Yesterday I had one of those gushy IM conversations with one of my co-workers about how grateful we are to have each other and our other work BFFs in the office. It went something like:
Me: Thank God we have each other.
Friend: Seriously. Can you imagine if one of us was all alone?
Me: Sad. If there is ever a time we don’t all work here, will you come work out of my living room? Pretty please?
Friend: Tempting. Not the worst idea in the world.
I know, I know. What a lovefest. Gross. But having friends at work is one of the largest contributors to happy employment, and I’ve been realizing this lately more than ever.
Because two days a week, I’m friendless.
Let me explain. These days, I work in an office only part-time. It’s a three-day-a-week gig. The other two days I work from my apartment, writing and pitching stories and working on my upcoming book. It’s an amazing setup, and I have no complaints. I’m lucky to have been allowed this flexible schedule.
There are some killer perks to working at home (ahem, writing in pajamas ‘til 4), but let me tell you, it can get real quiet in here. When Matt gets home at the end of the day I catch a wretched case of verbal diarrhea. Every thought I’ve had for the last 8ish hours comes pouring out because, give or take a conversation with my mother, I’ve had no social interaction all day. I actually talk to myself sometimes. Okay, a lot. It’s not good.
Lucky for me, after two days of isolation I get three days with my work pals. As one of them once told me “I try to be extra productive on Monday and Tuesday to make up for how much you talk to me on the other three days.” Oops.
But it’s true. After two days at home, I feel like I have so much to catch up on. Their weekends, the missed days in the office, How I Met Your Mother. I mean, there are important things to discuss.
There may come a time when I will work from home full-time. If I have kids one day—as I certainly hope to—I may choose that five-day-a-week writing from my living room provides the flexibility I need. But, woah. What would I do then? Five days of silence but for the hum of the dishwasher? As luxurious as that sounds, the idea of having no co-workers at all—no work besties—is a bit jarring. Who will I IM about the latest Popwatch post?
Having people to talk to during the weekday is necessary. It keeps me sane. My plan, if I do work from home one day, is to turn the living room into an office and force my co-worker friends to work from here. Problem solved.
But, on the off chance that doesn’t work, what do you suggest? Any work from home-ers out there? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a telecommuter, or a whatever other sweet gig lets you pass on a shower every now and then, you must have a strategy for dealing with the quiet of a home office. Suggestions?