One of the good things about renting is that it’s affordable for us to live in a fairly central location. We’re two minutes’ walk from a bus stop, two minutes’ drive to a mall and supermarket, and about five minutes from both of our families.
Buying a house would force us further out, which in turn would mean a longer and more expensive public transport commute for me, and/or necessitate buying a second car – especially if we have kids.
But a job posting that happened across my Twitter stream recently got me thinking. What if I were able to work remotely, full time?
It’s not something I ever really thought possible. After all, I don’t want to freelance full time. And my industry is not one that really lends itself to working from home when you have a staff job. But as I move further away from it, the opportunity does open itself up…
This particular listing wasn’t one I would apply for – at least not at this stage, it’s a bit beyond me. I’m happy where I am and plan to stay put for a while longer. But it’s the kind of thing I might well want to do in a couple of years, either for a corporate or a cool startup … and the startup route could well lend itself to working from home (as all the staff at this one do).
The next logical question would be “would I enjoy working from home?”
- I enjoy the serendipitous interactions with coworkers I get throughout the day – in just-small-enough doses that I fulfil my need for adult human interaction and get to feel like a competent person, but not enough to overload my introvert’s bucket
- But god damn, I hate the ‘good morning’ / ‘how are you’ / ‘I’m good, how are you’ / ‘Good thanks’ back and forth
- I love the frequent and spontaneous freebies – cake, pie, cheese, books, skincare, and other goodies – that are often randomly available
- But I truly hate the interruptions that inevitably come with being in an office environment (an open one, not that I’ve ever worked in anything but)
- I appreciate that it forces me to leave the house, as I have quite strong hermit tendencies
- But commuting is annoying, especially when it rains
Ditching the office paradigm doesn’t have to be an either/or, of course. People work from cafes, coworking spaces, and there are plenty of other flexible options for office space in NZ.
In all honesty, while face time is valuable in its own right, as someone who deals much better in limited doses of interaction, especially online, I think the benefits of working from home would win out for me.
I’d just need to force myself to step outside at least every other day and put on real clothes as much as possible.