A year ago I would have agreed with the government on this. Get back to work, be in the office…
But I’m a changed man post-pandemic!
I used to be one of those people that commuted into the office and thought everybody else should be too. I thought those who were working from home were just doing their washing. Making dinner all the time and not getting work done.
Having now worked form home for just short of 6 months – I am a total WFH convert.
You could argue I had some arcane views on working from home. But I’d argue that I just really appreciated the atmosphere, the social impact of being in an office. Meeting people vs working from home alone.
I’ve often thought that millennials/younger generations want their work to be fun and the office to reflect that. It’s a social space to meet people, not just a 9-5. That’s why you’ll so often see start-ups with 5-a-side teams, cocktail making classes and yoga.
But now that I’ve experienced working from home, I can totally see the benefits. I feel healthier, I’m happier, I spend less and I see my family more. All whilst still getting my job done, hitting my targets and keeping my clients happy.
If I’m preaching to the converted – stop reading, you’re already at home so go make a cup of tea or something. But if you’re on the tube to work, or reading this from an overly lit up office with everybody wearing masks around you – here’s a breakdown of the benefits:
My train and tube cost me £5,500 a year, that’s £450 a month to get to work. Consider that doesn’t include any cost towards a car before you start saying driving costs the same! You can use your car to go to other places than work!
In comparison, you can lease a Mercedes Benz, pay for the insurance, tax and petrol for the same money.
Only the most prepared people on the planet don’t spend a disproportionate amount on lunch at the office each day. There would be days when I could easily average spending £7-10 a day. I’d have a fantastic lunch don’t get me wrong, but that averaged around £150-200 a month!
Now? I can have last nights leftovers or create a quick toastie for pennies. My favourite now is flatbread hummus and crudités costing perhaps 0.50p a meal.
So in working from home I save huge amounts a year that is very, very noticeable.
I used to get up at 6am on the dot, to commute to my central London job. Take the 07:07 train from Theale to Paddington with all the usual suspects and arrive at my desk in central London around 08:30. Then leave the office around 17:30 for the 18:06 train from Paddington getting me home at 19:00.
Now I save 3 hours a day from not commuting. That time is better spent preparing dinner in the evening, walking my new puppy (another benefit!), catching up with my fiancé or even just getting extra sleep in the morning. My new alarm goes off at 07.30 and it’s incredible.
Working from home with my fiancé has been fantastic. Spending what feels like every minute of the day together can feel a bit suffocating to some (and on some days I’d agree). But this has got to be the most time I’ve spent with my fiancé – ever. I’m lovin’ it. We can grab a coffee together in the morning. Have lunch together, help each other out with work stressors and offer each other advice. She’s even my 5pm “let’s have a beer buddy!”
In conclusion – I don’t ever want to be back in the office 5 days a week. Why would I?
I can save more, have a better work-life balance (meaning better performance at work!), I cut down my own carbon footprint and I eat healthier. While I totally see the benefits of co-collaboration in offices together. For me, 2 days in the office, 3 days at home, would be the perfect mix.