There’s a new craze about town. Working from home. And maaaaaaaaan is it a winner. You see, what I’ve realised is… my colleagues aren’t that great. In fact, most of the time, they simply make my life a misery.
They steal my candidates. Annoy my clients. They worm their way into my deals.
They eat my cereal WITHOUT ASKING. And I buy nice cereal.
Not the crap Jenny buys to replace MY stuff she ate. I don’t know where you shop Jenny but ‘own brand’ cereal is NOT the same. It has lower quality dried banana, the raisins are too hard and the cardboard-level consistency leaves my mouth drier than your sh*t banter.
You know how to tell working from home’s an accepted phenomenon? It’s got its own abbreviation. WFH.
So, this week, I was all like
“Hey Bossman, I’m WFH.”
And he was like, “WTF? It’s Friday, thought we were doing drinks?”
And I was like “Sozzz.”
And while I was sitting there, deep in paperwork, staring out of my toilet window, so terribly lonely, craving the sound of a voice other than my neighbours cat… I soliloquised… “What’s better than working than home? Probably nothing?!”
But for some sad souls, working from home means doing more work. They come back to the office saying things like “y’know I’m just so productive.”
For anyone under this miserable illusion, here’s how you really work from home…
On a normal day you get up at 7 am. But today isn’t a normal day. So you can add an hour to that alarm. Probably two.
There’s no need to suit up. There’s no need to shave. There’s no need to even leave the confines of your pit.
You can let clients down from anywhere. And as a tip, the more tired you sound, the more you’re likely to confound the impression you’re working really hard to find that CV.
In the office, you need to look busy. Looking busy is infinitely more important than being busy. You could be puffing and panting squishing apricots into an envelope in time for the Tuesday post.
No one’s going to question it, cause you’re doing something. You’re busy.
At home, you don’t need to do this.
You can make one call a day as long as it’s a winner. So work to your own rhythm.
As a guide, I try to do 2 minutes of solid, ruthless, hard-nosed recruiting, followed by 15 minutes of horseplay. The key to longevity in this, is to never increase your workload. Otherwise that’ll become accepted as the new norm.
The very first time you work from home, ignore your boss. I can’t stress that enough. Like completely and utterly ignore them. That way, the next time you work from home, they’re expecting zero contact.
Don’t check in with your colleagues either. Most of them are snakes. The worse you look, the better they look. That’s how it works. And means they’ll stitch you up. For as little as a cup of tea being made for them.
By ‘Be Social’, I mean social networking.
And by social networking I don’t mean LinkedIn.
I’m talking Insta. Facebook. Twitter (personal not work). Tinder. Pinterest.
Don’t stop until you can match new born baby photos to their snazzy, new age names. “Ooohh, weird shaped head, too much hair, covered in goo. I know this one. That’s definitely Egypt-Sparrow Smith.”
Continue to make jokes out loud, just use your dog for appreciation. I guarantee if you turn to him as you say the punchline, it’ll be received excitedly. Especially if you include words like leads, walk or bone.
I sometimes play chess with my dog. And I know what you’re thinking, he must be really f**king smart to do that. But I beat him, like 3 times out of 5, so he’s clearly not that clever is he. The little sh*t.
When you’re not doing important tasks, like Buzzfeed quizzes about which Neighbours character you are (even though you’ve not seen it in 15 years) DO remember to check what’s on.
The beauty of this task is, the answer’s always f**k all.
But, there are some wins to be had during the day. ‘This Morning’ used to be a laugh, but then they got rid of Alan Partridge and his sidekick Lynn, and it went down hill.
Missing the girls in the office? Try ‘Loose Women’. There’s just as much nonsense, but for some reason a live studio audience who cheer wildly at weird moments.
Also, Countdown’s a real winner. Especially if you’ve got any devil’s lettuce kicking around. And if not, two words…
I’m just putting the finishing touches to my ‘fly on the wall’ mockumentary ‘Cooped Up’. About class warfare in the Pigeon community in central London. And let me tell you, it’s a real humdinger.
Not literally this, cause that’s my idea.
But write your own. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re trying to do ANYTHING but work.
Sometimes your boss will track you down. They weren’t born yesterday, and when they call, they’re calling ‘number withheld’. 141 was invented for the sole purpose of checking up on people. Normally it’s candidates. In this case it’s you.
So, when you do make this inevitable slip up, remember you’ve got a job. And remember you’re supposed to be doing stuff for that job.
Next, make sure you’ve got a decent “Oh my God, I’m so f**king busy” voice. Make a lot of huffs. Walk around at speed. Shuffle the newspaper you bought first thing. Flush the toilet. Rattle through the ‘anonymous’ drawer in the kitchen. Open the window. Then close it again.
Then the finale… Ring your own doorbell. Three times in long bursts. Then another for good measure.
“Jesus, whoever this is, they’re gonna get an earful. Sorry chap, can I call you back in two secs?”
There’s no one else in the house. You’ve overspent, shopping online. Buying stuff you’ll definitely forget to send back. So, time to reaffirm the most important relationship you’ve got.
You might want to get yourself jacked up before an important sales call.
Or… as a reward for a well formatted CV.
You can’t ‘ring the deal bell’ in the office, cause you’re not in the office. But it’s important to celebrate the small things in life. No matter how small they are.
Disclaimer: You ARE NOT Ed Hunter. And because of that small fact, you’ll need to pick and choose which of these you can get away with. Only when you’ve reached legendary billing status will you acquire the gravitas to do all, in one day.
When you think you’ve reached that status. Drop me a mail. We’ll go for mid-morning beers on a Tuesday.
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