What It’s Really Like to Work From Home

Working from home

You’re working from home – connected, comfy and in control. What could possibly go wrong? 

9.00AM

The dream You weren’t stuck in traffic so you’ve had a healthy breakfast and have never felt more ready for work. Respectably dressed, you reply to emails and study the figures for your 10am videoconference call.

The reality You keep hitting the snooze button and stay in bed until 8.59am. You’re now in your underwear on the phone to the internet provider, asking why the router doesn’t work. While you’re on hold, you eat spoonfuls of Nutella.

10.00AM

The dream The conference call couldn’t be going better. After admiring your décor, the team is stunned by your grasp of the first-quarter figures. A colleague texts to say they have never seen your boss more impressed.

The reality After restarting the router for the 15th time, you’re finally on the internet. You see an invitation to join the conference call you forgot about and quickly position the camera so no-one sees that you’re in your underwear. Afterwards, a colleague texts to say the boss was annoyed for two reasons. One, you clearly hadn’t looked at the figures. Two, you had Nutella on your chin.

11.00AM

The dream Time for a break to eat the quinoa snack you prepared in the extra time this morning. Refreshed, you work until lunch.

The reality You feel sorry for yourself after the conference call and turn on the TV. One of the guests on Ellen is a cute dog that answers maths questions. Your work involves maths. It’s basically research.

NOON

The dream Time for lunch. You decide to go to that café down the road. It’s a weekday so there’s no queue. Before you know it, you’re at home again, powering through your to-do list.

The reality You fall asleep watching Ellen.

1.00PM

The dream You’ve read all your emails. You’re on productivity steroids! You ask the boss if there’s anything else you can help with before the 2pm conference call.

The reality You sleep through The Bold and the Beautiful.

2.00PM

The dream The call is a breeze. Your boss asks if you’d like to work from home more regularly. You lean back in your chair and admire the sun streaming in. Yes, you say.

The reality You wake up at 1.50pm. Instead of preparing for the conference call, you decide to make lunch. There’s no food in the fridge. You contemplate going to the café but that would require putting on clothes. You grab a can of tuna, half a carrot and some more Nutella to eat during the call.

3.00PM

The dream You’re so far ahead of schedule, you contact some colleagues for one-on-one check-ins. You make the calls from your yoga mat so you can do Pilates stretches during their long rants about how much they hate working in the office.

The reality The only thing the boss heard from you during the conference call was “a loud crunching sound”. They want to talk to you first thing on Monday. Maybe the carrot was a bad idea. You sit on your yoga mat in a foetal position and think about the Monday meeting.

4.00PM

The dream You take your shoes off, pour a gin and tonic and work from the couch.

The reality The only emails you’ve replied to are from colleagues asking if you’re okay. You’ve said yes but you’re not sure. You’re so bored, you’re chatting to a succulent. You pour yourself a gin.

5.00PM

The dream This last hour has been a creative El Dorado. You fire off a comprehensive company-restructuring plan. By the time the boss sees it, you’ll be back in the office swatting away congratulatory handshakes.

The reality The succulent is a good listener but it’s not helping with that restructuring plan. You pour another gin. You decide the company could use a maths dog. You email the boss.    

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