Pants optional.

Words by

Alyce Cowell

For normal, flat white-ordering, meeting-attending people, working from home is pretty much just a big ol’ day off. We crawl out of bed whenever we want, binge on Making a Murderer with the blinds closed and eat Nutella straight from the jar in our underpants. 

But even though that last one might be *occasionally* true, what most people don’t know is, working from home mostly sucks giant balls. Here’s why. 

1. It’s lonely af 

Going an entire day without talking to a single human being might sound enticing, but when you’re waiting patiently by the door for your roommate to get home so you can tell him all about how you made World’s Tallest Sandwich for lunch and found a new way to clip your toenails, you’ll realise you need a lil human interaction in your life.

2. Distractions are the devil

Daytime TV, choc-chip cookies, fresh sheets on the bed… These are all very real distractions you’ll face when working from home. Combine all three, and it’s a category five disaster for your career. You’ll water plants, take chore breaks and make neighbourly chat with your postman, which never works, because apparently he’s “busy” and “doesn’t know who Marnie or Shoshanna are.” 

3. Your day is a viscous cycle of check fridge, lower standards, repeat 

Gone are the days when your lunch break was the highlight of your day; when you took a break from your project to eat and catch up with colleagues. Now your meals are expanded into one giant snack, spread out and eaten consistently throughout the day. 

4. People will act all smug and you’ll want to smack them 

Consider withholding your work status when meeting new people, or risk incessant eye rolling, scoffing and smug faces from annoying people. Generally speaking, society thinks we do one hour of work followed by seven hours of playing with our cat, which is obviously only something we do on our lunch break.

5. You have lunch with Ellen, Phil and a bunch of doctors every day

Sure, they’re not eating. And they don’t know you’re there. And you’re actually watching them on TV. But hey, a friend is a friend, and so you laugh at their jokes and call them by their first names and tell them you’ll see them at the same time tomorrow anyway.

6. You’ll feel guilty most of the time

Where you live and work is one and the same, so you’ll constantly feel like you should be working. Most of the time, you will be working – mainly because you have terrible time management skills and don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, so you took half the day getting started and now you have to do an overnighter to get it all done. 

7. You’re expected to do all the things 

Mopping the floors, babysitting your kid, picking up a tub of that special yoghurt you like from the health food store… Whatever it is, we can’t do it, because we have a job, with like, actual tasks and deadlines and figures and important files and stuff. If you didn’t assume we sit around on our Doritos dust-covered butt all day, we might have done it, but you did and now you have to pick up your own damn dry cleaning.

8. You’ll carve a special spot in the couch cushions, just for you

You spent a whole Sunday setting up an #officegoals workspace, opening magazines to the perfect page and hanging paint-splattered quotes that say things like, You’ve Got This. It’s a shame because realistically, you’ll spend 99% of your time sitting in the same dent in the couch with the laptop burning your thighs.  

9. Cafés will become a second, very expensive home

There will come a time when you can’t take the couch for another second, so you’ll migrate to your local café where clattering plates, small talk with your waiter, three espressos and a salted caramel doughnut will bring you back to life. You’ll spend your whole weekly wage there, but it’s worth it to get out of your Panic Room of a house. Also: free wifi.

10. You’ll need a very disciplined routine

Yep, that’s right, a real life adult routine. We set alarms, we brush our teeth, we get our kids ready for school and we don’t always eat leftover pizza for breakfast. Some of us even put on make-up and an outfit. We write to-do lists and create presentations and respond to emails. We’re productive members of the community – just slightly socially-awkward ones that probably aren’t wearing pants when you’re talking to us on Skype. 

Illustration by Twylamae who also works from home to design Seinfeld tees like this one for when you want to feel good all the time.

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