This week, after working incredibly hard on a project, the general feedback from those in the know was that I had triumphed and it was a success. Music to my ears after the effort I had put in, I have to say. However, since I work from home and have only Mick the geriatric bulldog for company between the hours of 9am and 3pm, I found myself fist-punching the air, whooping in delight and then having no one to share my news with. A balloon-popping moment.

If I were in an office, we could high-five each other then drift off to the pub for a celebratory pint. Of course, where I work, I wouldn’t have received the kudos in the first place as they tend to be a bit stingy with their praise and appreciation.

I have been based at home for nine of the thirteen years I have worked for my company and it has come with distinct pluses and minuses in that time.

The Pros:

  • I never have to worry about appropriate “office wear” and can throw on any old thing as the only people who see me are the mums on the school run.
  • I can wear flip-flops in summer contrary to office policy.
  • Last week, because it was raining, I literally had a duvet day and worked from the comfort of my bed.
  • The commute takes as long as climbing a flight of stairs.
  • The fridge is readily accessible.
  • No idle chit-chat to distract me and no need to be nice to people I find genuinely annoying.
  • I can mute the phone during dull conference calls and catch up on Twitter while they ramble on.
  • I can multi-task the laundry, make dinner, receive deliveries and pop over to school to administer medicine, deliver forgotten lunch boxes and pick up sick children while still completing a day’s work, with the possibility of finishing it off in the evening if need be.
  • No one can hear me scream in frustration or swear at my boss in the face of frustrating office politics. 

The Cons:

  • I spent most of my day conversing with a geriatric bulldog.
  • The call of the Twitter account and Facebook feed is ever present.
  • I essentially never leave the office – and my employees know this and have been known to take advantage.
  • The fridge is readily accessible.
  • It is easy for colleagues to blame a bad day on my home office status.
  • No one is there to share in the successes and triumphs.
  • I miss the days of commuting into London and having an hour on the train just to read my book in relative peace.
  • The longer I am out of an office environment, the harder I find it to return.

As you can see, the pros still outweigh the cons. So I will continue to high-five my successes with the dog, shout obscenities at my computer screen and mute my conference call meetings. Let’s just hope they don’t start insisting on Skype meetings or I will have to start changing out of my pyjamas every day.