Working from home. Wow. What a combo.
There was a time when work and home were separate. When you could leave the angst and anguish of another awful day in the same four walls right where they belonged: in those same aggressively bland four walls.
Then mobile phones became a thing, and managers were all “Hey, I got you something!”
Then ten years went by and sending emails became your job. And so you replied on a Saturday, and spoke to people at 9pm, and you rinsed and repeated and the only small glimmer of hope was the fact your ATS wasn’t compatible with THE CLOUD and thank the Gods for that.
Only now it is.
And working from home’s gone from a whimsical mid-week dream to your only reality.
You wake on a Monday and get walloped in the face with déjà vu.
“Haven’t we done all this before?” You cry to yourself in the shower.
Well, yes we have.
So let me help you bring back the glory days.
Stick with me and in just a few paragraphs I’ll have you feeling like your prime 2019 self.
Install a cry room
These things actually exist in churches, I’m led to believe. And in hospitals, for the use of newborn children.
In churches I’m not sure what they’re for, maybe it’s best we don’t ask.
But to reconstruct the perfect cry room in your own abode you’ll need a few supplies.
One sign (in order to signify the correct room to the waiting crowd).
One pack of tissues.
A big photo of your colleagues laughing. This isn’t to cheer you up, it’s to recreate the mockery you’ll miss not being at work.
Empty your bin into your microwave, press START
Mmmmmmmm… what’s that delicious aroma effervescing in my very soul?
Is it fish, or someone burning the corpse of satan?
Bet you miss it. Bet you miss it like you would a rare disease.
Well, no longer. Once you’ve pressed START, with a timer set to 10 minutes, you’ll be bathing in a rich thick cloud of pungent musk.
The rush hour buzz
Go and sit in traffic for half an hour every morning
Two options to this one depending on available resources.
The cheap option: sit down in a road.
You can dodge cars and articulated lorries if you wish, when traffic allows, which will create the feeling of being hopelessly late.
Or let the inevitable happen and gain a decent reason to take the day off.
The other option: just go and sit in your car.
You’ll be absolutely raring to go with either option.
Install Air Con at a personal cost to you
Then leave it on all day, aimed at your neck, regardless of outside temperature or health conditions.
Yessss… there’s that mountain breeze you’ve missed. With all the tasteless, filtered, oxygen you’ve never experienced in the wild.
And because it costs so much, you’ll have a constant reason to be on the phone. Your move 2020.
Re-create sad, empty conversations in the kitchen
You might think this challenging at first.
But here’s a nice little hack I’ve been using for a while. Call your parents and ask them which element of your pathetic, meagre existence disappoints them the most.
Then put it on loudspeaker as you make yourself a sandwich.
Close your eyes… and you could be in the office.
YOUR MOTHER DOES NOT WORK HERE!!!
Please WASH AND REPLACE your FORKS!! We are NOT IKEA!
This room is NOT TO BE USED for crying!!!
Your mother not working in the same office as you, sounds like the sort of thing you wouldn’t forget. And yet, up and down the country we’re reminded every day of our working lives.
Make sure the ancient scripts aren’t forgotten by reminding yourself at home.
Removal of personal space
If you’re lucky, you’ll have a bit of room in your gaff.
But that simply won’t do in a world of optimum WFH productivity.
Take your bedroom wardrobe and place it behind you with a tennis ball under one corner.
This will help ramp up your anxiety and paranoia levels to office conditions.
Not only will it feel like there’s someone constantly reading over your shoulder, but every so often, the door will swing open and hit your chair like your delightful colleagues do at every chance.
Print this photo
Once printed, place over the door of the room you work in.
Then, when you try to leave before 6 again, you’ll get a timely reminder like you would at work.
“Your KPIs looking good enough for a half day? Didn’t think they were…“
The first part of this step is easy.
Find the most abhorrent radio station you can, and force yourself to listen to it until you’re on the brink of madness.
Secondly, despite the signs, never wash up, ever.
Occasionally, for a treat, lock yourself out the house for 45 minutes. You’re not allowed to go anywhere else. Just stand outside in the cold and it’ll be like your very own fire drill.
Peek into a stranger’s window to replace those stolen glances across a car park.
To warm yourself up, panic about all the work you’ll have to do when you’re finally allowed back in.
Recreate lag time
Anything that’s admin now goes into an ‘out-going post’ tray.
This is collected once a week, and sent via Royal Mail, back to your home address.
By the time you’ve got it back and completed it, you’ll be reimagining with pinpoint accuracy the exact time your Admin department takes.
Give it a quick wash in a puddle, or write with your left hand for that extra je ne sais quois.
Complete these crucial tasks every week, and I promise you’ll be back on track to your 2019 best.
That’s the Ed Hunter guarantee.
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