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When I was hired three years ago, I never imagined I’d spend my days working from home.
I joined the finance wing of a major midwestern corporation (you’d recognize the name) in 2013. Fresh out of college at the age of 22, I bought three suits and prepared for a life of 9-5s, cubicle bitch-work and mind-numbing commutes through 45 minutes of traffic both ways.
Around 2014, something magical happened. My team was getting reorganized, and during the shuffle my company asked if I would be interested in working from home while they reassigned each team member. They promised that if I didn’t like it I could come back into the office and work from there while I was getting my new assignment. I was allotted $600 for home office supplies and sent merrily on my way.
I quickly realized that the “working from home” schedule was slightly better than its office equivalent. I documented one day last week to show you what it basically looks like:
9:00 a.m. – Work officially starts. Everyone is expected to be at their desks and ready to go. Emails begin flooding in.
9:15 a.m. – My alarm clock goes off. I reach down to the side of my bed and grab my laptop. I turn the email and instant messaging sound to full blast and go back to sleep.
9:22 a.m. – Message comes in about a team meeting at 10.
9:47 a.m. – I open my eyes and grab my computer to check if I missed any messages. I see the meeting message just in time to log-in before it starts.
10:00 a.m. – Meeting commences.
10:04 a.m. – In only my underwear, I stand over my stove and make some scrambled eggs. I tune in and out of the meeting while watching SportsCenter in my kitchen.
10:45 a.m. – Message comes in from my boss about a project he has me working on. I finished the project over a week ago, but he thinks I need at least another week. I send him half the project and tell him it’s coming along nicely. He agrees.
11:00 a.m. – My weird apartment neighbor Daniel comes over and we smoke a bowl. He puts a movie on and falls asleep on my couch.
11:35 a.m. – I put on a shirt.
11:45 a.m. – Team check-in before lunch. I send a message to everybody with a funny .gif attached. I receive four smiley faces in return.
12:00 p.m. – Lunch time.
12:08 p.m. – My roommate and I go across the street to play tennis.
1:00 p.m. – Lunch is over, work starts again with meetings beginning in 30 minutes.
1:05 p.m. – I go pick-up lunch at Jersey Mike’s.
1:30 p.m. – I log-in for our afternoon meeting and realize it’s a bigger call than I anticipated. The chances of me having to say anything have now dropped from slim to none. I mute myself, put the call on my stereo and get in the shower.
2:00 p.m – My boss asks me if I would be interested in going on a business trip to Denver next week. I respectfully decline.
2:40 p.m. – My WiFi is out, but because my home office budget is $600, I’ve purchased the most expensive Time Warner Cable service. My phone call is answered directly by Sarah, who I talk to at least once a week. She fixes the problem within minutes.
3:00 p.m – Last call of the afternoon, which is perfect because it comes during my afternoon nap.
3:45 p.m. – I sit down at my desk for the second time of the day and do about 45 minutes of real work.
4:30 p.m – It’s quitting time, so I send my boss a progress report on my projects. He lives in New York and leaves work at 5, but I live in the middle of the country an hour behind him. To my boss, it looks like I am working late.
This is basically every day for me. Human interactions are minimal, but that is something you learn to appreciate when you’re still in bed getting paid at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday.
If you’re constantly looking for promotions and believe you’ll be with the same company for the rest of your life like some sort of corporate drone, this strategy isn’t for you. I’m not particularly ambitious. My goal in this company is not to advance, but to disappear.
In a perfect world, I start slowly diminishing contact with all of my co-workers and superiors, but give just enough so they think I am still an essential employee. If by 2016 I am completely forgotten about but still have my biweekly paycheck coming in–this strategy will prove to be a major success. I will rake in the benefits until my eventual termination during the next inevitable recession.
A lot of people will tell you working from home sucks. They are wrong. Working from home is amazing if you’re young, single and live in a place where you already have a lot of friends. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Now, if you’d excuse me, it’s almost time for my Monday afternoon meeting with Game of Thrones..
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