FREED FROM THE SHACKLES OF SCHEDULES, HR AND OPEN-PLAN OFFICES, INFORMER HAS BEEN THOROUGHLY ENJOYING HIS OWN COMPANY
Heaven knows how many years Informer slaved away in offices. Rest assured there aren’t many incarnations of office layout, philosophy and operation that your correspondent hasn’t experienced.
I’m talking open plan, closed plan, booths and bays, desks arranged into squares, circles, triangles and dodecahedrons, room dividers that people kept falling over and chill-out zones that no one ever used for fear of being considered much too chilled for their own good, let alone the company. Each new office plan lasted about as long as every office plan preceding it, with a zealous human resources officer always on hand to oversee the process before scuttling away into shameful oblivion when everything went nuts up a few months later.
It’s hardly a secret as to why office plans don’t last. It’s because offices contain people, and people are horrible. We have competing personalities, questionable motives and different ways of working, none of which changes by simply rearranging the furniture.
Any wonder then that Informer is loving working from home, even if the boss (me) and my employee (also me) don’t always get along. Last week one of me let the other me’s tyres down and we were both late for Cronut Friday.
Tricky relationships aside, the main scourges of working from home are distraction and procrastination. I hope the following observations help with your own workplace/ work status transition.
One pleasure of the home office is playing your favourite music loudly, constantly and with impunity. Call me a contrary old coot, but in my office days I was never a fan of the tripe piped through the PA, although my biggest peeve was workmates listening to music through headphones. You know these gormless bastards, don’t you? You have to yell to get their attention, they never answer the phone and they’re forever interrupting you, saying “listen to this” while brandishing some disgusting, waxcoated, apostrophe-shaped bit of plastic fresh from their own lugholes that they believe you’ll happily, and sans hygiene, bung in your own.
Regarding workwear, Informer was excited about the prospect of spending the day in my PJs, running gear, the occasional toga or anything other than conventional office attire. Ironically, I soon discovered that I work more efficiently when at least some effort has gone into my clobber. Last Thursday, for example, I wore a mankini. It looked great, but it took Mrs Informer hours to tweeze the bumfluff strands from my office chair.
One pitfall of the home office is the proximity of the refrigerator and pantry. If Informer ate as often as Informer thought about it, Informer couldn’t fit in Informer’s home office, let alone work in there. Being a highly tuned athlete, however, I alleviate occasional binges with a rejuvenating run around the block pretty much whenever I please. You can’t do that in a normal office. And neither can you have every Tuesday off. Apart from the Melbourne Cup, I reckon nothing good ever happens on Tuesdays, so no prizes for guessing which day is Informer’s preferred RDO. Ah, bliss.
Finally, as for an actual timetable, Informer advises adherence to that doyen of workplace efficiency, Larry the Cable Guy, whose motto is straightforward and wise, if not English: “Git ’r done.” Sure, working from home has its issues, but with a little common sense you can set your own agenda, “get ’r done” and, like your old pal Informer, be as happy as Larry.
“IT’S HARDLY A SECRET AS TO WHY OFFICE PLANS DON’T LAST.”