Read the business or lifestyle section of any magazine today and you can almost guarantee the subject of home-working will be featured.
Obviously the internet means anyone can live anywhere and still do a damn fine day’s work without ever once having to smile at a receptionist.
And for most who choose this alternative to the 9-to-5 it appears to have worked.
They claim they’re relaxed, financially better off, and more able to focus on the job at hand.
And I don’t doubt this for a moment – after all, if you lack almost any colour or dynamism, are hopeless at making friends and shy away from washing your hands after using the toilet, then maybe ‘home’ is better. Safer. More secure. For all of us.
But it is interesting that in the United States, companies are now starting to advertise jobs with the promise that an office environment IS provided.
Americans have realised that working from home is no longer the great cure-all it was made out to be, stating that early starts, commutes and colleagues you’d barely speak to outside of the office are now actually valued as tangible employee benefits.
And it’s not too difficult to see why.
I once worked from home for nine months and it nearly killed me. Not that I initially noticed the danger signs. Rather, life and work just melted into one, with no desperate rush for a train, an iron or a smile at a boss’s joke.
Instead it seemed heaven-sent, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the truth is, any would-be paradise can become insufferable.
So if you are considering making a similar leap, here’s a five-point guide to help you calculate the pros and cons of whether it’s really worth retaining your sanity, your family and your friends: 1. You don’t have to hate your wife, husband or kids – that’s what a boss is there for. Trust me, when you lose someone to blame, it’s surprising just who and what you choose to target.
2. It combats sexual tension – after all, if you’ve only got your husband or wife to look at, it soon wears pretty thin. But at work, where’s the harm in making the most (aesthetically speaking) of the beef and cheesecake vistas on offer?
3. You can’t take a ‘sickie’ – which rather puts a dampener on that devil-may-care disguise you so carefully cultivate.
4. If you think your office is boring, just try working seven hours a day on your own – because there’s no let-up. It’s just you, you and you.
5. It’s warm – have you any idea how much it costs to work from home in the winter?