10 Ways Working at Home Ruins You for Office Life

What? You want me to leave the house?

What? You want me to leave the house?

I had a realization the other day that floored me. I haven’t worked in an office in five years – at least not unless you count the corner of my dining room table (and most don’t).

When I first cut back from part-time work to freelance, I had no romantic notions that I would miss the cubicle life.

The people, yes. But office politics have never been my thing. Nor has getting up early.

In the five years since I made the leap, my job has changed. I regained full-time employment, while still keeping up at least some of my freelance gigs and my photography business. Still, I’m blessed to say I can do my main job from a quiet little corner of my dining room.

Blessed but ruined.

Should I ever have to go back to an office, I’m afraid the habits I’ve picked up during my tenure in the house will make for an atrocious officemate. Behold:

More From Inside Out: I Work At Home, Give Me My Bon Bons

1. I wait until the very. last. second. to run to the bathroom. When there is never a line, why rush it? My bladder survived natural childbirth; I might as well reap the benefits!
2. I pace during meetings. When you sit at your computer all day, you find activity where you can. Phone meetings are primed for getting fit. I’m not sure I can ever go back to butt in seat during a meeting.
3. I drink out of the bottle. The seltzer bottle that is! No boozy lunches here, but what’s the point of dirtying a glass when I’m the only one around to enjoy the beverage?
4. I eat at my desk. I did mention it’s also my dining room table, right? It’s really the best place to chow down.
5. I talk to my computer. I don’t talk to myself; there is a difference. But often the person I’m dealing with is emailing me or sending an IM, and when they’re driving me nuts, well, I tell them how I really feel in the way that keeps me out of trouble.
6. I sing. Badly. LOUDLY.
7. I prefer pajamas. It’s perfectly appropriate to wear sweatpants to my office at the moment, and thank goodness.
8. I control the thermostat. You realize a lot of savings when you work at home – less gas, less mileage on your car, less eating lunch out – but for me it’s all balanced out by my habit of cranking the heat up to 70. How else are you supposed to keep warm when you’re sitting in one spot for 12 straight hours?
9. Showering before work is over-rated. Seriously. Who is going to smell me?
10. I sleep as late as I can. By late, I usually mean around 7 a.m. as I do have a kid to put on a school bus and a computer to log into. But that’s a good hour more than I’d get if I had to, gulp, get ready for work and drive somewhere.


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