Ask me about home office
So, the home office, right?
Most of my collegues told about how both lockdowns and working from home office challenged them. My background is kind of different, since I’ve spent most of my professional life in home office mode.
It started yet in my student days in 2000s. I started working for my favorite web magazine as a volunteer employee (or just an employee, since we all were volunteers and we got paid in video games from our advertisers). Since both authors and editors lived in completely different parts of the country, it was a project without a physical location. Everything happened on Jabber and our phpBB forum adapted into a sort of primitive Slack App. We were a remote business, when nobody really expected this could ever become a common thing.
But it became common quickly (in years of crisis, people suddenly opened minds for non-stationary work and savings it may bring), so also for the next few years I mostly worked remote or as a freelancer.
Thus, my basic concepts of office work formed without any references to sterotypical office with desks, whiteboards and people sticking among them for eight hours. I felt it more like an
office is a state of mind and relies on spiritual bond between you, your files and deadlines.
In fact, for me it’s working in the real office a breaker and source of unusual situation.
You have to move to the other places, how strange. People talk, not write. Also about their weekend, families and so on; emails were never this way. There is a buzz. There is social life. And the printer really keeps breaking down, when you always thought it was just a comedy cliché.
As I feel a bit socially awkward and appreciate privacy and focus, I find home office somewhat more comfortable, but working in the real one has two great advantages.
The first is the people, obviously. Once you've bonded well with the team, you go to work like for a picnic.
The second is this, how easily working outside home fixes your work-life balance. In a home office, you may think you see border between these two worlds lies, but then you suddenly find yourself doing laundry during your working hours and so on. And your feierabend time goes later and later, like a vanishing point.
This corruption doesn’t occur, if work-life border lies somewhere in the real world. It’ real then. Turning off computer, grabbing your stuff in your backpack, and heading home becomes a symbolic ritual of passing between dimensions. Just a moment ago you were where the writhing tentacles of work duties surrounds you, and now -- snap! -- you are rocking in your hammock in the beautiful light of setting sun.
Well OK, Michał, thanks for this for this brief discussing the obvious. But what is your home office like?
As you see, it’s now really worn out.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to show it in a photo. For me, it resembles horror filming site, with old shabby desk and dirty wall (if you’re wondering if attaching paper to the wall with duct tape is a good idea, I assure it’s not).
Just perfect for a scene, where evil mutant spreadsheet broke into the wild and ate its editor.
(Both the office, as well as the rest of my place definitely need a renovation, but I’m keep postponing it. I live in a rather old building and they told me I should start with replacing electrical wires inside the walls – and this equals days without electricity. Whereas the home office constantly demands for its fuel.)
But some day this will change, finally.
About our Polish artist Beksinski his biographer once wrote that his studio resembles a spaceship deck in which every centimeter of surface is subordinated to some practical functions – and this is the exact definition what I’m planning for my workplace.