6 Ways Life Changes When You Work From Home

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Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash

In my sixth month as a work from homie, I’ve taken stock of all the ways life has been turned on its coccyx now that I no longer need an unlimited subway card. There are genuinely noticeable differences, least of which is the fact that I’m actually happy. Below, a quick reference guide for anyone planning to make the switch to a life less crowded. I wish you luck.

Your Ears Are Your Weakness: When you’re in a place that’s relatively quiet all the time, what with everyone who lives across the air shaft gone all day to work at real jobs, you develop a tolerance level for auditory grievances typically reserved for the grouchy, exhausted elderly. In my case, I actually think my complaints hold water, as I’m currently dealing with a child whose family allows it to play a recorder flute each morning and evening without fail, for hours. The only reason I don’t go bang on their door or alert the authorities is that I assume the remainder of the household is deaf and I don’t want to be insulting.

Coffee Is Water: Office coffee was always free, but office coffee was also always garbage. The thing about coffee from home, it is both free and precisely the coffee you like. I use the term “free” loosely but if you can get yourself to a Costco the price per cup is almost in the negative, truly. Since I began working from home, I drink iced coffee from 6am to approximately 4pm, as if life is one continuous morning. I will pay for this habit in health, I’ve no doubt.

Things Hurt: My hips hurt now? Is this a thing? Why am I suddenly researching medical equipment typically marketed to truck drivers and hobbling around the house like a fairy tale witch? Everything hurts now. Apparently choosing to sit atop a charming vintage chair all day does nothing but cause crippling pain. I will let you know if my ergonomic cushion from Amazon.com improves the situation. I could spend $300 on a proper desk chair, but I have made quite a few sacrifices in my life to ensure I never have to sit in something so offensive to the eyes ever again, and I don’t plan to go back, thank you.

Meals Are A Construct: What are meals now, even? I’m not entirely sure what has become of my eating habits. Where I once at a large lunch at 12pm on the nose each day, I now eat smaller, rabbitesque morsels multiple times per day. Where lunch was once a break from the monotony of my day, food is now a nuisance, something I have to deal with in order to return to work that will inevitably generate more dishes than I desire.

You Clean All The Time: My home is now spotless. Constantly. I can no longer abide a sock out of place, an unmade bed, or a pot holder askew. There’s something about being surrounded by your own shit all the time that makes you want that shit in order. I can’t eek out a sentence anymore unless I know that my vicinity is ready for inspection, and I cannot explain this. I want to blame Marie Kondo, but in truth I believe my subconscious is helping me to build my empire, one Swiffer sheet at a time.

You Become Fairly Certain That We Were Never Meant To Work Like That In The First Place: I became instantly happier when I took control over my own schedule and projects. Reclaiming my autonomy and decisiveness, apart from being a significant part of my birth chart, increased my overall satisfaction with my day tenfold. I hadn’t fully understood the campaign for flexible working until I started working flexibly. I’m making less money than I have in years but I’m happier than I’ve been in years. Maybe, and I’m just spitballin’ here, but maybe we were never meant to grind out life on a relentless, confined, highly repetitive schedule? Just a thought.

So go, my friends, from your bed to your kitchen table, taking comfort if not downright arrogance in the ease and convenience of your commute. May we all find the working situation that best fits our needs, and may we need never work on anyone’s terms but our own forthwith.

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NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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