. I grasp my hair in frustration more than I would like to admit and beg my husband to rent me some outside office space!
Still, as you say, the work attire is the most comfortable you will find, the rent is cheap, the boss is awesome and life could be a whole lot worse! I guess I will grit my teeth and count my blessings a little bit more. 🙂
There is something to be said for going into the office. If it were a few miles away for me, I might go in just for the interactions with others. I do enjoy that. I don’t get as much done, but it’s nice to talk to people in person at times.
9 to 3:20? That seems like a short school day. Is that the norm in Australia?
How about having your husband build a shed in the back for you? I checked some out at Home Depot the other day. 3K and some insulation and walls and flooring and windows and . . . oh, nevermind. 🙂
Flexibility is the great thing for me. I can roll in and do my treatments and work. I am the luckiest person in the world.
Yup, until about 10th grade when they may do a longer day: 8:30ish – 4pm, but that’s only a day or two per week for each student – depending on their subject electives. I guess we are so smart over here we can get things done in a shorter amount of time 😉
I’m going to take up your idea of an external office of some kind, perhaps a birthday gift from the hubby to me “the gift that keeps on giving..” I like it! Thanks for the suggestion!
Great post! Love the picture you painted of the ‘remote’worker. : )
Thanks. Nice of you to say. BTW, the antlers showed up today. Cali is hogging both of them. Little pig that she is. But she likes them. You can order them in hard version, which should work for Miss Stella.
Where can I get one of those “Remote Workers Do It By Themselves” t- shirts? I feel the same way about having to actually get dresses and go to my Home Office. The only difference is that mine requires a flight to NYC. Annoying…
Friend of Dollup,
I need to make some of those shirts. I’ll send you one free of charge. I too have a HO in the east, but I don’t like to fly anymore and really shouldn’t with this blood clot. So, I visit the regional office instead. But I used to like going east. I enjoyed it.