I spent my first two weeks in Madrid on-site with a client. This is the longest stretch I’ve had doing the 9-whatever office thing in over four years. This article is my comparison of the two modes of working.
Remote: You don’t need to dress up.
Suits, ties and those uncomfortable shoes, Humbug! The only suit I need is the one I was born in.
Office: You get to dress up.
I love dressing up in fancy suits and ties. It makes you feel all proper and important. Why would you want to miss out on that?!
Remote: You don’t need to leave the house.
Let me describe my commute: I lean slightly to my right and pick up my laptop from the bedside table.
Office: You get to leave the house.
Who would want to stay home all week long? Getting out into the world is important, and work forces you to do so.
Remote: You get to avoid office gossip.
Do you really care about what Christian in accounting did during that Christmas party? Yet the office gossip will insist on a blow-by-blow retelling of the story … for the third time.
Office: You get to enjoy office gossip.
Hell yeah you care! You’ve had a crush on Christian for years and you never tire of this saucy story, especially since you are the unknown person he did it with!
Remote: You don’t have to eat out.
Have you ever counted up how much you spend a year on daily lunches? At home you have a fridge full of yummy stuff just waiting to get eaten.
Office: You get to eat out.
Who are you kidding? You’d ignore that fridge as always and eventually die from cereal poisoning. Better to enjoy some proper food at some lovely eatery.
Remote: You can escape all those meetings.
We’ve all been just a razor away from suicide when we get dragged into yet another pointless meeting where, at best, you have 5 important minutes and 55 minutes of Chinese boredom torture.
Office: You get invited to all those meetings.
Those five minutes were really important! Good thing you were in that meeting or you would not have known about the change in client policy and eventually been fired. Phew!
Remote: Out of sight, out of mind.
Working from home, your co-workers will overlook you for those inane extra-curricular activities that they guilt-trip into, not to mention the money you’ll save on not paying for their charity bungee jumps.
Office: In sight, in mind.
Who do you think will get that upcoming promotion? The office worker whose face the managers see every day or the remote worker who the managers only know as a chat-room nickname?
Remote: You get interrupted by family and friends.
It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them that work time is work time. They will still bug you all day long with requests to program the video, empty the cat box etc.
Office: You get interrupted by co-workers.
“Do you have five minutes?” is a rhetorical question. It must be, because the co-workers who say those dreaded lines never ever wait for an answer before wasting your time.
Remote: Flexible Time
Not all but many remote workers get to move their hours around. This is awesome, both professionally (Waiting for someone to do X? Shift those hours!) and personally (Go sightseeing during the day when everyone else is at the office.).
Office: Fixed Time
Guess who is going to get the pleasure of taking care of that server meltdown in the middle of the night? That’d be that other guy with the flexible working hours, that’s who. Doesn’t matter if he was in the middle of Christian from accounting…