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5 perks and perils of the at home workplace

Banker With Bulldog Shoes
We thought it would be slippers and PJ's. PHOTO: Getty

You are perched on a chair in front of a make-shift desk, your knees up around your ears with piles of screens and paper dangling precariously from the edges of the table. You’ve employed the well-known hand swat system of keeping the kids away from your online conference call and have learned the art of a strategic ‘mute’. Welcome to the at-home workplace.

Of course, many people do this every day and we doff our hats in respect to them. However, us more unlearned folks of the office world are a bit like startled cats caught in the headlights.

5 perils

  1. A return to mum-cuts

Yes, we are all going to return to work looking like something out of the 1980s. This cannot be helped. We are all just going to have to support each other on the first day back at work. Children, if you see your mum or dad heading towards you with a bowl, run. Run as fast as you.

  1. Video conference anxiety

You’ve 20 seconds to throw all the laundry under the couch and shove your family into a closet before the video conference starts. Oh heck! You’ve just seen one of your kids running around naked followed by a half-naked parent on the screen. We are all going to see things. Terrible things.

  1. The greys have returned

This is not the time to be pulling out the Sun-In or the dye kit from the back of the cupboard. Be strong. As our editor got told by her husband, ‘It is time to embrace your Cruella de Vil’. He has obviously been banished to the shed for the duration of the lockdown.

  1. What did you do this weekend?

You know that question you get asked every Monday? Don't even ask. Because it was the same thing we did on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday . . .

  1. No reaction in the work group chat

It is the equivalent of awkward silence after you speak in a meeting. Did you say something wrong?  Or worse, you put up a great image of your pet and no-one reacts. But they all put love hearts on everyone else who shared photos. Is my pet ugly? For your own sanity, mute the group chat. 

5 perks

The perks: 

  1. No more passive-aggressive kitchen signs 

Ah yes, every workplace kitchen has one (or several) of these, usually in aggressive FULL CAPS with a 'please' added at the end for good manners. But really people, how difficult is it to wash your own flaming cup (deep breath)! 

  1. No commute or picking up kids from school/activities 

What will you do with that extra hour or two every day? Will you take up a new skill, start meditating or begin a new mindfulness practice? Yeah nah. We’ll probably just be scrolling on social media and stay in bed longer. Plus, the kids will likely be fighting, so you’ll need that extra time for umpiring.  

  1. Underwear optional 

You don’t have to wear a suit, a bra. Or pants. Enough said.  

  1. Top lip waxing no more 

This is glorious indeed. No more dreading the day when it comes to yanking out those rogue hairs, because video resolution is so bad for online video conference, no one can see them. Ah, bliss.  

  1. Finding the mute button on the group chat

Unlike the workplace, you can press a button to mute the conversation around you with one little tap on your screen. Now, where did put my G&T? 

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