Friday 10 November 2017

The Best & Worst Things About Working From Home In Winter

It's that time of year again. The cold bit. The time of year when working from home is both a blessing and a curse. Usually, it's just a blessing. On the long hot days of summer, you get to feel smug about working in the garden. You get to smile politely while other people moan about their morning commute. You work from home, life is wonderful. But when the icy breath of winter hits you smack in the face, it will wipe the smug clean off you. 

Winter is the longest season for home workers. It is the one time of year when I think back fondly to my days as an office worker. Working from home in the winter sucks because:

1. It's freezing...
Remember at school when it was cold and a rumour would go round that it dropped below a certain temperature then legally they would have to send everyone home? Well, I don't know what that temperature was, but the temperature in my house is definitely below it. It's so cold I can see my breath some days. Legally, I should probably send myself home from work.

2. ...Even with the heating on
Most workplaces have big industrial radiators strong enough to heat a room and maintain the temperature. During my days as an office worker, I would often have to remove layers when I reached work because it was so warm in the office, even in December. My house is not like an office. It is old and draughty. Cold air seeps in from the conservatory and wraps its icy fingers around my limbs. On particularly cold days, I occasionally treat myself to a bit of heating, an hour with the thermostat set to 17 degrees, in the hope that I will thaw out a little bit. Only it doesn't work, the room temperature lifts only slightly before the hour is up and I plummet back into the cold. 

3. Your extremities go numb
Laurie once bought me fingerless gloves. Oh thank you, I said while thinking about how completely pointless they were. Why would I want gloves that only kept part of my hands out of the cold? They seem so useless until you start working out of an igloo. Now, the fingerless gloves are my most prized possession because they allow me to type and be slightly less cold at the same time. 

It doesn't matter how many pairs of socks, welly socks, slipper socks and slippers you wear at once, your feet will always be numb in the winter. Also, you will fall over a lot because of the ridiculous amount of footwear you're wearing.

4. You live in fear of the heating bill
It happens to us all. You promise yourself that you won't put the heating on, but then it's just so cold. Your fingers turn to icicles, you can't see your laptop screen because of the mist of your own breath, and eventually, you snap. And then you spend the next three months living in fear of the heating bill. 

It's not all bad, though. There are some positives to working from home in the winter, such as:

1. You can drink as many hot chocolates as you like
Ha, all those poor office workers drinking their bog standard teas and coffees, you pity them. They know nothing about the excitement of drinking hot chocolates all day long. Winter is one long hot chocolate party. Hell, throw some vegan marshmallows on there, too. You can consume all the sugary drinks you want without the judgement from Janet in IT. 

2. You can look as ridiculous as you like
Giant oversized Amsterdam hoody? Check. Slippers shaped like adorable bunny rabbits? Check. Fingerless gloves? Check. Beanie hat? Sure. The Man UTD scarf your kid got free from school? Why the hell not. Take all of those ridiculous clothes and top the outfit off with a giant blanket. It's fine. Nobody can see you. Just enjoy the warm. 

3. No commute
This is the mantra of all home workers. No commute, ha! No de-icing the car. No slipping and sliding down the badly gritted street first thing in the morning. No risking your life climbing the slippery steps at the station. No rage when the platform speakers announce that the train is running late. None of that. Just you, smugly dressed in the work from home uniform mentioned above, flouncing down your hallway and flopping down on your spinny chair. 

4. You don't have to listen to people talk about the weather all winter
Every morning the same. "Cold, isn't it?" "I can't believe how cold it is." "God, it's freezing today." How tedious it is to be an office worker during the winter months. You don't have to put up with any of that. Although actually, maybe you should just write a quick post about how cold it is in the freelance Facebook group you're in, after all, they're probably just as cold as you. 

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

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